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Postgame: What’s a shootout anyways?

The Leafs were in the city of Brotherly Love tonight to face the Philidelphia Flyers.

The Flyers were looking for some revenge after the two teams played each other two weeks ago in a wild 7-6 Leafs win. Once again, the Leafs were playing with an injury-filled defensive core, as they wait for Jake Gardiner and Travis Dermott to return.

This game had all the ingredients for another wild one, and it delivered.

1st Period

The game was back and forth for the first ten minutes before the Leafs fourth line had a couple of great shifts which changed the landscape. First, Tyler Ennis showed off his edge-work and playmaking ability as he set up Connor Brown to put the Leafs up 1-0.

The Leafs fourth line continued to be difference makers as the period went along.

Connor Brown earned his second point of the game with a nice pass to Nazem Kadri, who snapped a 13 game goalless streak.

The Leafs dominated the first period and had a two-goal lead to show for their efforts.

2nd Period

In contrast, the second period was very different. First, Travis Konecny scored to bring the Flyers within one.

After continued pressure from the Flyers, Radko Gudas tied it up.

The Flyers weren’t done there, as they took the lead, thanks to a Sean Couturier tip.

3rd Period

The Leafs started the third period with an Auston Matthews tying goal. The line was buzzing all night and finally got rewarded.

It didn’t take long for the Flyers to retake the lead. A giveaway from Rielly and delayed backcheck from the Leafs forwards left Hartman one-on-one with Andersen. These are the types of goals you don’t want to see happening at this time of the season.

The Leafs responded quite well to the Hartman goal. A few strong shifts from the Leafs gained the momentum back and led to the tying goal. An aggressive forecheck from Nylander and Matthews forced a turnover and Nylander made no mistake making the Flyers pay. Nylander has been excellent at producing scoring chances and it’s nice to see one of them go in.

Overtime

The Leafs caught a bit of a break here.

Neither team could end it in overtime so the Leafs were off to their first shootout of the year.

Shootout

You know it’s a rough shootout when this makes the highlights. Don’t worry John, we still love you.

Sean Couturier scored a nice shootout goal to win it for the Flyers in round five.

Final Thoughts

  • When looking at the big picture, it’s tough to get too upset over a shootout loss. The Leafs outplayed the Flyers for the majority of the game and would have won if it wasn’t for a good performance from Carter Hart.
  • It was really nice to see the fourth line have success in transition, especially considering they didn’t have Trevor Moore. With that said, the Leafs would still benefit by having Trevor Moore in their lineup against the Bruins.
  • Tyler Ennis continues to be very good at producing offensive chances against lower competition. He usually isn’t the player progressing the puck into the offensive zone but when the puck gets there, he’s very dangerous.
  • Connor Brown could probably generate a lot more zone entries if he elected to carry the puck in, like he was tonight, rather than settling for a dump-in. Tonight, he was using his speed to back defenders up, and it helped the fourth line spend the majority of their time in the offensive zone. Going forward, I would be surprised if Babcock scratched Connor Brown, so it would be nice to see tonights version of him in the playoffs.
  • Matthews and Nylander had themselves another good night. They were producing a lot of scoring chances and were rewarded with two important goals. Can’t wait to see what they will do in the playoffs.
  • I didn’t have a huge problem with Igor Ozhiganov and Martin Marincin’s game tonight. They were making some nice plays on both sides of the puck. They didn’t allow too many scoring chances but when they did, it was ugly…. to say the least. They are fine to have in the lineup for now, but the Leafs will obviously need Dermott and Gardiner back for the playoffs.
  • Lastly, let’s just cancel shootouts.

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. 

Gotta be #29. The Swede earned the point all by himself tonight, with some great forechecking leading to that goal.