Leafs Postgame: Leafs Contine to be a Pane in the Glass to Sabres in 5-2 Win

Apparently it’s John Tavares Day in Toronto, and the Leafs are coming into tonight having played a disastrous game against the Islanders on Thursday.

But tonight, they’re playing a team they’ve already beat this week, is on the second half of a back to back, and also playing their goalie for both games of the back to backs, so despite the Leafs injuries, this should be a relatively problem-less game.

*game start is delayed because of broken glass*

Ah well, nevertheless.

1st Period

Luckily for the Leafs, the delayed start seemed to overlap the terrible first five minutes that they usually play, and they got right down to business with one of their better starts in a while.

Not even five minutes in, and it pays off with a goal, and who else but John Tavares to bury and give the Leafs the early 1-0 lead.

Of course, that was then followed by a rough three minute stretch, where the Sabres not only tied the game, but took a 2-1 lead as a couple of weak goals got by Freddy.

The Leafs got a power play opportunity shortly after and probably should’ve scored 200 times on it with all the amazing chances they had, but Ullmark managed to get in the way of every single one, even if he usually didn’t see it coming.

It seemed like the Leafs would be trailing going into the intermission, until a floater from the blueline by Morgan Rielly managed to find it’s way through Ullmark and just trickled into the net to tie the game with just 20 seconds left in the period.

2nd Period

The second continued the excitement from the first, as both teams exchanged plenty of scoring chances, but both goalies managed to keep the puck out. Or, at least they did,.

Nic Petan, who is making his Leafs debut tonight, ends up breaking the tie late in the third to also score his first goal as a Leaf.

And, much like the first, the Leafs got a late period goal from a defenseman on a weird bounce, as Nikita Zaitsev bounces one of Brandon Montour and into the net to make it 4-2.

3rd Period

Not a whole lot to see here, the Leafs basically sat back and tried their hardest to not let the Sabres score. And they didn’t, they kept them off the scoreboard, and Mitch Marner got an empty net goal to boot. Buds win 5-2.

This basically aligns with what we saw in the game tonight. The Leafs started strong, rough first half of the second before a better second half that led to the two go ahead goals, and a third period that saw them sit back and do nothing.

In terms of the underlying results, the Nylander line had another dominant night (to the surprise of only Toddy Tickles), and the Leafs best blueliners were… Martin Marincin, Ron Hainsey, and Igor Ozhiganov? Yeah, it was a weird night.

Who Wore the Crown?

After every Leaf game, we’re recognizing one Leaf player who best exemplified what it means to play hockey the “Toronto Way”: with heart and soul, above all else. Who wore the Crown is brought to you by Crown Royal, passionate fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

John Tavares gets the crown on his “day”, for not only rallying Leafs fans together and giving the SBA some life, but he also kicked off the game with a goal, and got a couple of assists later on in the game.

Final Thoughts

Can we see a Moore-Petan-Ennis fourth line in action at least once please?

Anyways, the Leafs head out for the final lengthy Western road trip, as they head out on the Western Canada road trip. They kick things off on Monday with probably the only difficult one against the Calgary Flames.