The TorontoMaple Leafs were coming off a well played game against the Capitals that they couldn’t win, and a poorly played game against the Hurricanes that they won. The question heading into tonight’s game was: Can they combine those two games for a good win?
Short answer: Yes, yes they could.
Before looking in at the game, let’s check out what we all want to see again: Goals!
Maple Leafs 1 - Flames 0
Roman Polak, what are you doing? How did you do this?
Roman Polak shoots the puck at just the right moment so it banks off Travis Harmonic and into the Flames net. That is some quality foresight, good job.
Toronto Maple Leafs 2 - Calgary Flames 0
Auston Matthews saves the play from going onside, shoots wide (oh that poor streak), Zach Hyman collects it along the boards and withstands the physical play from Mark Giodano to send it out front of the net where Nikita Zaitsev gets it through Mike Smith’s five-hole.
Toronto Maple Leafs 3 - Calgary Flames 0
Nazem Kadri gets William Nylander’s rebound after the Flames turnover the puck on a defensive zone face-off. Kadri-Marleau-Nylander are a great bunch to play together on this team.
Toronto Maple Leafs 3 - Calgary Flames 1
Mark Stone gets a slap shot from the point past Frederik Andersen to ruin the shut out. Way to go Mark.
Toronto Maple Leafs 4 - Calgary Flames 1
With less than one second left on the clock, Leo Komarov scores his first goal in 12 games, and after a review - yes, NHL head office decided to review an empty net goal with less than one second on the clock and a two goal lead - the goal was deemed good.
So, how did they play?
Everyone played pretty great actually. The puck was in the Leafs control for the majority of the game, but they do have a bad habit of passing back and forth too much in their own end and that came back to bite them a few times.
Matt Martin, and yes I’m going to say it so ready your fainting couch, has been one of the better players for the Leafs on the fourth line. There’s no one in the press box who’s performed better and he’s not playing a lot but is putting those minutes he gets to good use.
Shooting wise the Leafs were spread out pretty well around the Flames zone, mostly filling the slot. The Flames were kept to pretty much two places, but unfortunately one of those was directly in front of the Leafs net. The other, well, just a little farther back, but still right in front of the Leafs net.
In goal, Frederik Andersen made a few highlight reel saves against the Flames:
Oh, and he also did this:
Overall, this was a well played game by the Leafs. Every player was above 50%* in CF in 5V5 except one. Oh Leo, always having to be the exception.
*I’m told being above 50% is good, so good job Leafs.
GIF party in the comments. We have a win to celebrate.