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Photo Credit: © John E. Sokolowski - USA Today

Morning after recap: Andersen stars again

For their second 2-1 score in a row, at least the Leafs came out on top this time. Just like last week’s game over the Flames, both goalies were in the zone (especially Andersen). Unlike last week’s game, I’m not sure the Leafs really deserved the win. Shots were 48-29 in favour of the visitors, and the Buds just looked kind of meh. But don’t think I’m complaining! Just observing.

Now let’s observe some things together. Here’s what went down last night.

1-0 Bad Guys (Mark Giordano goal)

The Flames have been scoring quite a few powerplay goals lately, and even though the Leafs hadn’t given up a goal in the last three games, this one got through. Literally, it passed three Leafs plus Andersen on the way in. There wasn’t a colossal screw-up that allowed Giordano an easy shot, no ill-advised attempt to block a shot that ended up accidentally screening the goalie. This was some good positioning by Troy Brouwer to block Andersen’s view, and a good shot from Giordano that made it all the way to the back of the net.

1-1 (Morgan Rielly goal)

The play that set up Morgan Rielly’s game-tying wrister was a rare mistake from Mike Smith trying to play the puck behind the net. Smith is known for his puck-handling abilities, but he didn’t quite have the hand-eye coordination to get control of the puck, and needed some help from his teammates to keep a bad bounce out of the net. The Leafs capitalized on the confusion, ending with Rielly grabbing the puck as Giordano attempted to send it out around the boards, and you can watch for yourself how that turned out. Quick and to the point.

Auston Matthews shootout goal

First shooter of the night–Matthews tapped this one in like it was nothing.

He was followed by Monahan and Marner, who were stopped, Tkachuk who also scored, and Marleau and Gaudreau, who both were also stopped.

William Nylander shootout goal

After the game couldn’t be decided in three rounds, William Nylander stepped onto the ice to show everyone how it’s done. Beautiful. A nice touch, too, since he probably should have gotten a goal in regulation with how many chances he created.

Full shootout (check out the Andersen saves)

After Nylander’s goal, all Frederik Andersen had to do was stop Mikael Backlund, which was not a problem. This wasn’t even his most spectacular save of the night, but it sealed both the Leafs’ win and Freddy’s status as 1st star of the game.

The Leafs will be in Pittsburgh on Saturday, so hopefully they spend the next few days working even harder on a strategy to help them “start on time”. See you then!

  • jimithy

    That was a really pathetic effort by a well rested Leaf team.
    What were these bums doing during the four days off.
    They’re still incapable of skating with the puck out of their own zone.
    Zaitsev should not be allowed on the ice at any time whilst the game is going on.
    The Leafs were outmuscled outhustled and looked like a little girls team who just wanted to have fun skating around with the wind blowing in their pampered faces.
    That game proves once and for all that Babcock’s reputation is an illusion.
    The team looked bewildered and lacked any semblance of professionalism. Disgusting.
    The two points were not deserved and should be donated to the last place team in the league in a gesture of true sportsmanship and goodwill.

    • Capt.Jay

      Well jimithy, thank you for telling us how you really, and as I don’t normally agree with most of what you write on here, I will say that I too am confused by Babcock. Still perplexed why he was so adamant about changing the way this team played at the begining of the year. Yes it was irresponsible hockey at times but it played to their strengths and they were 7-1 to start the year.

      We have played 2 games above .500 in the last 21 games. I wonder if the team starts slowly because they aren’t use to, or willing to play how he wants them..

      Everyone can jump on me now. My observations and inquiries here are done for now.

      Go Leafs Go

      • leafdreamer

        I don’t think it was Babcock’s ‘choice’ to change the way the team plays – other teams stopped allowing the Leafs to play the way they did in the beginning – players got their legs underneath them, goalies started stopping pucks, coaches implemented their systems – it happens every year.

        Having said that it’s not untrue that we’re not playing as well as our record makes it look – we are bleeding shots and scoring chances and that has to change. My guess is that we need to upgrade our defence.

    • lukewarmwater

      Jimithy I’m worried about you. I mean as a huge leaf hater and trolling agitator it must be really hard on you knowing the leafs are very good and are getting better and better. Deep down in that small heart of yours there must be some kindness in you. After all it is the Christmas season upon us. Why don’t you go to the local seven / eleven and get out of your parents basement. Buy your parents some preparation H as you truly are a pain in the A$$.