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Postgame: Leafs Come Ahead of Devils in OT

The Leafs took on the Devils in Toronto tonight, their second meeting of the year. Here’s how it went:

1st period

The first part of the period was definitely highlighted by some strong play by Brian Boyle in his return to Toronto as well as a great shift by the Kadri line and some good goaltending at both ends. Especially so by Cory Schneider on the early Toronto powerplay, a PP that has been incredibly dangerous this year.

A late period Devils powerplay creates some good chances, but was ultimately stifled by some good penalty killing by Dominic Moore, Ron Hainsey and Connor Brown.

Once again Schneider puts his name at the forefront of this game, with a great stop near the end of the period. He has been excellent this game.

The period ended tied 0-0.

2nd period

A largely uneventful period saw the Leafs and Devils trading marginal chances, with neither looking dangerous enough to find the back of the net.

Finally with about 5 minutes left in the period, the Bozak line had a two-on-one and some ensuing chances, but a great defensive play by Adam Henrique saves the day for the Devils.

That would be it for the second. 0-0 still.

3rd period

Another boring period went by with not many scoring chances for either side as the game will remain 0-0 heading into overtime.

Overtime

Jake Gardiner took a soft penalty call in the early part of the overtime period which puts the Devils on an incredibly dangerous 4-on-3 powerplay.

Just as the game is about to end, William Nylander, the beautiful Swede, finds the back of the net with just 3 seconds left.

Final Thoughts

The game was incredibly boring until 3-on-3 overtime hit. What a blessing that has been for ending hockey games.

My three stars for the night are pretty obvious choices.

  1. Frederik Andersen
  2. Cory Schneider
  3. William Nylander
  4. Honorable mention to Taylor Hall

Thanks for reading and watching! GO LEAFS GO!

  • Jake was absolutely dreadful tonight- lost in the supermarket. The OT penalty while possibly “soft” was completely avoidable with the space available in 3 on 3. Now don’t get me wrong- I love Gards, but he’s been really awful of late.

    • CMpuck

      So Gardiner gets the blame again, his game was fine tonight and you’re going to just ignore Zaitsev serving pizzas up the middle of the ice all night? I loath Leaf fans that crucify Jake every time he so much fans on a puck and excuse Zaitsev awful blind cross ice pass attempts.

      • Stan Smith

        I thought both Gardiner and Zaitsev played fine tonight. As for throwing pizzas up the middle of the ice, the one thing none of the Leafs did, including Zaitsev, was throw pizzas up the middle. Most times they used the other D to create space, and time. They did chip it out, at times, which I don’t have any problem with, but that high risk stretch pass, that was leading to massive turnovers, has been non-existent of late. Gardiner did try one pass in his own zone, that got picked off, but that was it. Overall the Leafs D has played great the past 4 games.

        You can see that Gardiner hasn’t been playing as well offensively of late, which I think is more a confidence issue then anything else. He is having issues fumbling the puck at the point, which again I think is from squeezing the stick. Lastly, he has looked a little slow skating. Overall though, his defensive play has been pretty good.

  • Niceguytrieshardlovesthegame

    If you honestly think Gardiner’s only gaffes were the fanned passes then I’m pretty sure you didn’t watch the game. He was second to Hall as the best Devils player tonight.
    Gardiner apologists reference to his TOI, +\-, and his escapability… How are those stats now? Blaming Zaitsev, who was quite solid tonight despite his partner, is ludicrous. I’d like to know how many giveaways Jake has below the goal line this year. He’s too calm, too blasé, and needs a serious kick in the ass to start playing like he did last year. Gardiner was garbage tonight and I’m glad Andersen was a brick wall and Willy Ny saved the game. I suggest you watch 51 closely with an unbiased eye, you might be surprised what you see.

    • CMpuck

      In the first period that fan than he immediately recovered from and iced the puck but hacks like Ferraro had to jump on it with a dumb comment?

      Zaitsev is like that panicky kid in house league that throws the puck blindly whenever he gets it, he doesn’t carry the puck or take a second or two to look and make a smart play. Gardiner either makes a short safe pass to exit the zone or he skates himself until he can rush or make that pass.

      People just see Gardiner mistakes because he has the puck and overlook Zaitsev because Zaitsev doesn’t make plays, he just stupidly rifles pucks towards the opposition so he goes without notice and then people say ‘he’s invisible and that means he a good defensman’ no wonder he kills penalties when the majority of his game is clearing the puck.

      For those that watched the game after we going to ignore the video package in second intermission where TSN played four horrible turnovers by Zaitsev?

      And funny Gardiner and his ‘low hockey IQ’ aren’t mentioned when he held the play and did Babcock’s job of getting another player on to adjust to four on four. But Gardiner is ‘dumb’ and Zaitsev is ‘solid’

      Too calm and too blase? I’ll take calm with the puck over panicked, erratic and scared with the puck like Zaitsev. Maybe Gardiner would look better next to an NHL defenseman instead of his current partner.

      Try watching the game a bit closer.

  • lukewarmwater

    Nylander takes the final shot and SCORES. Millions and millions and millions of leaf nation got out of their seats to cheer the winning goal. Even Demar DeRozan commented damm so that’s how you score the winner with two seconds left.
    A wonderful night in Canada, the Canuckleheads lose to Vegas, the Habs collapse against the powerful Coyotes and the Oilers are back to being the usual Oilers. Connor Who??? Most importantly the leafs ran their streak to five games as Auston gets to rest for another night. Saturday night it is the A.H.L. Habs. Go leafs Go. Who cares about Jake the Snake, man get with the game plan , the leafs are winning and winning and winning.