Photo Credit: USA TODAY/© John Hefti
Starting off the first of three games in the Golden State, the Leafs found themselves matched up against a Stanley Cup finalist in the San Jose Sharks. Never really kind to Toronto, the Sharks didn’t hold anything back tonight. And the Leafs, uh, were actually not good tonight, as they fell 3-1 to the Sharks in heartbreaking fashion.
If you’re looking for a silver lining, the game’s opening goal and header image for this post provided that. Auston Matthews once again found the net, starting the scoring for the Leafs 26 minutes into the contest.
Matthews makes it 1-0 with his 31st goal of the year. pic.twitter.com/CbT7qtFfpT
— Wendel Clarkson (@MuchTruculence) March 1, 2017
Not only was #34 in on the goal, but William Nylander came through with the clean zone entry to get things going on the play.
But six minutes later, that slim lead would pop away as it was Brendan Dillon scoring just his second goal of the year off a slick wrist shot from just outside the slot area.
The Leafs then fell into a harsh defensive shell.
It appeared like everything the Sharks were doing, the Leafs could only counter with a weak zone exit here, a dump-in there, a tough turnover in a bad area. If the Leafs were to manage a point, it would be a grinding effort.
And though the effort was strong enough to push to 58 minutes, it was with 1:24 left when Tomas Hertl snuck a shot past Andersen and broke the game’s deadlock. An empty netter moments later would see San Jose take all two points from the game.
Returning to action tonight after five whole games out was Mitchy Marner, after five games out with a mostly mystery injury.
Roman Polak and Matt Hunwick lead the Leafs in CF% percentage among defencemen. Go figure.
Frederik Andersen made 34 of 36 saves, but as the Leafs fired just 21 shots towards Martin Jones, it wouldn’t be good enough. Onto the next one.
Close after two, but a dominant third saw the Sharks get rewarded. Bad performance, but a fair result.
Josh Leivo picked up another point. ?
Onto LA. Thursday night at another ungodly hour.