The lowest scoring game of the entire season…but who cares? For the first time this season, there are no opposition goals to include, because Freddie got the shutout! The Leafs dominated possession for a good portion of the game, and they scored all of the goals.
This is what we like to see:
Game report! Haven't checked but this may have been the Leafs' best game xG wise. pic.twitter.com/U0sMukyH6u
— Goolius Boozler (@e_presement) October 18, 2017
Mitch Marner was officially on the fourth line tonight, but he did some bouncing around. Connor Brown took his spot with Bozak and JVR, and made the most of it (see below).
The first period didn’t have any goals. It only even had one power play. And yet somehow, it still wasn’t actually boring.
Still no goals…
Second period. Still nothing. This is where I first began to get concerned that Auston Matthews would not extend his five-game point streak. (He didn’t.) Probably a bust, but I think we’ll be okay.
Connor Brown was in the right place at the right time (where have we heard that before?) and tucked the rebound past Braden Holtby to finally break the stalemate. Check out how he gets the puck out of his own end and battles along the boards for an entire shift before grabbing the rebound on Morgan Rielly’s long shot.
2-0 Leafs ?
Sometimes an empty net goal is just icing on the cake. Not really remarkable, mostly lucky, nothing to write home about. Other times it’s an incredible feat of skill and athleticism that gets the crowd pumped for a breathtaking finale. Kadri’s goal wasn’t quite either of those things, settling somewhere in the middle at “Hey, that was nice”. If we’re being honest, the nicest part is probably that he beat Alex Ovechkin back for the puck.
After this game, I’ve almost entirely forgotten about the first round of the playoffs last year. It helps that the Leafs improved in the off-season and the Caps, well. You saw. What’s that saying? When God closes one team’s Cup window, he opens another?