It isn’t very often a hockey game involving the Toronto Maple Leafs only has three goals involved with it. But hey, there’s exceptions to every rule, right?
On a night against a mediocre team in Vancouver, the Leafs just didn’t have enough *OOMPH* to convert on their chances and ran into a hot goaltender in Jacob Markstrom.
Much like a pitcher’s duel in baseball, last night’s game was defined more by the lack of scoring rather than anything else.
In April, we’ll probably have forgotten about this game completely, while Vancouver will be yakking our ears off about that one time they beat the Leafs. Stuff happens.
There weren’t a lot of them to talk about, but let’s get to the goals.
1-0 Canucks (Mikael Granlund goal)
Sometimes, you just miss. Granlund beats Andersen clean. pic.twitter.com/wnqo9gCXD2
— Paul Campbell (@WayToGoPaul) December 3, 2017
Coming into the zone with a bit of space on Nikita Zaitsev (surprise, surprise), Granlund basically has one option here: to shoot. He’s outnumbered by the Leafs, and has no open passing lanes.
He lets it rip from the top of the faceoff circle, and it’s a 1-0 lead
Andersen’s comments suggest the puck may have taken a slight tip from Nikita Zaitsev?
Andersen on Granlund goal, which opened the scoring: "It's one of those saves you want to have, but it's tough when guys drag around their stick (Zaitsev's) & change the angle to make it hard for goalies. He did well to change the angle & hide his release with the stick there."
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 3, 2017
Could Nikita Zaitsev have played it differently? Yeah, probably, but the past is the past and that’s how the 1-0 goal went in.
2-0 Canucks (Alex Edler Goal)
— Hockey Night Punjabi (@HkyNightPunjabi) December 3, 2017
The Leafs were gaaaaaaaaaaassed here, to say the least. After Roman Polak takes a penalty that allowed the Canucks time to get a sixth skater on the ice, the Leafs had already been in their own zone for what felt like a good 30 seconds.
Unable to get a change, and unable to even, you know, touch the puck to kill the play, the Leafs concede after the Canucks look like they’re in 2011 again. Cycling ALL OVER the boys in white, Alex Edler of all people gets the puck on his stick and his first of the year. A little over ten minutes into the hockey game, it was 2-0 Canucks.
2-1 Canucks (James van Riemsdyk Goal)
Good things happen when you put the puck on net, right? The Leafs fiddle around in the offensive zone for a bunch of seconds, get a few chances, Morgan Rielly fans on an empty net (like JVR did moments earlier), and then finally, JVR and Rielly redeem themselves.
A wicked wrister from Morgan Rielly, JVR does #JustJVRThings and tips the puck into the net.
But with 2:52 left in the third period, it was a case of too little, too late. The Leafs were unable to muster anything else. Just kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you lose 2-1 to the VANCOUVER CANUCKS of all teams.
The Leafs head home before taking on the Flames on Wednesday night. See you then.