Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs Win on Opening Night in Overtime, Against the Canadiens

That might not have been pretty, but the Leafs got the result that they wanted in the end. It was a humbling experience for every Leafs supporter out there.

As Auston Matthews said in the interview directly after the game, “it was an ugly win”.

It all started with the usual Opening Night celebrations and traditions. Lengthy introductions of the Leafs staff and every single player starting the game on the ice. Most importantly, the biggest free agent signing in the cap era.

This was felt like the first game to something new beginning. A brand new era of Leafs hockey that will excite not only fans in Toronto but hockey fans all over the world. It felt special.

That is until Arturri Lehkonen and Max Domi had to ruin it all for us and score this flukey goal. What a way to start off the season?

It was not the start that everyone hoped for. The Leafs looked sloppy and slow – not the best descriptors for what is supposed to be an electric hockey team. Ron Hainsey especially deserved those words to be applied to him. On that goal, he looked like a statue just waiting for the play to develop around him so he can attempt a pokecheck and be caught somewhere on the ice.

With all that said, that feeling did not last too long. Matthews was able to come back with a beautiful goal on the man advantage. Perfect all around – the placement, velocity, and how damn good he looks.

A theme throughout the night was how bad the referees were. Well, how bad they were for calling obvious penalties on the Leafs. From blatant trips to smashing heads against the boards, the refs seemed to be asleep whenever the Leafs should have been on the powerplay.

When the Leafs were finally able to get a powerplay, Tavares was able to turn on his magic and absolutely make a fool out of the Habs.

It was beautiful and makes me so excited for more of the exact same thing.

That aside, the Habs just had to ruin that feeling with a tying goal from known garbage person Andrew Shaw.

Throughout the third period, the Leafs looked bad. Not just a good team not performing up to expectations, but like a very bad team. The usual players that you expect to make dynamic plays, seemed nonexistent offensively.

Travis Dermott was making some nice defensive reads and using his stick well in the Leafs’ zone, but other than that it seemed like a very slow-paced game. So slow that the whole third period blew by and ended suddenly.

After all of that stress, the Leafs and Habs had to go to overtime to settle their differences.

Luckily for our heartrates, that OT didn’t have to last too long. Matthews scored off a beautiful pass from Marleau on the rush – no chance at all for Carey Price.

Anything that makes Tavares happy, makes us happy. I bet he never smiled like that in New York.

Leafs win 3-2 in overtime.

Nazem Kadri finished with two assists, Matthews with two goals, and Tavares was able to score a beautiful goal.

From Corsica, we can see how brutally the Leafs were outshot. They were battling back and forth, but the Habs were able to pull away during the messy and depressing third period for the Leafs.

Andersen had to completely stand on his head just to make it out of this game alive. He was saving shots that he should not have and had to face an onslaught of attempts from the Habs offense. A total of 36 shots against.

There were positive and negative signs from this game.

The Leafs suddenly have that magic to pull wins out of their ass, but it looks ugly as hell. So many gamebreaking players might make wins easy for the Leafs, but over time that will no longer happen and the whole team will have to step up and perform.

After this game, we should be humbled and slightly worried. We can complain about a lot of what we saw; more than what we can be excited about. Sure the offense performed somewhat well, but there are many more perceived problems now than what I thought there was with this team just a few hours ago.

We’re lucky but still excited.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Matmarwill

    The buds may have been outshot in this game, but they didnt give up that many good scoring chances against. I think price had to make a few more outstanding saves than andersen. Both Dermott and Ozhy, for the most part, were solid. Lindholm was ok.

    Forechecking and zone exits were weak. They need more work on their systems. And if not, they’ve got a nasty road trip next week that could knock them down a notch or two.