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Leafs Postgame: Cane’t explain that

You know that old motivational poster of the cat hanging off the edge of a cliff where it says “hang in there?”

Basically sums up the Leafs tonight.

Corsis

Chart powered by Corsica.hockey

It was not a pretty night in terms of puck possession. The Leafs did not play very well, and very nearly almost blew it. The Leafs managed just 39 shot attempts the whole night in all situations.

But hey, that’s hockey. Might be their worst game of the year.

Still scored five. We’ll take it.

1st period

There were no goals from either side, and not a whole lot coming from the Toronto contingent. At the watercooler tomorrow, you’re not going to discuss the first period at all. The Leafs had four shots on goal and eight attempts, if you were counting at home.

Carolina was skating all over Toronto, and it looked like it might be a long night for the Buds if they didn’t get things going.

2nd period

On their ninth shot attempt, however, the Leafs found paydirt.

Zach Hyman began the scoring with a well placed wrist shot from in close, set up by some superb Jake Gardiner skating.

On their thirteenth shot attempt, Josh Leivo put the Leafs up 2-0 (which was also his second of the year…. and then Old Man Ron Hainsey made it 3-0 good guys. (excuse the confusing, out of order and improperly labelled GIFs, nice boy Dylan Fremlin was v. busy tonight and also flustered because he loves the Canes.)

Once again showing that you can’t predict ball, the Leafs scored the first three goals of the hockey game.

Derek Ryan – no relation to Bobby, Rob, Rex, or Nolan, to our knowledge, made it 3-1….

So then of course JVR put the buds up 4-1 to enter the third.

James van Riemsdyk’s goal, the Leafs’ fourth, was on their 14th shot on net of the game.

Shots were 27-16 in Carolina’s favour after two.

Hockey is a silly sport sometimes… which is why we were set up for a classic Toronto Maple Leafs Third Period™.

3rd period

It’s 2017 and the Staal brothers are still doing things in the NHL.

Tonight, Jordan scored against the Leafs to make the game closer.

Fortunately, our father Patrick made it 5-2 good guys.

Should be smooth sailing, right?
Well, no, not quite.

Elias Lindholm put the game within two  by scoring the 5-3 goal with a little over six minutes to go… and Noah Hanifin put the game within one with 4:11 to go.

Then the Leafs played the NHL equivalent of prevent defence… gave up a boatload of shots, could barely skate the puck out their zone, failed to score on an empty net in a little over two minutes, and…. held on. In the last 11 minutes of the game, the Leafs had one shot attempt.

5-4 final.
Just. Win. Baby.

Good tweets

Some happy Carolina fans!

An easy shot but a mostly true one:

Please be nice to Jon for this one:

And then our BlueJaysNation friend Andy summed up the life of a Leafs’ fan perfectly.

Ugly two points, but it counts. See you for Washington tomorrow night.

  • Capt.Jay

    As a leafs fan for the past many decades I have seen a lot of bad teams. Now that we have an actual good team I wonder if people aren’t use to how good teams play. For years we watched team like Pitts, Chi, and LA beat teams when they were out played. Good teams can have off nights and still find ways to win. That’s what this team is doing.

    I remember not too long ago we would out shoot teams and still lose and then say, “we shoulda won that one” even though the shots we had were lower quality to the teams that beat us.

    We have a good team, and they’re finding ways to win ugly games instead of folding under the pressure. This game may have been really bad I’ve heard many times this year people complain after a leafs win.

    • Glen

      Skipper I am a big Leafs fan and will take the win BUT that was crap. I believe they have the potential to be a good team. However they had better learn to start on time, were it not for Anderson this team would be life and death to be in a playoff position. If they play like that against the Caps they will need a computer to count the score. Good teams do not play like this game in game out. This type of game is not sustainable. Sorry but that’s my objective take.

  • lukewarmwater

    Capt Jay you scored a natural hat trick with that posting. I recall when the Habs had those great teams in the late 1970’s One year they only lost 8 freaking games. On the road , quite often Ken Dryden would stand on his head as the Habs as you so eloquently stated knew how to win even when they were playing terrible.
    Now being ambidextrous with my eyeballs, I couldn’t help but notice how the Raptors can’t win when they have played a bad game as was the case tonight. But the leafs with the best coach money can buy are learning how to do this as do all great teams and those who win Stanley Cups.

  • CMpuck

    Martin out, Leivo in, win.

    And for the peanut gallery Leafs fans, those garden variety Gardiner bashing types… you finally got your wish of Marner-Matthews and the pairing kinda sucks, can we go back Matthews-Nylander and be a real team already.

    • lukewarmwater

      Actually Ron Hainsey tied Marner in goals with his second of the season and he is closing in on Nylander who has 4 goals in 24 games. So a combined 6 goals for the guys who apparently will be demanding 7 million in the not too far distant future.

  • glgbill

    Before you cite Corsi again, please refresh your understanding of statistically significant sample sizes. Corsi is not a counting stat. Please don’t confuse it as one.