Morning After Recap: Putting the Desert Dogs Down

After a long break between Leafs games, we come back from the holidays with an epic showdown between the Leafs and Matthew’s second favourite team. What was very noticeable in this game was that both goalies had a little bit of turkey in their system, what with 10 goals allowed between Freddy and Scott Wedgewood.

Without further ado, let’s take a look through all of them.

1-0 Leafs (Hyman with the Shorty)

Stepan fanned on a keep-in attempt here, and Hyman was off to the races, wiring a shot by Wedgewood to open up the scoring while shorthanded. This was surprisingly only Hyman’s first shorty of the season, despite putting up four last season.

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2-0 Leafs (via Arizona Native Auston Matthews)

Matthews started and finished the play here, scoring his first goal in Arizona with a solid 5-foot toe-drag wrister. Sandwiched in between Matthews’ puck touches was a solid rush from William with his 100th NHL point, part of what put the Coyotes defense in chaos when Matthews got the puck back.

3-0 (Marner Stays Hot)

Despite Bozak losing the puck in the net in the middle of this play, a nice job from JVR to keep the play alive eventually got it on Marner’s stick, who, despite falling down, put it in the back of the net for his third goal in four games.

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3-1 (Garbage Time Goal Episode I)

You could tell the defense was already phoning it in at this point, as the Coyotes were constantly beating the Leafs to the puck on this play before this eventually ended up in the back of the net. Even Freddy was slacking.

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3-2 (Garbage Time Goal Episode II)

I’m pretty sure there were more Leafs screwing around then there were Leafs actually trying on this play. Gardiner, Carrick, Bozak, all not covering their man, while Matt Martin took longer than the Last Jedi to get back to the defensive zone.

4-2 (Dad Bails Out His Sons)

On the only power play of the game, Marleau wins the faceoff, and after a couple passes, Marner passes it to him, and Marleau tips the puck into the net. Comeback crisis averted.

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5-2 (X-Rated Nylander Goal)

This one’s for adult eyes only, as Nylander strips Ekman-Larsson of the puck, and dekes out Wedgewood enough that he probably lost his jockstrap. Glad to see my son getting back to his normal goal-scoring ways.

6-2 (But Wait, There’s More!)

The Leafs seem to like this scoring thing, as 10 seconds later, Marner sets up Marleau again, who makes a couple nice moves in front to beat Wedgewood. Just like that, the Leafs are back to routing the Yotes.

6-3 (Garbage Time Goal Episode III)

Once the Leafs got the big lead back, they once again lost all interest in playing hockey. Polak decided to randomly shove someone, while Borgman just let Martinook do his thing.

6-4 (Garbage Time Goal Episode IV)

Ok, this is getting ridiculous. This time on a power play, Fisher was just able to skate to the front of the net and bury the rebound uncontested, as Hainsey and Polak stared in awe.

7-4 (Downtown Seals the Deal)

Just when you thought the Coyotes had a chance again, Connor Brown quiets all of your concerns with an empty netter, his 10th of the season.

All in all, this was a very sloppy game, with the Leafs fortunately prevailing. Freddy looked bad, as did the defense, but since most of the Leafs bad play was when they had massive leads, you can probably cut them some slack, especially on the first half of a back to back.

Speaking of which, you can catch some more Maple Leafs hockey tonight, as they’ll be making their annual visit to the Mile High City. Will the Leafs go 2-for-2? Let’s hope so.

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