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Preseason Game 2: Sabres 1 - Maple Leafs 0

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This was not the thrilling Nylander on Nylander battle I was promised.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo, NY, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (39) skates with the puck as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian (47) defends
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

For my sins (I'm practicing for Furies games, actually) I get to recap two preseason games in a row! You're all thrilled, don't lie.

1st period 0-0

While the Leafs got off to a more organized start than Monday's squad, they by no means looked like a unit. There was a lot of time spent in their own zone, which gave Garret Sparks a good opportunity to show he's in solid form. In the offensive zone it seemed to be every player for himself, unless there was a pileup at the net in which case, cue the fisticuffs. Alex Nylander was given far too much space, resulting in quite a few scoring opportunities.


Garret Sparks certainly looked much better than either of the goalies in Monday's game, although there was one notably flaily save early on. Also, has awesome pads.

Peter Holland - definitely wants to get noticed. He was playing aggressively, managed a few rushes to the net that resulted in failed shot attempts.

Nazem Kadri drew a tripping penalty. This is a recording.

Rich Clune was in on a couple of "discussions" and managed a coincidental minor with a Sabre.

Kerby Rychel - one of the combatants at the net, although he held off until there was about a minute left in the period, and didn't get any time in the penalty box, so that's an improvement on last game.

2nd period 0-0

It was pretty evident that the Leafs had been yelled at during intermission, as they looked quite a bit better when they took the ice to start the second. Sibling rivalry may have contributed - the first actual Nylander v Nylander shift of the game was the first shift of the second period. Unfortunately the improvement didn't last and a few interference penalties had them stuck in their own zone again. William Nylander, Frederik Gauthier and Martin Marincin did a decent job defending a short 5-on-3 (only one Sabres shot on goal). Kaskisuo was brought in for most of the second half of the period, which seemed to smarten them up again for a little, spending more time in the Sabres zone.


Sparks played about 12 and a half minutes of this period, departing near the very end of a penalty kill. He stopped 17 shots on the night and I wouldn't have minded seeing him all game.

Zach Hyman - I first noticed Hyman early in the second as being very solid on the puck, strong legs that allowed him to fend off the Sabre trying to relieve him of it. He then took a penalty for interference, but redeemed himself by bringing the puck into the offensive zone shorthanded (Carrick was still in the box) as soon as he hit the ice again.

Nazem Kadri was more noticeable this period, getting a few shots, and spending some time on a line with Leipsic, which seemed to work decently.

Travis Dermott drew a slashing penalty that he almost certainly provoked - I noticed him being a pest in the crease seconds before the call.

Kasimir Kaskisuo got more work than he should have. I'm not sure if he's less positionally sound than Sparks or if he just had less time between shots, but he certainly looked athletic out there.

3rd period 0-0

The Nylander brothers started off the period on the ice together again. I thought the first half of this period was probably the best the Leafs played all game. Sadly, it didn't last. Kaskisuo had to fight off a lot of shot attempts. Highlight of the period was probably Rich Clune checking someone into a door that promptly opened and almost tumbled the Sabre onto a ramp.


William Nylander didn't do anything particularly spectacular this game but his line (which was sometimes Hyman and Martin, sometimes included Holland) managed a lot of the offensive pressure.

Clune had multiple chances around the net this period. Which is a bit mind-boggling, really, but I realized he was mostly playing with Marlies teammates from last year so perhaps they were falling into patterns from the AHL last year.

Hyman continued to look very good. I felt like his minutes increased each period, but with no stats for neutral site games I can't say for certain.

Justin Holl had a nice rush up ice as well as a later chance on net. Both came to naught but he caught my eye doing it.

Overtime 0-0

By the end of the third period I was well and truly tired of this game. 3-on-3 certainly livened things up. Again the Leafs spent a lot of time back in their own zone. I mostly entertained myself trying to track who was on the ice. My notes look like this:





Marincin-Gauthier-Marincin (I didn't claim my notes were accurate)



In a preseason game it doesn't really say much except perhaps who the coaches liked most on defense.

Shootout 0 - 1

Holland X

A. Nylander X

W. Nylander X

Okposo X

Carrick X (post)

Kane X

Kadri X

Moulson scores to finally put me out of my misery

But tomorrow, my friends. TOMORROW IS MATTHEWS!