Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Morning After Recap: Lucky Bounces Lead Leafs to Win

Good morning, Toronto! In just a few days, you’ve snatched the Grey Cup out from under Calgary’s noses, then turned around and handed a loss to the Flames. Not bad, not bad.

Here’s how last night’s win went down.

1-0 Leafs (Roman Polak pinball goal)

Look… When I say pinball, I mean pinball. The puck goes off of two different Flames players before ending up in the back of the net. Now, this goal was one hell of a lucky bounce (bounces?) for the Leafs, but sometimes you have to make your luck, I guess.

Mitch Marner had like, three legitimate grade-A scoring chances and was stopped each time by Smith, so maybe this is the hockey gods having a laugh at our expense.

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(By the way, under no circumstances should Babcock continually be playing Polak over Carrick. This stupid, dumb, flukey, pinball goal? RUINING MY LIFE, possibly.)

2-0 Leafs (Zaitsev, second game in a row!)

Zaitsev finds the back of the net, but it’s Hyman that does most of the work. Look, I understand why people get frustrated with Hyman being stapled to Matthews. I get frustrated too, and yes, probably we should maybe explore other options sometimes. So it’s easy to forget that I #ActuallyLove watching him hunt down the puck. He’s so tenacious and it’s always nice to see hard work pay off.

This shift is practically all Hyman, with a few good keeps at the blue line by Auston Matthews. This time, Nikita Zaitsev is the beneficiary, as Hyman tracks down a wide Matthews shot, wins the puck, and gets it out between the circles for Zaitsev to pounce on.

The Leafs get a little more puck luck on this one, as Zaitsev’s shot deflects off of a Flames defender’s stick. We’ll take it, though.

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Because the Leafs were coming off of a penalty kill, William Nylander was briefly freed from the fourth line and took a shift with Kadri and Marleau. And what do you know: Leafs goal.

Nylander’s actually looking to thread a pass to Marleau, who’s heading straight for the net. As it happens, though, the puck takes a lucky bounce — yes, another one — off of Dougie Hamilton, and it lands right on Kadri’s tape. Snipe, score, celly.

3-1 (Michael Stone point shot)

Ah, well. A shutout would have been nice, but life happens. Freddie is screened pretty well on this shot from the point. Michael Stone puts it in the right place, and the Flames are on the board.

4-1 (Uncle Leo with the empty netter!)

The league actually reviewed an empty net goal scored with .9 seconds left. This is why we don’t get nice things.

The Leafs play again tomorrow night in Edmonton. The Oilers are not good this year, but they do have, you know, Connor McDavid. Then again, they just barely managed to beat the Coyotes last night. Anyway, puck drop is at 9:00 PM EST. See you then!

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