Hockey is back baby! It may be exhibition, but the Leafs have finally played a game of hockey for the first time in almost five months against the Montreal Canadiens. There aren’t many expectations, so as long as Andersen isn’t completely terrible, and Robertson plays well enough, I think that’s fine for Leafs Nation.
The Leafs did the unthinkable, and instead of allowing the first goal on the first shot in the first minute, they actually scored the first goal on the first shot in the first minute, courtesy of everybody’s favourite Toronto Maple Leaf Ilya Mikheyev, as he capitalized on an early 2-on-1 off of a John Tavares pass.
Freddy looked solid as well, as he stopped all nine shots he faced in the period.
Kerfoot had just one goal in 20 games before the season went on pause. Well, he got double that tonight, as he scored two goals to give the Leafs 2-0 and 3-1 leads. The first one was a shorthanded goal and on the second one NICK ROBERTSON GOT A SECONDARY ASSIST, HE’S THE NEXT GREAT ONE!
Andersen had the first chink in his armor, as he allowed a goal to Tomas Tatar with nearly three minutes left to make it 2-1 in the middle of Kerfoot’s goals.
Both teams exchanged goals in the third, as Paul Byron shot the puck at Andersen’s glove and into the net, to make it a one goal game again.
But the Leafs responded once again with ANOTHER shorthanded goal, this time from Morgan Rielly, who gets his first goal under Sheldon Keefe.
The Habs would press to get back into the game, getting lots of power plays, but Andersen held strong and the Leafs would win with a 4-2 victory.
Most Valuable Leaf
Alex Kerfoot is the easy choice, not just because of his two goals, but also because of how well him and his linemates of Robertson and Kapanen did tonight, as Kerfoot also had a 60% 5v5 CF%, and a 62.67% 5v5 xGF% in the game. Strong night all around, and it was nice to see that Robertson helped spark some offense for him.
Least Valuable Leaf
I know he’s the easy target, but with two penalties and a 36.84% 5v5 CF%, and nothing positive of substance, Ceci went out there and reminded us why we don’t like him. He was at the very least pretty good at limiting scoring chances, as he had a 59.21% xGF%, but still not the greatest night.
Tweet of the Night
The best tweet of the night actually comes from our enemy tonight, as the Habs soaked in their new dressing room.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 28, 2020
The Leafs will spend the next few days finalizing their roster, mostly just to decide which one of Robertson, Engvall, and Gauthier is a healthy scratch, but we will finally find out if Robertson makes the team on Sunday, August 2nd when the Leafs start their postseason with Game 1 against the Blue Jackets at 8pm.