0

Morning-after recap: On our worst behaviour

The Leafs come to Montreal and treat it like it’s their own home. Which in a lot of ways it is, because quite clearly, the Leafs are Canada’s team.

Now undefeated this season against teams from Quebec, the Leafs are rolling and are comfortably on a six-game win streak.

After a relatively boring first 30 minutes (no goals? wtf?), the Leafs opened the floodgates with 7:53 left in the second period and would not look back.

Let’s take you to where it all started:

1-0 (Ron Hainsey??? goal)

Ron Hainsey deserves all the nice things in the world. After being criticized all offseason for being too old, too expensive, too Hunwicky… well, he was none of those things last night.

The play starts with an offensive zone faceoff win and the Leafs and Habs battling it out along the boards. Montreal fails to exit the zone once, eventually gets the puck back but only manage to clear it softly outside of the zone, and that’s where things begin to go south for the Montrealers.

Morgan Rielly regroups, finds Dominic Moore on the boards at the red line, Moore works it into Tyler Bozak, who suddenly enters the zone on a 2-on-2 rush with James van Riemsdyk. With no clear passing lane to the middle of the ice, Bozak holds up, turns around, opens the door, gets the puck on the floor, slides it across to a now-uncovered Ron Hainsey who just entered the zone, and that’s all she wrote. A beautiful shot finds its way through a mix of bodies, and there’s your game-winner.

And the Leafs still had five more goals to score!

2-0 Leafs (Nazem Kadri goal)

“Man, what a revelation this Kadri kid has been! – someone oblivious to Nazem Kadri’s entire career. As the Montreal fans in the building were still lamenting giving up one goal to Toronto, well, why not two?

Most of the time, when you’ve got a defender between you and the goalie on a rush from the wing, it’s tough to even get a shot off. But Jordie Benn slows up just a little and offers Nazem space to get his shot off, and well, that was a mistake.

Finding the perfect spot to put it (and bouncing it just off of Charlie Lindgren’s shoulder), well, that’s a 2-0 hockey game.

3-0 Leafs (Connor Brown goal)

Ah, another one of those pesky offensive zone faceoff wins. A point shot from Zaitsev, and Connor Brown remains uncovered by the net. Just like a early-2000s U2 song, Brown gets “Elevation” on this shot and shoots it top shelf. The baddest man in the whole town, that Connor Brown.

4-0 Leafs (James van Riemsdyk goal)

What appeared to be a mostly harmless play behind the net for the Habs was broken up by Tyler Bozak, and well, the Habs just didn’t have a stinkin’ chance after that. Bozak plays it off to Dominic Moore, who relays it quickly over to JVR and well, now it’s just mean at this point for ol’ Lindgren.

5-0 Leafs (Auston Matthews goal)

Auston Matthews somehow scores a bunch of goals where he’s just wide open in front of the net.

That wasn’t new about this goal, but what WAS new was the man who assisted it to him.

Mitch Marner slips the puck between a pair of Habs, and all Auston has to do is blast it into the gaping cage.

Amazingly, this was the first time these two have ever connected on a good hockey goal.

6-0 Leafs (Auston Matthews goal)

Mitch Marner picked up another assist on this play that was well, not as pretty as his last one. But hey, they all count the same, Mitchell!

And heck, Auston added another goal.

We’re not even going to break down the goal. We’re just going to break down that smile.

We’re happy you’re back too, Auston.

Leafs score six, and win their sixth in a row.

😀