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Photo Credit: Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs Postgame: Leafs Win, Keep Hold of WildCard Spot

With 17 (now 16) games left in the season, the Leafs are holding precariously to the final WildCard spot in the East. If they win 8 of 10 points in the next 5 games, they will definitively hold that coveted spot. These are the numbers we’re throwing around, folks. How many points and wins the Leafs need to keep a playoff berth. Isn’t it fun?

THE RUNDOWN

  • Starting in goal for the Leafs is Frederik Andersen. Starting in goal for the Flyers is Michal Neuvirth.
  • Leaf’s Mitch Marner takes a tripping penalty against Michael Del Zotto at 5:30. Leafs on the penalty kill.
  • Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds puts the Flyers on the board with a power play goal, traffic in front and the assist from Shayne Gostisbehere. 1-0 Flyers.
  • James van Riemsdyk blocks a shot, limps back to the bench, but is okay for his next shift.
  • Radko Gudas takes an interference penalty against Zach Hyman at 12:31. Leafs on the powerplay.
  • William Nylander ties it up with a tight angled shot, assisted by Jake Gardiner and Connor Brown. 1-1 tied game.
  • With the tying goal, Nylander has now tied the franchise record for most power play goals in a rookie season at 9.
  • Early in the second period, both teams making defensive zone errors, relying on the goaltenders to bail them out.
  • At 9:28 into the second, Tyler Bozak scores an unassisted goal to put the Leafs in the lead. 2-1 Leafs.
  • An uneventful second period ended with the Leafs still up, 2-1.
  • Both teams with some good chances to open the third period, but none solid enough to hit the back of the net.
  • Nikita Zaitsev takes an interference penalty against Claude Giroux at 9:53 in the third. Leafs on the penalty kill.
  • Brayden Schenn takes a tripping penalty against Nikita Soshnikov at 13:35 in the third. Leafs on the powerplay.
  • Marner with a beautiful shot, puts it behind Neuvirth. Assists from Rielly and Bozak. 3-1 Leafs.
  • Connor Brown takes a tripping penalty against Brandon Manning at 14:20 in the third. Leafs on the penalty kill.
  • Gostisbehere scores with a slapshot from the point. Assists from Valtteri Filppula and Jakub Voracek.  3-2 Leafs.
  • Neuvirth is pulled with a little over 2 minutes left for the extra attacker.
  • Nazem Kadri scores an unassisted, empty-net goal with 1 minute left in the third. 4-2 Leafs.

BLUE WARRIOR

Blue Warrior is a tough one tonight. Does it go to Freddy, who made some absolutely stunning saves and flashed the leather more than once? Does it go to Connor Brown, and all his solid chances? Does it go to William Nylander and his stunning goal? Does it go to Mitch Marner and his stunning goal?

The answer is: D) None of the above.

Today’s game was a good one in that the Leafs came away with a solid regulation win. When they were in the offensive zone, the connection between the rookies was remarkable, and consequently seemed to pick the veterans up a little too. But the defence still needs to step it up. The Simmonds goal is a good example. Nobody covered Wayne Simmonds for around 15 seconds, long enough for him to make 2 sweeps in front of the crease, and eventually bang in a goal.

However.

They played well tonight. They came away with the win. The goals were beautiful. William Nylander tied a franchise record. I could go on. But for efficiency’s sake, I’ll only post the video of William Nylander’s stunning goal, because damn, WillNy, damn. With this tough angled shot, Nylander nets his 18th of the year, and his 9th powerplay goal.

COMING UP NEXT

With the Leafs playing their final 16 games of the season in the next 34 days, there is going to be no shortage of games coming up. Next in the lineup is Saturday, March 11th. Leafs will face the Carolina Hurricanes, in Carolina. Puck drops at 7pm.

  • lukewarmwater

    As I stated when the boys returned from death valley California, they simply had to own their own barn. Well two straight in a much more entertaining game than the Detroit snoozer. Some great shooting tonight from Bozak, Nylander and Marvelous Mitch Marner rounding back into form. Andersen, spelled with an e followed by the n, in case some one posts again about a spelling mistake. To error is human. Back to Frederik, another superb performance. In the recent losing streak he got the support of 8 goals in 5 games. He is really back in the groove at a crucial time. Nice to see an empty net goal as Kadri now hits 28. Who would have thunk we will have two thirty goal centers and a likely 20 goal center in Bozak.
    A day off then back into the barn and an opportunity to beat the Hurricanes back into the tropical depression they truly are. Keep it going leafs.

    • lukewarmwater

      Now if this stinking Canucklehead team which beat L.A. and the Ducks and took Montreal to o.t. can rally from a 1 goal deficit, the leafs would have leap frogged over the Islanders who seem to have horse shoes up their derriere these days. The metal detectors must be going off a lot.

    • Gary Empey

      With six and a half minutes to go my bandwidth ran out. No cable here. Just satellite. Allowed 800 megabytes a day. It was 2-1 at that point, with the Leafs about to go on a powerplay. The Leafs are slowly getting better defensively. Unfortunately they give up a little offense to do it as they continue to learn. The Flyers were good on the faceoffs tonight. This definitely gave them an edge of the offensive side. One shouldn’t take Carolina too lightly. They just finished hammering the Rangers.

  • lukewarmwater

    Yesiree, stinking Canuckleheads tie up the game and then give it away in o.t. The Acquillinis have run this Canuck team into the ground as they are clueless. The Islanders luck will run out same as the Bruins as no Virginia, once upon a time they changed coaches and every lived happily after. IT AIN’T HAPPENING BRUIINS AND ISLANDERS.

  • STAN

    I only managed to catch the last 9 1/2 minutes of this one, but I was impressed at how the Leafs have marginally improved their overall containment. Yes, they still aren’t intense enough in their own zone and forechecking (while trying to hold onto a lead) could be more intense, but they’re getting better. Nylander and Marner goals were spectacular and Bozak’s showed what puck-pursuit can accomplish. Freddy might have been their best player, even though the Leafs kept opponent shots to below 30 for the second straight game. At least a dozen Flyers shots could have gone in if it weren’t for the big Dane. Next!!

  • Chelmsford Leafs

    Why is it that when I look at the standings each morning, the thing that really stands out is 1-8 in the Shoot-out column. I try looking away but my eyes are drawn back to it all the time.
    Flyers @ Bruins and Islanders @ Blues makes Saturday a big night.

  • BarelyComments

    Really liking the look of the new site, only complaint I have is that the articles aren’t always in order, why would the pre-game article still be above the post-game? Is there a reason for this? Or a way of fixing it?