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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Morning After Recap: Just Win, Baby

Good morning, friends.

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3. The same Leafs hockey club was also outshot 57-28, which is very very bad.

That’s a whole lot to unpack – and sure, 2 points is 2 points in the end. So let’s have some fun and take a look back at the goals from last night and pretend that the Leafs weren’t brutally outplayed.

1-0 Leafs (Dominic Moore)

I pretty much forgot that Dominic Moore played for the Leafs, but here is putting them up 1-0 in the early going. Off a feed from Roman Polak no less.

The play begins with Polak sending the puck down towards the offensive zone and off the boards. Moore picks it up at the CBJ blue line and carries it in before putting it on goal and… scoring?

Didn’t see that one coming. A pretty weak backhanded somehow found its way past Korpisalo and into the net to make things 1-0 early on. The goal was Moore’s 5th of the season. Both the aforementioned Roman Polak and Travis Dermott both picked up assists on the goal.

2-0 Leafs (Nazem Kadri)

It’s always a nice night when we get to celebrate a Nazem Kadri goal. With the Leafs on the power play, James van Riemsdyk is parked at his usual spot in front of the net, and attempts to force the puck past Korpisalo. His efforts would prove unsuccessful, and the puck would come back out.

It was then that this nice little second effort would take shape, with Nazem Kadri snapping a sneaky little wrister short-side to put the Leafs up 2-0. The goal was unassisted, with Kadri doing the heavy lifting to make this one work.

2-1 Leafs (Nick Foligno)

It’s always less fun having to talk about the other guys’ goals, but this one was actually fairly pretty. Alexander Wennberg, circling behind the net, finds Nick Foligno in the slot. Foligno deftly plays the puck off of his skate as he moves to the front of the net and flicks the puck past Frederik Andersen to bring the Blue Jackets back within 1. A nice effort by Foligno for his 12th of the season.

2-2 (Nick Foligno)

The tying goal featured even more nifty playmaking from Alexander Wennbeg. Wennbeg beats Dermott at the blue line, creating a 2-on-1 with Foligno with only Nikita Zaitsev back for the Leafs. Unfortunately, Zaitsev’s attempt to break up Wennberg’s pass would prove futile, with the opposing player waiting him out just long enough to slide the puck over to Foligno, would found the back of the net once again to even things up at 2.

3-2 Leafs (Nazem Kadri)

This was a gorgeous play that materialized very quickly for the Leafs. Dermott found Rielly pinching deep in the offensive zone, and Rielly had his eyes on Nazem Kadri on the opposite side of the crease. Rielly’s feed was perfect, connecting with Kadri who snapped home his second goal of the night, putting the Leafs up 3-2 while propelling himself into Nick Foligno levels of greatness.

4-2 Leafs (Mitch Marner)

Shortly after, we would have more great play from Nazem Kadri and more cross-ice passing leading to goals, because that’s apparently how every goal would be scored in this game.

A streaking Nazem Kadri dished the puck beautifully to Mitch Marner, who was poised and ready to fire home his 13th of the season, continuing the explosive chemistry that the duo have had since being united on the second line. Miraculously, the Leafs would once again find themselves up by 2 goals despite being outshot and outplayed by Columbus.

4-3 Leafs (Jack Johnson)

The bad guys strike again. Not much to say here, other than what a bullet this was by Jack Johnson. With his future up in the air these days, the Blue Jackets defenseman at least makes it known that he can shoot, bringing his team back to within 1.

The arguent could have been made that Nikita Zaitsev was unecessarily screening Andersen on the play, as Freddie didn’t seem to have his sights optiminally on the puck until it was too late. Either way, 4-3 as we head into the third.

5-3 Leafs (Nazem Kadri Hatty!)

Nazem Kadri, everyone.

Follow-up point: Mitch Marner, everyone.

What eyes to find Kadri on this one, as Mitch Marner threads the needle perfectly, returning the favor for Kadri’s set-up in the second period to complete the hat-trick and put the Leafs up by a pair once again.

The hat-trick was Kadri’s fourth of his career; the veteran Leaf seems to have found a linemate who has re-ignited him over this most recent stretch after struggling greatly in the month or so prior.

6-3 Leafs (Patrick Marleau)

Kadri dishes to Marleau, who streaks in and puts this game away. The Leafs walk away commanding the scoresheet, 6-3, despite losing heavily on the shot clock. Good enough for the win column, either way.

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  • Capt.Jay

    Real question. With how well Marner and Kaz are playing, when do teams start focusing on that line more than the Matthews one? Or does that even happen? I’m still out of country and haven’t been able to watch a minute of hilites. Were the Leafs out played that bad by both Tampa and Columbus?