Leafs Postgame: Deregulated

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Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY SPORTS

Well, it was bound to happen at some point. Despite the best efforts of the Leafs and the season debuts of Roman Polak and Jhonas Enroth, the Leafs once again fell from a leading position and lost 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday evening.

The Rundown

After so many of us collectively panicked at the news that Martin Marincin would be replaced by Roman Polak for tonight’s game, it was only fitting that Polak would open the scoring in this game with an Erik Karlsson-like rocket from the right point that had even Gord Miller shocked. 

The Leafs didn’t keep the lead for horribly long, though, A weird bounce off the boards turned disastrous for Toronto, particularly when Morgan Rielly decided to try to win the footrace to pick it up rather than getting in position. This gave Charlie Coyle all the space he needed to spring Eric Staal for a breakaway, and the veteran made no mistake in converting.

Late in the period, the Leafs regained their lead while on the powerplay. Auston Matthews had a shift where he was in a threatening position for every millisecond possible, and with the help of Leo Komarov and William Nylander, he turned that into his fifth goal of the season. 

Toronto lost that lead early in the third period, thanks to a nice individual effort by Zac Dalpe. Some Leafs could have done better on this one, as Connor Carrick tumbled into Teemu Pulkkinen and Enroth appeared to leave a lot of space available, but it seemed like something that could still be responded to. That didn’t happen, though, as Staal doubled up with eight minutes to go, securing the game for his team.

Why The Leafs Lost

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There isn’t really a long essay to be written about problems game. There were a few miscommunications on each of the goals against, Jhonas Enroth looked good at times but could have been better on the ones he let in, and the Leafs had quite a few posts, barely prevented open nets, and broken sticks. 


This is the longest that Toronto has trailed in a game this season, having been behind for just 1:29 prior to the second Staal goal.

Blue Warrior


Milan Michalek was certain that he broke his hand after this block. He was back within two minutes and, while he didn’t do a ton, he still played with intensity. Similar accolades could be given to Nazem Kadri, but he’s had his chance to be in this position already this week. 

See You Next Time

The Leafs get a day off before facing off against the team that this build seems to mirror the most, the Chicago Blackhawks. Puck drop is at 7:00 on Saturday night at the Madhouse on Madison; be sure to tune in!