Leafs Postgame: Nazem’s Town

Photo Credit: Perry Nelson/USA TODAY SPORTS

“I am the kid with the motor mouth, I am the one you should worry about”. Drake said it, Nazem Kadri practices it, and the City of Edmonton must be endlessly frustrated about it. The Toronto Maple Leafs flew high once again against Connor McDavid and pals, taking tonight’s game against the Oilers by a 4-2 result.

The Rundown

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Toronto opened the scoring in this one on the powerplay. While Milan Lucic sat in the box for getting too aggressive with Roman Polak, William Nylander quickly showed that the “he’s on the 4th line for a reason”, “he’s not trying hard enough”, “he might be traded” garbage was all just that and fed Auston Matthews for his 10th goal of the season. 

Toronto continued their run a little while later when Tyler Bozak retrieved a puck out of a board battle and set up James van Riemsdyk, who also got his 10th. The Oilers responded with a goal from Andrej Sekera, who fired a great shot from the point to beat Frederik Andersen, but it was no doubt helped by the fact that Nikita Soshnikov had to cover him without a stick.

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Toronto kept the good vibes going, though. Leo Komarov helped Nazem Kadri pot a beautifully annoying goal past Cam Talbot to make it 3-1, and Zach Hyman soon followed with a bit of a floater that squeaked past the Oilers’ starter to add further insurance. In a move that threw back Leafs fans to a simpler, more loss-laden time, Edmonton switched to Jonas Gustavsson for the third period, but while Connor McDavid scored a dazzling goal to close the gap a little, the Leafs held on to a 4-2 victory.

Why The Leafs Won

If we’re going to put this bluntly, nobody on the Leafs cared about what the Oilers had planned for them. Line matches were rolled off. Attempts at intimidation were laughed at, bodies in front of the net were moved away, people who tried to get in their way were powered through. Toronto came into Edmonton knowing that they were the villains and they embraced it. Also, pucks in the slot are always useful; despite the scoring gap, the Leafs were just about even in scoring chances and that’s the area where everybody made their money tonight.

Blue Warrior

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A goal, the third best possession numbers among forwards, and an entire city and hockey team pissed off even more than the last time they faced him. Every Leafs fan in Edmonton will probably own a Kadri jersey by the end of the month.

See You Next Time

With the win, the Leafs move to just a single point back of the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ll get a chance to get over the hump tomorrow night, when they take on the Flames. See you then!

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