Habs vs Leafs. Second half of a back to back. Hutchinson vs Price. Game 13.
They better win this, I’m tired of the whining.
Michael Hutchinson sees action first, as Montreal starts with possession and keeps the Matthews line in the defensive zone.
Leafs are not the team in control of this game, but I wouldn’t say the Habs look particularly inspired either.
Andreas Johnsson waits for Alexander Kerfoot to get to the net but Price manages to handle the redirection, complicated by Jeff Petry.
In a sign of the apocalypse, Hutchinson freezes the puck.
Frederik Gauthier is still not great at puck handling, he was impressively awkward getting control of the puck, but he managed to get it into the Montreal zone regardless.
Hutchinson freezes the puck again. Is this a trend?
Brendan Gallagher opens the scoring, battling off both Cody Ceci and Dmytro Timashov to get his own rebound.
Leafs answer back with a shot right on Carey Price but Price has it handled. The broadcast is moaning about the opposition scoring first again. I’m still more interested in the final score. We’ve got two and a half periods to go.
Tyson Barrie is floored crossing the Montreal blueline. There’s a crowd reaction, but no call.
Hutchinson makes a save on Max Domi.
Jonathan Drouin is allowed to go one on one with Hutchinson. For a moment it looks like Hutchinson made the save, but the ref sees that Hutchinson basically brought the puck in himself as he drew his leg back. 2-0 Habs.
Delayed penalty call on the Leafs. Montreal dances and dances with the extra attacker, it takes approximately forever before the Leafs touch the puck after a Hutchinson save. Jake Muzzin is called for hooking and Toronto is on the kill.
Not the best penalty kill in the world but Hutchinson keeps the puck out and the Leafs survive.
Muzzin gets the Leafs on the board with a great one-timer off a nice pass from Mitch Marner in the dying seconds of the period. 2-1.
We expect the broadcast to overhype a Leafs vs Habs Saturday night matchup but so far this game misses the mark by even more than usual. Neither team is covering themselves with glory.
Montreal outshooting the Leafs 19-5. Maybe they’ll sort themselves out in intermission. Team nap?
A nice give and go results in a scramble around Carey Price on the rebound but Price manages to keep the puck out. Muzzin nearly had his second though.
Ooof. A shot dead on Hutchinson goes up into the air but fortunately does not land in the net.
A lotta drop passes by the Leafs tonight.
Nice try by Trevor Moore starts some sustained pressure by the Leafs and Price is busy for maybe the first time in the game.
A point shot by Morgan Rielly sets up a battle in the crease, with both Auston Matthews and Andreas Johnsson going for the puck. Johnsson finally pokes the puck past Price to tie the game.
Hutchinson makes a nice glove save on a deflection by Phillip Danault.
A weird little turnover in the Montreal zone leads to a quick chance for Ilya Mikheyev, who has been as active as usual this game.
Brendan Gallagher gets a breakaway but he hits the post and the rebound hits the netting.
Another two on one given up by the Leafs but Kasperi Kapanen manages to backcheck and Domi can’t make a pass.
Mikheyev survives a Shea Weber hit, gets the puck out to Alexander Kerfoot, who’s right in front of Price. Sadly, Price stops him cold.
Johnsson comes in alone but can’t get a shot off and the puck rolls to Price, who freezes it.
Bit of chaos in the Leafs zone, handled by Hutchinson. Toronto comes back the other way with a few chances.
Kevin Gravel takes a Montreal shot to the hand and heads to the bench.
Leafs to the powerplay on a slashing call on Jonathan Drouin. Couple of chances for Marner and Matthews before the Habs manage to clear. Offside call kills more time and it takes Toronto almost a minute to get set up again. Montreal gets it out again and that’s more or less it.
Mikheyev and Muzzin combine for a chance that Price has some trouble with, but manages to smother.
Kerfoot flattens Domi against the boards and not only does that mean a trip to the box for him, Domi has something to say about it too. Leafs on the kill with less than two minutes left in the period.
Excellent glove save by Hutchinson on a point shot by Drouin.
The Habs will start the third on the power play.
Leafs looked much improved for this period, outshooting the Habs 14-10, but maybe the lion’s share of the chances shouldn’t be going to Mikheyev and Kerfoot?
In intermission, Elliotte Friedman reports that unofficially the NHL is working behind the scenes on having a plan to set up a women’s hockey league in case it’s needed, although the official line is still that they won’t step in unless there are no active pro women’s leagues. He quotes a six team league with possibly two in Canada, which is about what we heard about the plan the NHL’s been sitting on for women’s hockey for approximately a decade or so. None of this is news — anyone paying attention to the more recent quotes from PWHPA players knows there’s something starting to cook. Wake me when Bettman’s actually willing to confirm anything. (Prediction: January. Wake me in January.)
Joel Armia starts the period by scoring on Hutchinson seven seconds in. 3-2 Habs.
William Nylander comes off the bench and takes advantage of a turnover to take a shot on Price.
Justin Holl sends a drive through traffic, but Price is there. He does have to get some maintenance on his equipment before the faceoff.
The Armia goal notwithstanding, Hutchinson has made some nice stops this period.
Barrie coughs up a puck to Drouin who goes one on one with Hutchinson again and this time it’s a much more dramatic goal, an in-and-out under the crossbar. 4-2 for Montreal.
￼Scramble in Price’s crease is exciting but leads nowhere.
Nylander feeds Johnsson who goes backhand on Price... denied.
Matthews centres for Johnsson, stopped again.
Nick Suzuki adds to the Montreal lead.
The broadcast cuts to a shot of Kyle Dubas, who looks unimpressed.
The next back to back is November 9 and 10. I assume the rest will help.