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Recap: Leafs win a crazy one in Boston 6-5

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It was 4-1... and it didn’t need overtime

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
Nylander really upped his trade value tonight
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Y’know going into tonight’s game I thought my biggest problem would be that I was doing a recap only half an hour after the Furies game where number 8 for Toronto is Cava instead of Carrick and “Spooner” means a far different player than the guy on Boston.

I took notes throughout this game and yet I am at a loss for words to describe what the hell happened in Boston tonight.


William Nylander scored his first NHL hat trick, beating his father’s rookie point and goal totals into the bargain.

Multi-point nights for James van Riemsdyk (2G), Auston Matthews (3A) and Mitch Marner (2A).

Tyler Bozak landed his 300th NHL point assisting on the game winning goal.

That Mitch Marner kid might have a future in this league.

Low lights:

The Leafs allowed the Bruins to get in a lot of offensive zone minutes. A lot. Many. Several. To their credit they broke up a lot of Boston plays but getting the puck out of the zone was a challenge

Yet again Toronto seemed slow out of the gate. I know they’re road games, but wake up guys!

Martin Marincin was called for three different penalties. Next stop press box?

Morgan Rielly and his lower appendages got beat up yet again tonight.

It was 4-1. Again.

I think Arvind found the Marincin - Polak pairing physically painful

This didn’t get mentioned on the broadcast that I noticed, but Matt Martin came on the ice specifically to fight Adam McQuaid. (He got fed, too. Bloody ear and smashed in the jaw) Is there an automatic 10 game suspension in his future?

The Goals

First Period 1-0 Rielly lets David Pastrnak take the outside early in the game and Andersen can’t close 5-hole enough. The broadcast later blamed this on his new pants.

The Leafs challenged for offside, and Babcock’s wrong yet again.

1-1 Auston Matthews to Nazem Kadri to William Nylander!

“That goal was kind of the prototype of the new NHL, eh? Neutral zone pressure leads to turnover, and counterattack with speed. All about speed and directness” - Arvind

It was mentioned a couple of places that a line of Matthews-Kadri-Nylander on the ice right after a penalty kill has become a go-to trick of Babcock’s. This was the first of a couple of times he used it tonight.

Second Period 2-1 JVR! on a turnover right in front caused by some kid named Marner

3-1 Nylander 38s later taking the puck off Pastrnak in the Leafs end (after he falls partly due to Nylander’s pressure) and carrying it up for a 2 on 1 where miracle of miracles he shoots instead of passing

4-1 I think Nylander employed some sort of personal cloaking device against the Bruins for this one. He gets in alone with space and whiffs, gets the puck back, over to another Leaf, gets the puck again with space and time and this time he doesn’t miss. Hat trick.

This is the one that got Rask pulled

4-2 Of course William’s buddy Pastrnak can’t leave well enough alone, he’s got to have a multi-goal game too.

Boston had been a little flat for a few minutes after the third Nylander goal but this reenergized them.

4-3 Tyler Bozak was off for interference and for a solid 93 seconds the Leafs penalty killers couldn’t get the puck out of the zone and certainly none of them could get off the ice. Eventally, Torey Krug took advantage.

This was a very long second period. Long periods are becoming A Thing in my recaps. I don’t like it and I’m going on strike.

Third Period

One very bizarre moment tearly in the third period might have made this a very different game. Rielly sent the puck down the boards, it hit a stanchion and took a weird bounce to slide right through the crease. Zane McIntyre had wandered out of the net and if the puck had been angled just slightly differently it would have been a very weird Leafs goal indeed.

4-4 The Leafs made it nearly half a period before Ryan Spooner tied this one up. I was just thinking they were doing okay at keeping Boston from finishing plays and then Spooner finished one.

5-4 Connor Brown sweeps in a deflection from Hyman on a play by Auston Matthews.

Less than five minutes to go. They can hang on, right?

5-5 With 3:19 to go Uncle Leo is called for interference. Pastrnak doesn’t get the accompanying call for diving that some might have expected, meaning it’s another Bruins power play. Of course it’s Patrice Bergeron who scores. Who else would it be?

For the second time this game everyone gets braced for overtime.

6-5 JVR decides quite rightly that it’s more fun to beat a divisional rival in regulation, so he uses that nice kid Marner (really, could do well in hockey) as a screen and fires a pretty shot past McIntyre for the game winner

I don’t drink, but after games like this maybe I should start.