The Leafs didn’t play a particular good game of hockey last night.
Say what you want about possession statistics, but putting up just 41.8% of the shot attempts at even-strength against a non-playoff team, even on the road, is pretty inexcusable.
To be fair, the Leafs picked things up over the second and the third period after a very “meh” first, putting up 31 shot attempts to the Canucks’ 32.
But things fell off again in overtime, with the Leafs mustering just a single shot attempt in OT to the Canucks’ 7.
You probably know the game story by now. Nothing happens for a while (despite a fast start), the Leafs score twice quickly in the second, Loui Eriksson scores his first goal in forever, former Leaf Josh Leivo ties up the game…
And Alex Edler wins it with a floater in overtime. For a guy who was on a stretcher a little over a month ago, it’s a cool moment, even if it comes at the expense of a point for the Leafs.
On Toronto’s side of things though, it was another older d-man who was getting things done: Ronald P. Hainsey. We don’t know his middle name, but let’s give him that one.
Looking at his raw statistics, a 47.50 CF% doesn’t jump out at you. 19 shot attempts on the ice for, 21 against. But just a little under half of those shots made their way to the net, with just 10 shots against breaking the barrier and hitting Fred Andersen, who stopped them all. Sure, maybe that’s not a sustainable way to play defence, but it worked. Hainsey was all over the ice last night, breaking up puck battles and getting in shooting lanes.
And hey, let’s go back to the second period, where Ron Hainsey scored that goal. Even if Mitch Marner did much of the work, I mean, when’s the last time you saw an old D-man MOVE like this?
Here’s a map of everything Hainsey did last night. We don’t really know what it means either, but there it is.
How did Hainsey himself feel about the performance? Humble as always.
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.
It was Hainsey. Did you have any doubt? We barely talked about anyone else!
Ugly loss, but at least someone looked pretty.
Also, the loss was totally cursed from here on out.
Where it all went wrong… pic.twitter.com/9rykm2mrNz
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) March 7, 2019