Leafs Postgame: Uhhhhh… We Won?

After a disappointing loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday where everyone was terrible, including an off game from Freddy, the Leafs come into Edmonton to rebound and keep up with the Bruins in the playoff hunt, as well as looking to make it 6-0 in the Matthews vs. McDavid era.

1st Period

The Leafs did a rare thing to start the game, and that was that they actually started on time. Whether this is because Babs tore them a new one for Wednesday’s game, or if it’s because they’re playing the Oilers, the Leafs got off to a solid start and even drew a couple of penalties, but it seemed like they were going to the intermission with a tie game.

That is, until the birthday boy Morgan Rielly scored his 18th of the year to make it 1-0 with just 14 seconds left in the period.

And then the Leafs forgot to play hockey for the last 14 seconds, nearly allowed a goal, and took a penalty.

2nd Period

The second period was basically a carbon copy of the first, except instead of the Leafs getting the two power plays, it was the Oilers. But, the Leafs still got the goal that period, as John Tavares put on a show and deked past Stolarz to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead.

3rd Period

The Leafs helped solidify their lead early in the play, as an excellent passing play from Tavares to Nylander to Muzzin gave the Leafs the 3-0 lead.

And they’d need it.

With two minutes left in the third, the Oilers got two quick goals from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom to make it a one goal game, and suddenly Leafs fans got uneasy, especially after Wednesday’s game. But Freddy stood tall, and the Leafs kept the score at 3-2 to secure the victory.

The Leafs dominated for the first two periods, and were pretty much neutral in the third, and that was mostly because of score effects. The late goals caused some panic, but all around it was still a solid game for the Buds.

That also showed in the underlying numbers for the Leafs, as not a single player was below 50% in 5v5 CF% tonight (both Gauthier and Marleau were at an even 50%). The Matthews line played one of its best games this season, and that was with a decent amount of ice time against Connor McDavid.

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. 

Tonight, it goes to John Tavares. Not only did he score a beautiful goal, but he also had two assists, and had a solid 57.78% CF% on the evening as well.

Honourable mention goes to Freddy, who was excellent as always despite a late surge from Edmonton.

Up next, the Buds kick off a three game homestand against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at 7:00pm. They’ve played two amazing games earlier in the season, so let’s see if that carries on in their own barn.