Well, that was a heck of a lot of fun, wasn’t it?
Playing on a rare Tuesday afternoon game, the
Leafs Arenas kicked the crap out of the “let’s outshoot opponents but never score goals” Carolina Hurricanes.
Scott Darling had a rough day, but no one in Toronto did! (Besides the rush hour crowd mixed in with the Leafs game. That was a little silly.)
Let’s take you back through what was really not a close game at all.
1-0 Leafs (Leo Komarov Goal)
It’s safe to say Leo Komarov isn’t playing the best hockey right now. He’s had a down year both offensively and defensively, and in the last year on his four-year, $2.95 million AAV deal, it could be his last in Toronto.
SO HOW ABOUT SOME DARN POSITIVITY, BLOGGERS!
Killing an early penalty in the first period, Noah Hanifin turns the puck over off a good push from Zach Hyman. Ron Hainsey ends up with the puck and fires it up to Komarov, which leads to a shorthanded 2-on-1 for the Arenas.
Komarov and Hyman enter the zone, and though he has options, Komarov took the easiest one. He simply takes the “hey, it’s early, might as well shoot it!” mindset and woo, it’s his fourth of the season!
2-0 Leafs (Mitch Marner Goal)
Take that monkey off your back, Mitchell!
Having most recently scored on November 11, the second-year forward’s goal was just the first in what was a great afternoon for him. On the powerplay, Marner picks the puck in the neutral zone and goes into Energizer bunny mode: just keep going… and going.. and going. Finding the zone entry cleaner than everyone expected, Mitch takes the puck and whips it in off the post.
No need to set up the cycle on this one! Under six minutes into the game, it’s 2-0 Leafs.
2-1 Leafs (Jeff Skinner goal)
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) December 19, 2017
This gif doesn’t do it justice, but the Leafs were caught on a bad change here. Ron Hainsey rushes to get back in position, but his attempt at blocking the shot does a little more harm than good.
The puck bounces in off him.
Fortunately for the Arenas, it would be Carolina’s only goal of the game.
3-1 Leafs (JVR Goal)
Hit it. Hit it. Hit it again!
Mitch Marner’s initial shot bounces to Tyler Bozak’s stick, who has a gaping net… and shoots it right into Scott Darling!
Fortunately for those two, JVR is there to clean up the mess, and the Leafs score their second power play goal of the period.
4-1 Leafs (Tyler Bozak Goal)
Tyler Bozak gets credit for the goal, but this was all Mitch Marner. Playing with an heir of confidence after already picking up two points in the period, Marner gets the puck off the faceoff and holds the puck for… count it, over 10 seconds.
Managing to walk through basically the entire states of both North and South Carolina, Mitch produces a “oh you gotta put the puck in” moment. Thankfully, Tyler Bozak sees the puck jump off Marner’s stick and takes a hack at it… and slides the puck past Darling for the Leafs’ fourth goal of the first period.
Man, it’s fun when this team plays hockey.
5-1, 6-1 Leafs (Patrick Marleau, Kasperi Kapanen)
The Leafs didn’t score anything in the second period, which was a little wild.
To make up for borrowed time, the Leafs decided to add a bunch in succession. And starting things off was, once again, Mitch Marner, picking up his third assist and fourth goal of the night. Marner passed it off to Bozak, who passed it off to a streaking Patrick Marleau. Though his initial marker didn’t go in, he was able to bank the puck in off Scott Darling, who Carolina just kind of let stay in the net for some reason.
It was Marleau’s 12th of the season, but the Air Canada Centre barely had any time to celebrate it. Before you could shake a stick at it, Kasperi Kapanen scored a “glitch goal” that could be chalked up to a number of things: the Hurricanes giving up, being a little bit more ready, or simply just finding the hole at the right time. Just six seconds later, it was 6-1 Leafs.
7-1 Leafs (William Nylander goal)
We’re having a lot of “first in a while goals” here, eh?
Nylander gains the zone entry on the left side of the ice without any real difficulty, and Carolina fails to put any pressure on him. Seeing his opportunity, Nylander goes for the “ah, what the heck” shot, and sneaks it glove high on Darling. Seven’s heaven.
8-1 Leafs (Connor Carrick goal)
WE’RE HAVING A LOT OF “FIRST IN AWHILE” GOALS HERE, EH?
Just for kicks, Carrick adds in a goal with a little under 90 seconds left off a backhand rebound power play shot.
The Leafs are back in action tonight against Columbus.
Also, did you hear we’re having a party?
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) December 18, 2017