Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Knee Jerk Reaction: So, is every game gonna be like this?
By Alex Hobson3 months ago
Welcome to “Knee Jerk Reaction”, a new series at The Leafs Nation where we take everything we saw in the past 60 minutes and throw it onto a Word document the minute the final buzzer goes. If you have a knee jerk reaction to tonight’s game, leave it in the comments!
Don’t let the title mislead you. The Toronto Maple Leafs walked out of their Friday night tilt against the Calgary Flames with a much-needed two points, which is a positive and should be taken as one.
But, like, does every game have to go this way?
If you missed tonight’s festivities, I’ll give you a cliff notes version of what happened. Leafs dominate, Leafs gain lead, Leafs blow said lead, Leafs win in the shootout. If that doesn’t do it for you, allow the tweet below to sum it up for you.
While the two points are valuable, it’s hard to celebrate the result without acknowledging that the Leafs have allowed four or more goals in each of their eight home games this season. This is more of a concerning trend than anything they’ve battled in recent years and it’s something that will need addressing sooner rather than later.
That said, let’s not rain on the parade because there was still a lot of good to take away from the game.
Let’s start with William Nylander. It took him three minutes to extend his franchise record-setting point streak to 14 games to start the season, coming in the form of a beautiful goal on the power play. Then, just for fun, he scored a shorthanded goal and followed it up with an assist that was arguably nicer than either of his goals.
The game brings him to nine goals and 21 points in 14 games to start the season, and pending the results of tonight’s game will land him top-five in the league in points. The idea of an extension announcement while the Leafs are in Sweden next weekend sounds nice, yes?
Also worthy of a shoutout is the third line. Calle Jarnkrok’s second period goal extended his own point streak to five games, with three goals and six points in that span, and tallying an assist on that goal was Max Domi, who also scored the shootout winner. He has a point in three straight games, as does the third member of that line. Nick Robertson has an assist and two apples since he was recalled, and you can’t help but hope this is the time he’s finally going to stick. His presence has done wonders for a third line that was struggling to figure out their identity.
Also, as much as I hate to beat a dead horse, it’s worth mentioning that Ryan Reaves played four minutes and 33 seconds and somehow managed to be on for two of Calgary’s four goals. He also didn’t play a single shift for the entire third period. The decision to sign him to a three-year deal was risky, to begin with, but it’s impressive in the worst way that it’s already looking like a must-repair mistake 14 games into the deal.
I think I tackled all of the important points. Joseph Woll’s stats won’t look good on paper, but he was ice-cold in both overtime and the shootout, which is all that matters from a scoresheet perspective. Two points are two points, but you can only hope they’ve got enough gas in the tank to halt the red-hot Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
What’s your knee jerk reaction to tonight’s win? Let us know below.
Recent articles from Alex Hobson