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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski - USA Today Sports

Leafs Postgame: Cory’s Glory

Now normally, the New Jersey Devils aren’t exactly my favorite team to watch. This is nothing against the team, and everything against the systems they deploy (from a fan perspective… KILL THE TRAP WITH FIRE.) However, it’s a brave new world, and these Devils are different.

These Devils are fast, they’re skilled, and they’re really aggressive on the penalty kill. Also, they handed the Leafs their first loss of the young season.

The Leafs actually outshot the Devils by a really significant margin, but that’s partially due to score effects. However, Cory Schneider was very, very good today. It felt like William Nylander could have scored five different times today, and he didn’t, so. God status, Cory Schneider. God status.

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First Period

Coming into tonight’s game, the Leafs had scored 19 goals in their first three games. If you’re thinking that’s a lot, that’s because it is a lot. They’ve also allowed their fair share of goals, but look. It’s fine. As long as you have more at the end of the night, who cares how many you give up? (Mike Babcock cares.)

Today, the Leafs started the scoring fairly early. The Toronto faithful were on their feet less than ten minutes into the game, as James van Riemsdyk — stop me if you’ve heard this before — buried the puck from a weird angle on the power play.

There was barely any time to celebrate, though, because 34 seconds later, the Devils’ Steven Santini clapped a puck off from the top of the circle through tons of traffic. Miles Wood tips it, and suddenly the game is tied.

And because this is the Leafs, and you can always expect goals one one end or the other, that’s only the first goal Miles Wood scores. He scores again on a breakaway after a hiccup by Calle Rosen, and just like that, the Devils are up 2-1.

But not to fear, Dom Moore is here! He scores the equalizer as a Leafs the power play expires. Eric Fehr will probably be back in the lineup next game, though.

(That power play, by the way, was thanks to Matt Martin, who fought Stefan Noesen. Noesen took the instigator.)

It was an action-packed period, and it ended true to form.

Second Period

You know how the NHL decided suddenly that they needed to actually enforce rules? Especially the one about “DON’T SLASH DUDES ON THE HANDS AND WRISTS”?

Well, that adjustment period for the players is still ongoing, and it’s a little painful. I say this because JVR barely taps Mirco Mueller, ends up in the box, and Pavel Zacha scores on the ensuing power play for a 3-2 New Jersey lead.

Frankly, though, that goal barely even registers on the Dang It Meter™, because later in the period, a good shift by the Leafs leads to two Devils taking penalties on the same play, resulting in a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play for the Leafs.

Any guesses on who scored? Yes, you’re correct, the Devils scored. Down two men. They did that.

Can’t wait for Steve Dangle’s take on this one.

There’s not much to say about this period, really, except that there wasn’t much in the way of 5-on-5, and unfortunately for the Leafs, the Devils won the special teams battle this period.

Third Period

Some days just aren’t your days. Today was not Calle Rosen’s day. He’s looking to get the puck out of the zone with a cross-ice pass. Instead, he puts the puck on Blake Coleman’s stick. Coleman shoots the puck right off of the turnover, and it’s 5-2.

Later in the period, still down 5-2, the Leafs go on another 5-on-3 power play. It’s honestly a little nerve-wracking, because this didn’t go so well for us the last time, but hey! Auston Matthews and William Nylander have our backs this time, and Matthews cuts the lead to two goals with a power play goal.

I wish I could say that’s how the game ended, but despite the Leafs throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Cory Schneider, it’s the Devils who found the back of the net one more time before all was said and done. It was Zacha again, this time with a nice tip.

Ah, well.

You win some, you lose some.

Guess we’ll just go 81-1-0 this season.

  • Glen

    It’s only one loss and those things happen but some stats this old Leaf fan doesn’t like: Anderson save% mid .800, GA 3.97, Marner -5 , Reilly -4, JVR-4. Stats don’t tell the whole story but those are bad. Any still 3 and one GLG

  • Brandon

    It’s early, but it does seem like the JVR-Bozak-Marner line have taken a step back defensively this year. If it keeps up, I wonder if JVR and Bozak finally get split up.

  • jimithy

    The ‘Waffle Five’- Reilly, Bozak, JVR, Kadri and Gardiner will make sure the Leafs keep up their lazy ways for another long pointless season. You can now officially add Nylander to that list. As long as this ‘waffle core’ remain, get ready to be disappointed and ridiculed.