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Recap: Maple Leafs beat the Flyers in an 11-round shootout

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The Leafs kept tying this one up, but it kept coming undone again.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Flyers! Who is even on this team tonight?

The Leafs are missing John Tavares, Jake Muzzin and some undetermined percentage of Morgan Rielly. The usual suspects on Twitter want you to be outraged that Travis Dermott isn’t in the top four and Martin Marincin is. Instead of lighting torches, let’s track that defenceman ice time tonight.

First Period

Geeeeez. Jason Spezza with two great chances to score, but not quite. Great start for him and his line. If he wants to get hot, that’s fine with me.

JvR in tight with the Flyers’ first chance, but Freddie knows his tricks.

The Leafs are bringing it hard at the start, but maybe are a bit rough on passing, and very unlucky on a few chances where an opposite-handed guy would have had the better shot.

Wooohooo. Travis Sanheim falls down just at the thought of Kasperi Kapanen getting a breakaway, and well, so he should:

1-0 Leafs!

More good stuff from Spezza. Is it possible that Mike Babcock’s plan to keep him more rested and play him in rotation with Nick Shore is a good one?

Travis Dermott and Justin Holl are working like dogs to get the puck out of the zone, but the Gauthier line just can’t complete the play. At all.

Kappy plays the puck right off the bench, and the way the Leafs do line changes (slow off, quick on, and taking full advantage of the loose rules, etc.) that means he made it a too many men penalty.

Leafs on the PK, let’s see how Marincin does.

Okay, never mind. It’s Ceci and Rielly out to start, but that’s not the point, the Flyers move the puck like a dream and then get a really lucky set of bounces.

Tie Game.

JvR gets a breakaway and Rielly chose not to fall down. Andersen with an easy save, and that’s about it for this period.

Thoughts

  • The Flyers are a fast, high-pace team, the equal of the Leafs, and I swear I saw some stretch passes to get the jump on them, which is interesting.
  • There’s been odd-man rushes. Cross-crease passes, and is this CSKA? No, it’s the Leafs like they’re supposed to play.
  • Leafs had the Flyers spinning out there. (Yes, it’s a segababa for them, but they looked outclassed.)
  • Leafs were very strong to jump on the puck and exit the zone, doing with speed what they can’t do with size or really, whatever it is that holds them back there.
  • Ice time for defenders (5on5): Barrie: 8:58, Ceci: 8:40, Marincin: 7:36, Rielly: 6:58, Holl: 4:10, Dermott: 3:04 - the least of any player, so the Leafs really are easing him in carefully.
  • Adjusted Corsi (Natural Stat Trick) was 22-8 for the Leafs or 75%, with an Expected Goals of 74%. Leafs doing a bit more point shooting than is usual for them, but their other shots were good ones.
  • Frederik Gauthier looked horrible on the PK and at 5on5.

Second Period

Have you thought Mitch Marner has been making some passes that just fizzle out? He passes the puck right into Mikheyev’s feet in the centre of the neutral zone, so he gets jumped by all the Flyers.

Leafs take a penalty on some Flyers pressure. Spezza is the guilty party on a holding call.

Flyers PP >>>>> Leafs PK. They just move the PKers around with ease, and it’s the forwards that they target to draw out and then move the puck into a shooting lane. It’s a great performance of puck control and tactics.

The Flyers score quickly again, and the Leafs never came close to getting that puck and getting it out of the zone. Ceci is going to take the blame, justifiably, but all that came before was not great either.

2-1 Flyers.

Forget everything I said about Spezza. He’s back in the box on a high stick.

Interestingly, there is no Gauthier to start. His spot has been taken by Mikheyev, but a faceoff means he’s out there again, and the Leafs clear the puck for the first time.

Andersen is saving this game right now, although it was a much better PK. But the bar they were clearing was a few feet below grade.

Rielly takes a penalty because that’s what the weakest defenders on this team do now.

Gauthier wins the faceoff, and the Leafs get a shorty rush. Flyers answer back with a couple of really hot chances, but the Leafs are breaking this up fairly easily. Travis Dermott is just laying on the body out there. They kill this one with something like effectiveness.

Oh, hey, offensive Leafs players.

Flyers have a lot more jump, and are getting all the real chances.

Goal???!!??!? Yes it is. No one seemed sure at first.

The broadcast was complaining about the Leafs line choices near the end of the period, looking for some “why not Matthews” controversy. Well, has Matthews been good?

I like the irony of the greasy goal from the second/third line after all of that chatter.

Tie Game at 2 all.

And the inevitable makeup call comes at a stupid time, less than two minutes left in the period. Leafs to the PP.

Hell of a shorty chance by the Flyers, not a good PP setup by the Leafs.

Once they get set, things happen, but they don’t pass like the Flyers do. Spezza and Mikheyev with the best chances, so take that, first unit!

Thoughts

  • If Travis Dermott can take some of Rielly’s PK time, that would be a good thing. He looks good enough at it.
  • Defender 5on5 Ice: Barrie: 14:13, Ceci: 12:25, Marincin: 12:19, Rielly: 12:16, Holl: 7:52, Dermott: 7:18. Rielly tops the all-situations due to all that PK and PP time.
  • Has Auston Matthews been good? His adjusted Corsi is 11-10, with a very slightly better Expected Goals. His Individual Expected Goals is zero, because he has not shot the puck at all this game. I don’t think that does count as good. He’s being rolled over by Sean Couturier.
  • Adjusted Corsi is now 28-24 or 53% and the Leafs have 57% of the Expected Goals. They were horribly outshot by the Flyers in that period, but they did not allow much quality from the Flyers off the power play. But when you take that many penalties, you’re giving the game away.

Third Period

Okay, that’s not a good start to this period. Flyers get a goal on a play where if you watch Andersen and not the defending, you’ll see he’s so far out from the post, the only way he can get across his crease is by throwing his body, and that means he’s down, and the puck is in. He should not have been off that post.

Some of the puck-watching, and three Leafs on one Flyer defending was also bad, as was the wave my stick at you style of trying to get the puck back from Nylander.

3-2 Flyers

Oh, genius. Ceci dumps Travis Konecny into the Leafs net, and now the Flyers get another power play. The play starts with Couturier outplaying Matthews some more.

The Flyers have suddenly lost the ability to get set up, and oh, they take a penalty for a really lazy high stick. Leafs dodge a bullet.

The Leafs are dominating four-on-four, until Couturier steals the puck, but Marner gets it right back, and this is a beauty of a goal!

Tie Game Again!

The very short Leafs PP is for naught.

There is a lot of Dermott and Holl as this game marches closer to overtime.

Kappy with a rush chance, but no good. He’s been a great player tonight.

Konecny with his own great shot at getting the deciding goal with less than two minutes to go.

Marner with a rush to end regulation, but he can only shoot backhanded.

Thoughts

  • I liked Kappy and Barrie. Matthews was out of his depth. Holl was good, defensively and offensively. I never noticed Marincin. I didn’t like that one goal against for Andersen, but he was brilliant for most of this game.
  • I watched a Marlies team lose in a shootout after getting dominated all game. But they had enough offensive talent to get goals. The Leafs right now don’t. The skilled players are overburdened, and the depth only gets lucky some of the time.
  • The Leafs are getting in a lot of overtime games. They are nearly always in every game, and that kind of game gets decided by the lucky or unlucky bounces. The problem isn’t that the Leafs have lost some in OT, it’s that they’re in OT to begin with. They should be less close a lot of the time.
  • Even I think Dermott should be playing a touch more.

Overtime

And do the Leafs take a penalty? They do. This is incredible. Kapanen takes a tripping call, which was not quite the usual, stupid “I can’t defend” penalty, but it wasn’t exactly bright.

Andersen weathers half of the PP, and then Nick Shore gets a FOGO shift and clears the puck.

Andersen makes a save and we rinse and repeat with Shore.

They play out over a minute at four-on-four, which favours the Leafs, but they don’t get a good chance.

One minute left of three-on-three.

Matthews with a shot, Konecny back the other way, and the Flyers take a penalty with less than a second, so this one is going to a shootout. (Yuck)

Shootout

  • Couturier: Andersen saves it
  • Matthews: Elliott saves it
  • Giroux: Andersen saves it
  • Marner: Elliott saves it
  • Lindblom: Misses
  • Kapanen: Elliiott saves it
  • Voracek: Andersen saves it
  • Nylander: Elliott saves it
  • Farabee: Misses
  • Timashov: Elliott saves it
  • Hayes: Andersen saves it
  • Mikheyev: Elliott saves it
  • Gostisbehere: misses
  • Barrie: Elliott saves it
  • Konecny: Scores
  • Spezza: SCORESSSSSSS
  • Raffl: Andersen saves it
  • Kerfoot: Elliott saves it
  • van Riemsdyk: Andersen saves it (easily)
  • Rielly: Post
  • Provorov: Andersen saves it
  • Johnsson: SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORES

You know, he came after two defenders. I bet he was a little pissed. He’s not a shooter-shooter though.

Leafs Win!