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Postgame: Good Moore-ning, Vancouver

The Vancouver Canucks were visiting tonight, but their star young forward was unfortunately missing from the lineup.

Yes, Josh Leivo, who struggled to crack the Leafs lineup, has been one of the better Canucks forward this year, but he was missing tonight due to an upper-body injury.

Also missing was Elias Petterson.

For the Leafs, Zach Hyman was missing from the roster, as well as both of the normal goalies on the roster. As such, newly acquired Michael Hutchinson was the starter.

1st period

The Leafs got off the hop strong in this period and really showed their advantages in skating and skill.

Toronto had the first bounce go their way as this Morgan Rielly point shot finds the stick held by the deft hands of John Tavares to beat Markstrom.

Not long after, the happy face of rookie Trevor Moore streaked down the right wing, beat a cement-footed Derrick Pouliot, and scored his first goal in the NHL:

 

2nd period

Unfortunately the sequel to the first period was not as exciting for the fans as the first period itself, as the Canucks and Leafs both seemed to struggle to generate offensive chances.

The Leafs were the stronger team still in this frame, but no shots were able to beat Jakob Markstrom.

Michael Hutchinson continued to stand strong and hold the fort, and looks stable even while facing fewer chances than his rival. The Leafs finished this period winning the shots-on-goal battle 24-19, and still leading the game 2-0.

3rd period

It didn’t take long for the Leafs to find their scoring touch again in this game. A little over four minutes into the period, Matthews finds the wrap-around opportunity and beats Markstrom to make it 3-0:

The onslaught continued as this impressive forechecking effort from Andreas Johnsson and Auston Matthews gets the Leafs a 4th goal, on a great shot by Johnsson:

It got even worse for the Canucks and their fans, as Igor Ozhiganov gets his 2nd career goal on a pass that gets redirected in front:

That was the end of the scoring, unfortunately, as the Leafs finally showed a bit of mercy and let off the gas until the game ended.

A fantastic Leafs win, 5-0.

Final Thoughts

This was a clinic of offensive skill and taking advantage of a team that was disadvantaged from the start. Missing Petterson and Leivo, tired from a long road trip, and still working the rebuild, the Canucks were ripe for the picking.

The Leafs were dominant at every step and truly earned this 5-0 win.

My three stars for the night:

  1. Auston Matthews (1G, 2A)
  2. Andreas Johnsson (1G, 1A)
  3. Michael Hutchinson (28 save shutout)

The Leafs are up next on Monday when the Nashville Predators come to visit. See you then, and Go Leafs Go!

 

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