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Game Recap: Minnesota Wild 3 at Toronto Maple Leafs 2

Tonight the Maple Leafs let the Wild get their hopes of of winning and.....

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

In game recaps normally I drone on a bit too much. Tonight we’re going for something simpler. Just jotting down thoughts as they happen, not reaching for a narrative or describing each goal in detail. Will it be better than my usual struggle? Let’s find out.

  • There are a lot of milestones happening. Devan Dubnyk getting is 300th start, Eric Staal is closing in on 800 points, and JVR has a chance to nab 100 assists as a Maple Leaf.
  • A really good start, the Leafs put the pressure on early, but the NHL sv% leader holds the fort.
  • “Matthews has hotted back up” - That’s some awesome commentary.
  • I like Marner-Bozak-JVR as a line. Spreading the kids around with vets is a good idea, maybe try that for Matthews instead of saddling him with Hyman and Brown? Those guys aren’t terrible, and I don’t want to come across as panicky on December 7th, but this is the Sundin conundrum appearing in front of us. Give Matthews some wingers!
  • Bruce Boudreau is a really good coach guys. Hopefully he does well with Minnesota, but caps out at losing to the Leafs in the Stanley Cup Final.
  • Jason Zucker, of Airplane! fame, scores after Kadri is out hockey’d by Mikko Koivu:
  • The Leafs killed the penalty! Alright!
  • Andersen with a real nice save on Granlund. I’m happy he’s found his game in Toronto. Imagine getting all worked up in October as he learns new systems and recovers from an injury? Haha.
  • Chris Stewart sneaks behind Gardiner and scores himself a beauty goal, Toronto boy scoring in Toronto. Put money on it every time.
  • It’s still the first but I’m having a hard time thinking the Leafs will be able to solve the Minnesota defensive play tonight. The Leafs are playing well together, but they seem buffaloed tonight.
  • Oh hey Ben Smith. Of course it’s you who scores after that point. Nabbing a Nazem Kadri rebound, it’s a one goal game.
  • The Wild are still doing much better at the game right now though.
  • The Boudreau segment at intermission was very nice.
  • Eric Staal gets point 799 with a backhand goal. Oh Bozak, giving the puck up like that is a bad idea. It’s like french frying when you should pizza.
  • Ahaha an Eric Staal flashback features the Bruins Pooh-Bear jerseys.
  • Roman Polak hits Stewart and Curtis Gabriel is all “RAWR! YOU CAN’T HIT A PLAYER!” and tries to beat up Polak.
  • Okay, so when fighting rules are tightened, it’s always the pro fighting guys who rant about “They’re going to come after body checks next!”, but uh, it’s the fighters who are trying to take out body checks. Think about it, whenever a clean open ice hit is thrown, some doofus skates up and is all “I gotsta fight you now”. Clearly the players don’t want hitting in the game anymore.
  • Anyway, that nonsense is over.
  • Chris Stewart is playing like the dickens here in Toronto, wants to make an impression in his only trip home. Andersen is making the saves on him after that goal.
  • I always either forget the Wild exists or assume they aren’t very good, but maybe #TheWildAreActuallyGood
  • It’s also easy to look good against a young team like the Leafs as well. They aren’t rolling over by any means.
  • Morgan Rielly comes damn close to closing the gap here, and Minnesota #46 (no i don’t have the roster open, whatever, who cares who it is) does a good job of tying up Komarov so Leo can’t get the rebound. If he got a stick on the puck that would have been goal #2 for the Leafs
  • Tyler Bozak with some dangles, some chedder, a backhander going bardown top shelf into the cookie jar.
  • Gat damn that was a good goal.
  • Kadri and Komarov again try to cram a puck past Dubnyk, but no dice. He’s a hard one to get anything by during his time in Minnesota.
  • Andersen making a hot hand save on Dumba.
  • Matt Dumba made a big mistake switching from #55.
  • After that Bozak goal, the Leafs have woken up. They are taking it to the Wild now heading into the third period.
  • Roman Polak takes out the linesman. Steve Miller takes a hard shot off the knee and goes down.
  • We’ll only be using three officials the rest of this game, so get some excuses ready.
  • Gardiner gets a shot off and starts a mad scramble in front of the Wild net, where it eventually gets tossed out of the zone. Like a pile of Hamsters in the crease.
  • If the Leafs were playing like this all game, they may have not been trailing. Sometimes it takes things to snap a team into gear and watching Bozak score that goal seems to have done it, but is it too late?
  • Probably.
  • Marner doesn’t have the room he used to anymore, his magic mitts have been identified. Trying something a little fancy Scandella knocks it away. Marner must move more.
  • The Leafs pull Andersen, but it’s of no use, the Wild take this one 3-2.
  • Kicking off the faster pace of the game earlier could have helped things a bit more, but this season, everything's a learned experience for the kids.
  • Is that a little naive of me? It could be, but my expectations were still extremely low this year (picked them to place 25th overall).
  • I think some practices based around playing a solidly defensive team could help things out.
  • The next game is Saturday night against the Bruins in Boston.
  • Will it be 4-1?
  • Will those jokes ever end?
  • No, I’m not recapping it, lucky you.