Leafs Postgame: Welcome To The Nylander Show

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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

It took a few games, but he’s arrived. William Nylander took over the ice tonight at the Air Canada Centre, and left with three points and a mark left on the entire crowd’s personal hype train. Oh, and the Leafs themselves picked up a 5-2 win in the process.

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The Leafs opened the scoring in this one thanks to a hilariously bad misplay of the puck by Jonas Hiller. With little time to spare and a need to make a decision, Hiller bounced a pass off of the boards in the trapezoid, which sent the puck straight to Nylander. Moments later, PA Parenteau set himself up in the slot, pulled in the feed, and snapped home an easy one-timer.

That was good enough to hold the lead for a bit, and after a ridiculous scenario which involved Nazem Kadri getting attacked for a clean hit on Johnny Gaudreau, the Leafs headed to the powerplay. It didn’t go as planned though, as Matt Stajan, who was a key part of the Leafs’ rebuild when Nylander was six years old, tied the game up with a short handed wrister. Four minutes later, Nylander tried to fire a one timer off of an offensive zone draw. While he didn’t get all of his stick on it, Zach Hyman was able to direct it past Hiller to regain the lead.

Joe Colborne continued the trend of former Leafs acting as double agents with another equalizer a few minutes later, but the 19-year-old wasn’t having his birth city spoil his lights out night. Just 25 seconds into the third period, Jake Gardiner set him up for a one-timer that was much, much harder than the one that led to the Hyman goal and unleashed what ended up being the game winner. 

The game settled down from there, and Colin Greening and Josh Leivo both potted empty-netters in the final minute and a half of the game. The latter, which required a little bit harder of an effort, gave Connor Brown his first career point.

Blue Warrior


Come on. You knew it had to be him. Games like tonight are why the youngster is hyped up as Toronto’s best prospect and one of the best up-and-comers in the game. He fired the puck as if it was lava on his stick, hit the net with four opportunities, led his more experienced teammates through some spectacularly creative plays, was good at the dot, and was the team’s second-best possession player with a 68% CF. If this is what this team is going to get for years to come, strap yourselves in for a wild ride.

See You Next Time

The Leafs will stay at home and wait to take on the Anaheim Ducks, who they face on Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre. The Ducks roster, of course, features Nick Ritchie, who Don Cherry famously insisted would have been a much better pick than Nylander. Nylander had more points tonight than Ritchie has in his 28-game career to date.

Puck drop will be at 7:30. See you then!

  • TGT23

    Say what you want about Kadri, the hit was perfectly clean. What wasn’t clean were the slashes he received to both legs by Jooris and Gaudreau immediately after.

    And the Johnny Hockey is going to mock Kadri because he “turtled” after getting jumped while on the ice? Come on. Johnny Hockey can’t act like Kadri is a wimp while hiding behind his linemates. That’s pathetic.

    Kadri has his issues, but give me a break. JG showed his immaturity turning a clean hockey hit into that fiasco. You can either fight and mock someone, or hide behind your linemates and shut up.

    You can’t hide behind your linemates and then act as though you were the tough guy in the scenario.

    Gaudreau is an elite winger. He’s was also an elite baby on this night. Love the kid, love what he represents for the future of hockey, hope badly that Marner can be just like him on the ice skill wise. But, he needs to grow up.

    I’m guessing the Kadri haters will somehow make this about him being bad, or a bad teammate or something, now. Can’t wait for that one.

  • Gary Empey

    I’m really liking Nylander. And when we sign stamkos and with Nylander playing like he does now, I can see Kadri being a excellent 3C. Lou’s a master at negotiating and could have Kadri accept a 3C payday that fits his 37 points he has put up this season.

    As an added bonus, that would signal the end of Bozak in Toronto.

  • Gary Empey

    Calgary receives a well deserved, severe, ass-kicking on their visit to Toronto.

    Calgary needs to improve their ability to skate backwards. That is the usual direction the Flames are going.

    • TGT23

      “I’m guessing the Kadri haters will somehow make this about him being bad, or a bad teammate or something, now. Can’t wait for that one.”

      Yeah… You were the one I was referring to.

      You are the CNN of TLN’s commenters. Claim objectivity, claim you don’t take sides between the two candidates (in this case, Kadri and Bozak), but, only ever ridicule one person.

      Even when Bozak was healthy this was the case.

      • CMpuck

        I just wanted to shoe horn in a wrestling line, you take things too seriously. You Kadri marks just love taking the thinnest excuse to berate others with your opinion.

        • TGT23

          Says the guy who comes into every thread even remotely involving Kadri to rip on him. Hardly the “thinnest excuses” when you are so consistently biased and so prolific in your responses.

          • TGT23

            I don’t think you know what Autism is.

            You could have said my OCD rant. That may have made sense. But, not Autism.

            Also, way to insult someone based on a mental condition. Had I been Autistic you’d be a douche for poking fun at it. Not only are you less of a human being today, all your opinions going forward should be disregarded as the blabber of an ignorant troll.

          • TGT23

            No, you’re a douche. Don’t be. Don’t get defensive because someone called you out for being a prick. Just make better choices. Be a better person.

            Further, whether I was “uptight” or not, you simply can’t resist going into a Kadri related thread to bash him. And praise Bozak, for that matter. But, when called on it, you either resort to distraction by insult or claiming to be objective and fair. Which is bogus. Because, despite saying they are evenly skilled, you only ever attack one of them.

            I’d be shocked if there is a single Kadri related thread on this site the last year or two you haven’t jumped in to rip on the guy. But, what a surprise. Get called on it and change the subject.

          • CMpuck

            Hey genius, you’re the one whining about Kadri and Bozak throughout this comment section not me 🙂 dumb dumb dumb dumb… you’re such a good person too 🙂

  • TGT23

    Nylander indeed looking like the highly rated prospect the leafs felt they drafted in 2014. A wicked release of the puck is going to result in a lot of goals by this kid.

    However, thank goodness the Ducks are coming to town to help the club stop the winning ways as you don’t tank for 65 games and then suddenly go on a sprint in the last 15 meaningless games. Tank leafs Tank we want at worst the fourth pick in the draft.

  • CMpuck

    Very impressed with the young Leafs last week or so. Might hurt the lottery standings but I’m not going to get upset if they play well and win.

    Cannot wait to see what the marlies can do in their calder cup run with all the really good players they have

  • Gary Empey

    We all knew that head coach Sheldon Keefe, must have been doing good job with the Marlies.

    I think it is now time to give him credit for how well he has prepared all the young prospects for an NHL career.

  • Gary Empey

    That Don clip has some pretty great moments. Right after the “should’ve drafted Ritchie rant we get “Babcock won’t come to Toronto” and “Edmonton will make the playoffs next year.” Never change, Don.

  • SEER

    Good to see Nylander give the Flames a “Wet-Willy”… , for Burke..

    Courting Lady Blue: William Nylander 2015-16 Highlights – TML —-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nsjmYZvRA0 ———————————————————————————————————– ..and here’s a brand new montage for another one of our most recent prospects, who is doing well in his first OHL season… : ) Born in ’97… and wears #97…

    Jeremy Bracco/ Right Wing/ shoots R/ Born Mar 17 1997/ Freeport, NY/ 19 yrs. ago/ Height 5.10/ Weight 175 …..

    RECENT STATS: (*up to March 22nd 2016) 2015-16 Boston College – H-East – NCAA 5 Games… 0 Goals… 3 Assists… 3 Points… +3 ——————- 2015-16 Kitchener Rangers – OHL 49 Games… 21 Goals… 43 Assists… 64 Points… +15 *PPG+ ……….Oh, Bracco!: Jeremy Bracco 2015-16 Highlights – TML —-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMhpA766ytE