Leafs Post Game: Nylander scores first goal of the year in Leafs loss

So, you may have woke up this morning to the news of both Freddy and Sparks hurt, and that the Leafs would run with recent addition Michael Hutchinson and Kasimir Kaskisuo. On top of that, the Leafs are playing their game at 2pm, and it’s against the Wild, so you just knew it would be an interesting game. And it kind of lived up to that potential.

1st Period

Ironically, the Leaf that looks most like a kid opens the scoring for the Leafs, as Marner takes only 7 seconds to backhand the first goal of the game past Dubnyk.

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It didn’t take much longer for Mitch to add to his total, as a nifty play between him and Tavares gives Marner the chance to pot his second goal of the game almost right away.

It seemed like the Leafs were going to follow in the footsteps of last years 2pm game (an 8-1 blowout over Carolina), but the Leafs basically stopped doing anything after that. The Wild ended up getting 19 shots on Hutchinson in the first, who was almost flawless aside from a goal from Charlie Coyle that was more the defense’s fault than anything.

Good start, but not a good finish to the period.

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2nd Period

The second wasn’t a whole lot better for the Buds, as while it was a lot more back and forth for them, that also meant the Wild got chances to score as well, and partway through the second, they got the tying goal as Hutch had fallen and couldn’t get up, and Koivu had nobody covering him, making for an easy goal to make it 2-2.

But that doesn’t matter, as our good friend William saves the day with his long awaited first goal of the season, and he made it look so easy you forgot that that’s his first goal since April 2018.

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But all good things must come to an end, as Jared Spurgeon tied the game again with a bit of a weak one for Hutch to let in.

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3rd Period

The tables turned for the Leafs in the third, as they managed to hold the Wild to just four shots, while getting 19 on net themselves. They dominated for most of the period, and really gave themselves the opportunity to win the game.

Unfortunately, the tables only turned possession wise. The Leafs surrendered the only goal of the period to Zach Parise.

And that would be it. The Leafs got close a couple times in the final minutes, but unfortunately nothing to show for.

It was a tale of three different periods this afternoon. Minnesota dominated the first, it was an even second, and the Leafs dominated the third, evening it out overall. It was a close game, but the Leafs were on the wrong side of the coin flip.

The Tavares line was solid. The Matthews line had a rough night despite Nylander’s first goal. The bottom six was solid. Hainsey sucked again. Dermott and Ozhiganov continue their worrying trend of subpar play. And Hutch was fine, at best.

Next up, the Leafs face the Canucks at home for Hockey Night in Canada.

Anyways, I’m going to go make dinner now.

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