Wait, what do you mean I’m recapping another McElhinney game? Whyyyy?
Kadri line (Leo Komarov, Nazem Kadri and Connor Brown, for this game) gets the start and Columbus gains the zone. This arena is badly lit.
William Nylander buzzes around the Columbus defenders, Seth Jones looks like he’s going to rush right down to Curtis McElhinney but comes in offside.
First shot on Joonas Korpisalo is Patrick Marleau’s, followed by an opportunity (am I the only one who now can only hear that word in Dangle’s impression of Babcock?) for the Bozak line (usual suspects).
CBJ get the cycle going in the Leafs zone. Toronto gets it back out but it’s called icing.
Gabriel Carlsson gets a shot while McElhinney is sort of screened but no dice.
The Kadri line is being matched up against the Panarin-Dubois-Anderson line and Kadri’s group manages some offensive zone time which is positive, but not a lot of shot attempts, which is less so.
Mitch Marner gets a turnover behind the Lumbus net but Leafs are on a change and there’s no one to centre to. CBJ gives the puck up again and JVR is there to make Korpisalo’s life difficult.
Lumbus ices the puck and we’re not quite six minutes into this game, is it nap time yet?
Seth Jones is a cheeky brat who tries a wraparound but McElhinney’s onto him.
Oh man the puck goes from Pierre-Luc Dubois behind the net to Josh Anderson in front but McElhinney stops him.
Shots by Dominic Moore are nice and all but does anyone expect they’ll result in a goal?
CBJ are fast as heck but they definitely are not the most organized team in their own zone.
Marner beats out an icing because he is also a speedy thing but can’t hold the puck in.
McElhinney goes for a walk and I lose a year of my life.
Sonny Milano and somebody (Rielly?) collide into the boards, Milano makes his way off the ice but doesn’t leave the bench.
Moore tries to centre to Zach Hyman and they can’t quite connect.
This is a very scrambly game. It’s not quite junior hockey (the Leafs at least look better defensively) but it’s not all that far from it to my eye.
Another scramble in front of the Leafs net and McElhinney keeps it out possibly with some help from the hockey gods.
*sighhhhh* Lukas Sedlak gets ignored in front of the Leafs net, gets a pass from the wall and sends a rocket past McElhinney, 1-0. Leafs are outshooting Columbus at this point but it’s not helping.
Toronto tries to get the puck into the correct zone but they can’t keep it there.
Bozak and Marner get a nice little scoring chance but Korpisalo sees it coming.
Nick Foligno has decided hitting Connor Carrick a few times is something he wants to do. They make quite the noise hitting the boards.
Nylander comes in under pressure and runs out of room before he can shoot. Next play, Hyman draws a penalty.
Couple good looks by the first power play unit but rather a lot of time is spent digging the puck out of the corner. Sportsnet is overjoyed because they have a camera in that corner.
As the penalty expires, Seth Jones gets the puck and races down to put it up over McElhinney’s glove. Szabados would have had that. 2-0
Oh good. A fight. Super useful. No penalties at least.
Leafs keep the pressure on in the last minute but it’s Columbus that get the last shot of the period. They almost even up the shot clock, with Leafs up 12-11.
Leafs do not come out looking brilliant.
Komarov manages to swipe the puck to Kadri, who’s stopped by Korpisalo.
A Marner backhand rebounds dangerously and for a second I thought the Blue Jackets were going to have an own goal.
Bunch of Leafs in front of the Columbus net and it goes from Nylander to Gardiner to possibly off Hyman into the net. Goal is credited to Gardiner 2-1
Kadri ends up in the box. We are informed the Blue Jackets have the worst power play in the league. I am not reassured. They also tell me what McElhinney is doing in front of the net is called “battling”. I call it flailing around and praying to the hockey gods. Leafs do get a nifty shorthanded chance though.
I am really getting tired of hearing Seth Jones has the puck.
It’s very nice that our fourth line is getting chances. Perhaps our lines with goal scoring ability should try it.
Van Riemsdyk gets a loud ping off a post as if to tell me he’s trying. Marner gets a chance and puts it wide.
Leafs on the kill again. Now this penalty is apparently worse because it’s a “momentum-killer” for the Leafs and the Blue Jackets are “due”. Either way, it results in a goal for Dubois. I hate when things happen that make these guys think they’re right. 3-1
Just past the halfway point in the period and Toronto is being outshot 12-4. No really, this is fun. I’m enjoying the adrenaline rush every time Columbus is allowed near the net.
I would like to suggest that the Leafs attempt sustained offensive pressure.
Kadri tries a drop pass that Kasperi Kapanen isn’t quite expecting but Kapanen manages to put it on net anyway.
Gardiner tries for another goal but two successive heavy shots get turned aside.
Zach Hyman does his darnedest to keep on the puck despite being boxed in by a pair of Blue Jackets on the way to the goal.
Dominic Moore has what feels like his 10th shot attempt. Argh.
Generally more of the same, by the end of the period Toronto’s been outshot 19-13. The broadcast went on at length about “the problems of William Nylander” so I’m assuming Nylander’s doing just fine tonight.
Better start to the third with a couple of shots on net. Doesn’t last though.
Ice seems a little less tilted, more back and forth early. Jones gets the puck yet again. I don’t like him, can’t we just buy him from Columbus? (At the moment Sedlak doesn’t like him either, he got a Jones shot in the arm.)
Bozak line gets another chance but can’t beat Korpisalo because Leafs and backup goalies.
JVR is hot this period - Bozak drops the puck off to Marner who gets it to JVR who gets it on net for the third time in less than six minutes.
Leafs may be getting chances but Columbus gets set up in the Toronto zone and it feels like there’s bad news on the way.
Moore gets another opportunity because of course he does.
Another chance for van Riemsdyk from Rielly but still no goal.
Things fall apart defensively (Martin Marincin is in the press box yelling “Ha! It’s my turn now!” at Carrick) and it’s 4-1.
More fighting because helpful. (Apparently if you punch a guy it undoes the injury he may have inadvertently caused your player.) Matt Martin and Lukas Sedlak go to the box and we get some 4 on 4.
Rielly creates a chance more or less all by himself and it’s the best the Leafs do in those two minutes.
Mitch Marner takes the puck past both blue lines and sends it off the post and in to put himself on a scoring streak. 4-2
McElhinney’s pulled almost immediately with over two and a half minutes left.
Marner almost pulls off the exact same trick on his next shift but Korpisalo gets a bit of it. He has another shot seconds later.
Leafs pour on the heat and a third goal seems inevitable but good work from Columbus, an unfortunate offside and an unforgiving clock combine to keep the final score to 4-2.
Final shots were 41-37 for the Leafs. Next game is Saturday against the Rangers.