All in all, I’d say everyone is glad this road trip is over. Leafs dropped three of four, and no one was able to go to bed at a decent time.
It almost looked possible to go home on a high note (ha ha), but the St. Louis Blues remain the team to beat in the West, as they improve to 11-3-1, and the Leafs are now 8-7-0.
The first period was not a good indicator of how the rest of this game ended up, except for the part where the Leafs had a really tough time getting out of their own zone (and staying out), and the part where Matt Martin contributed offensively (no, really).
With three assists tonight, Matt Martin has established new single-game career-highs for assists and points. #TMltalk
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) November 5, 2017
The Leafs got one power play about halfway through the period, but they could not even buy a clean zone entry.
Luckily, back at 5-on-5, Matt Martin was able to zoom just inside the blue line and slide the puck across to Andreas Borgman for the 1-0 goal!
andreas borgman opens the scoring off of a matt martin primary assist, just as we all predicted. pic.twitter.com/B1a1zXKBa0
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) November 4, 2017
It seemed safe to feel a little optimistic, honestly.
After 20 – #Leafs 1, Blues 0. Just the third time in last eight games Toronto has held a lead after the first period.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) November 4, 2017
James van Riemsdyk was briefly reunited with Mitch Marner and Tyler Bozak, but they weren’t as effective without Matt Martin dishing the puck, so Babcock didn’t keep that going for very long.
The Blues scored three goals this period, which overall they probably did deserve. But with two of those goals coming off a weird bounce on a rebound, it also kind of feels like the Leafs could’ve almost hung on.
All Blues so far in this second period. More than six minutes in and the #Leafs have yet to register a shot.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) November 5, 2017
The line blender came out again briefly, and we saw Marner back up with JVR and Marleau, but Babcock didn’t seem inclined to implement any long-term changes.
None of the Leafs were having much luck in the offensive zone no matter how they were teamed up, anyway.
Our general mood for most of the final frame was not super optimistic.
Are we even allowed to be excited about that Bozak goal? cause now the Leafs are losing by 3 again
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) November 5, 2017
A more thorough goal breakdown will come tomorrow, but basically it went Blues, Leafs, Blues, Blues again, Leafs twice, and then the Leafs still lost.
In a short burst of excitement, Alex Steen negated a power play for the Blues, we were all set for almost two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey. Except 20 seconds into that, Bozak got thrown out of the face off, and then Marner also got thrown out of the face off. And you know what that means! The Blues got a brief 4-on-3, in which they scored yet again to make it 6-2.
Schenn smacks Andersen in the head before that goal. Whoever is responsible for video review on the Leafs bench missed a HUGE challenge call. pic.twitter.com/QihjXBskNF
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) November 5, 2017
This one probably should have been called back for goaltender interference, but the Leafs…did not challenge. We’re not really sure why. Feel free to debate amongst yourselves.
Scoring three goals in the third period does at least, as my mom said, “look respectable”. But unfortunately the Leafs also allowed three more, so the third period went from 4-1 to 6-4, and it’s still zero points.
Let’s have a fresh start at home on Monday! Leafs take on the Golden Knights for the first time ever.