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Flames 4, Leafs 3: Why Did I Volunteer to Write This?

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The Leafs made it look respectable with a great third period effort. That's the positive.

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

You can be forgiven if, in the shadow of the big Dion Phaneuf trade, you forgot there was a hockey game tonight, but if you did, you didn't miss a whole lot.

The Leafs dropped a 4-3 decision to the Calgary Flames, but the score might have been generous. The Leafs had 36 shots on goal and a 65% CF, but never really looked like they had a legitimate chance to win it. They scored some nice goals, but didn't have a lot of A+ scoring chances. They put the boots to the Flames in the third period, but they were already down two goals by that point.

The game started off a snoozer, which isn't surprising given the quality of the rosters. Nothing eventful happened until midway through the first, when Phaneuf Trade Ultimate Champion Matt Stajan took a penalty. The Flames would get on the board first, as Michael Frolik lobbed a saucer pass over Morgan Rielly's stick to Markus Granlund, who put it home blocker side on Reimer. The Leafs, however, would respond on the same penalty. Peter Holland redirected a Frank Corrado point shot past Jonas Hiller to tie the game at 1-1.

The Flames special teams would ultimately prevail in the period. On a too many men penalty, Mikael Backlund would deflect a point shot past Reimer. Hard shot; no chance. 2-1 Flames. Shortly after that, Mark Giordano hit Nazem Kadri in the face with his forearm and might have made him bleed his own blood. He may very well be suspended for his "throat slash" gesture at Giordano after the hit, but this is fine; we have elite centre Mark Arcobello anyway.

The second period didn't treat the Leafs much better. Martin Marincin was caught flat-footed by Joe Colborne while Frank Corrado tried to cover pretty much the entire Flames roster. Colborne got the puck to an open Micheal Ferland to extend the lead to 3-1. Later in the period, a Dougie Hamilton point shot went past Reimer to make it 4-1. The Leafs would make it look much more respectable than it was on a nice snipe by Josh Leivo, but the Flames still led 4-2 after 40.

The third period was some excellent hockey by the Leafs; the team ratcheted up the pressure on the Flames, outshooting them 17-3. The third also provided us this clinical Jake Gardiner goal:

P.A. Parenteau came very close to tying it, but in the end, the Leafs couldn't come back. Not a shocker if you looked at this team's lineup tonight.

This tweet was pretty much the highlight of the night: