5 Thoughts on another game getting goalied for the Leafs

It’s not often that a game against an out of conference non-playoff team could be considered a must win game, but after only getting one point in the first two games on what should’ve been an easy California road trip, the Leafs find themselves needing the two points tonight. Let’s look at some of the biggest points of the game.

Welcome Back Cody Ceci

I’m not going to lie, I completely forgot Cody Ceci was a thing on this team. Not going to lie though, when I heard he wasn’t coming back, I wasn’t in complete dismay.

Ok, hold your boos. I remembered him having solid stats, and considering that Timothy Liljegren was starting to falter, he was probably a better replacement for the time being. But, I forgot about one big thing with Ceci.

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Cody, baby, what in the sweet hell are you doing? Actually, that’s an easy answer. Nothing, you’re doing nothing.

Somebody teach Marner how to shoot a puck

This is weird to say considering that Marner has one of the three goals we’ve scored on this road trip, but Marner really needs to work on his shot, particularly his one timer. If I had a nickel for every time he’s been set up with a grade A chance these last few games, only for him to lose it in his feet, I’d have more money than Marner.

This was particularly noticeable late in the second period tonight, when Matthews did an excellent job possessing the puck for a solid 5-10 seconds to set Marner up for an excellent chance, only for Marner to let it bounce in his skates.

This was then immediately followed by an extremely dumb penalty:

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I’m just gonna go out and say it, if this was William Nylander, he would’ve been benched for the rest of the game. He probably should’ve rode pine for the rest of the game, but if you’re not going to punish him that way, then force him to spend the entire weekend firing one timers.

Campbell made a save

Oh, and add this to Marner’s to-do list: buy Jack Campbell everything. The late power play could’ve been a momentum changer for Anaheim if they managed to get a two goal lead going into the third period, but then Campbell went out and did this to Ryan Getzlaf.

Come on Jack, Getzlaf has already been robbed of his hairline, you’re gonna rob him of his pride too? Regardless, this was a big save in the game, keeping it a one goal game, and also probably Campbell’s best save as a Leaf.

Nylander hits 30

One bright spot from this road trip has been the play of William Nylander. He started out with a meh game against San Jose, but the last two nights has been a force of nature. He had several amazing chances against Quick last night, followed by several more tonight.

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And he got rewarded for it, with his 30th goal of the season thanks to an overall impressive effort.

Not only was it a nice shot, but it started with a spectacular stick check right on the blue line to keep the puck in the zone (and out of the empty net). I’d consider myself one of Nylander’s biggest fans, but even I wouldn’t have seen him playing to this kind of level, and I am so excited to see what gear he brings if we make the playoffs.

The power play has been pretty bad

Actually, bad is a strong word, because they haven’t had a ton of power plays that have made me wish for the days of Mike Babcock, but they haven’t been doing anything either (they’re currently 3 for their last 30).

Part of that has been this weird funk that Marner is in, since the power play tends to flow through him, and it hasn’t helped that they haven’t really gotten any consistent power play opportunities. But, it looks like it might need a spark.


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Ok, maybe don’t throw him on there in his first game back against Tampa Bay, but like, it might not be a bad idea to put him on there just to change things up. Barrie hasn’t been bad there, but he also hasn’t been good enough to lock a spot on there, so that could be something that the Leafs look into.

Final Thoughts

I feel like I should be madder than I am at the fact that the Leafs only got one point against three of the worst teams in the league, but then I remembered that they played two and 2/3’s of a game very well, and they just got goalied. It happens, and they’ll probably blow out Tampa on Tuesday, and all the fans that said the season was over today are going to say that the team is amazing again.

Hey, speaking of which, up next, we got the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, so that’ll be fun!