Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame: Goals, Goals, Goals

There is a clear theme happening with every early Leafs game this season. Goals and lots of goals. As long as they end up with more goals than the other team, there’s nothing to be extremely worried about. The notorious offensive firepower of the Leafs forwards led them to their third win of the season against the Dallas Stars. 7-4 was the final score; keeping with their theme.

The Leafs were able to start this game on the front foot. Both teams were looking for that first goal and looking for it hard. Not giving any restrictions to their offensive game. But the Leafs were the lucky ones and able to break the ice with a slick wristshot from Marner.

Set up beautifully by Hyman, Marner showed some excellent ability being able to run-and-gun and get the puck off his stick quickly. Hyman was able to show some potential offensive vision with that play as well, surely a side-effect when playing with Tavares.

Throughout this whole game, the fourth line played really well – honestly. When Frederik Gauthier is able to walk away from a game as a positive Corsi player, you know that there was some magic there.

Probably the only event that was not a goal that’s worth talking about from the Stars’ point-of-view is this ridiculous series of events that led to Ben Bishop clearly kicking his net off its moorings, but not receiving a penalty. Whatever, Leafs still won so it’s fine.


When it felt like the Leafs were just cruising, the equally-dangerous offensive Dallas Stars came back and tied the game up with a slick goal from Alexander Radulov.

A couple defensive slip-ups by the Leafs were not punished until this goal by the Stars. It only takes one for the opposition to get right back into this game. But that’s not really an issue when you have Auston Matthews on your team. Leafs come back almost immediately to take the lead once again.

Excellent work by Kapanen to keep the pressure on the Stars and keep the puck in the offensive zone. Definitely deserves that primary assist.

The second period starts at a slower tempo, but the two teams are exchanging scoring chances and this begins to look like a much more evenly-matched game. That feeling was right, since Tyler Seguin and the Stars come back to tie the game once again.

Hainsey has been god awful and eventually many more fans will be calling for his head – or just for him to be healthy scratched.

At this point in the game, it seemed like the game was already lost. Just halfway through, but they were so heavily outshot that it seemed impossible to come back. But when things seem impossible, our Saviour comes and rescues us. Auston Matthews with his second of the game and seventh of the season. This season is only four games so far. Seven goals in four games. What is this feeling?

Matthews is now outscoring multiple NHL teams. That’s full teams of 20 players on the ice with the ability to score goals. Our one forward is outscoring that.

To make this night even more of a feel-good story, Ron Hainsey was able to score a goal. This is some twisted universe where the Leafs have four of the best forwards in the league and Ron Hainsey is scoring crucial goals.

Oh, you thought just Matthews was scoring goals this game? John “Fuck Long Island” Tavares got in on the fun as well.

Elite net-front presence, John Tavares was able to redirect the puck perfectly past Bishop to score his fifth goal of the season (at this point in the game).

Heading into the third, the Leafs were feeling fun and fancy-free. Jamie Benn scored before the period ended, but they still hold a two-goal lead.Not much worry to start the third period either, until John “Should Have Won The Norris” Klingberg absolutely rips the puck past Andersen to make it just a one-goal game.

Klingberg needs to win the Norris and should have last year, sorry. But he’s not a Leaf so he sucks; boo.

Elite left-winger Zach Hyman was able to grind out the icing with some strong skating and quickly get the puck back to his centerman for him to sneak around the back of the net and attempt a wraparound. And you know what John Tavares does? He scores, of course.

As I foreshadowed before, John Tavares now scored his second goal of the game and the sixth of his season.

To end the game, Connor Brown scored an empty-netter; so good for him for finally being able to get that goal. Good for Matthews and Tavares to spread the goals around too.

This game was the perfect example of the “offense wins games” argument. Both teams are extremely talented offensively, but the Leafs just had that slight edge when it came to turning those chances into goals.

According to NaturalStatTrick, the Leafs had over 60% of the game’s high-danger scoring chances – not only does having elite forwards get those chances for this team, but they have the ability to convert them into goals.

Also via NaturalStatTrick, both teams clearly had optimal scoring chances around the net. Two of the Stars’ three 5v5 goals game from pretty much standing right in-front of Andersen, but the Leafs were able to score from various positions on the ice.

Although those high-danger chances are important, the Leafs were still able to score without them. The fact that they had more high-danger chances but didn’t convert on those chances more than the Stars, is pretty interesting. Does it mean that the Leafs should have scored even more goals?

The Leafs had 3.39 expected-Goals compared to the Stars’ 1.97, according to Corsica. Even with the Leafs scoring from low-danger areas, they still should have scored even more. Not criticizing this team for not finishing on those chances, but it’s interesting that this team could have scored even more goals at even-strength than they did tonight.

A couple more games like this and all the Leafs will need to do is put Ron Hainsey deeper in the lineup to completely take over every fan’s heart.

I have to pinch myself everyday, but this season is going to be so damn fun.

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