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Recap: Toronto Maple Leafs beat Los Angeles Kings 3-1

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Leafs dominate without looking dominant, but give us a big sigh of relief late in the third

Los Angeles Kings v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Hey, Leafs, let’s fuckin dominate tonight, eh?

Period One Highlights

First Period Thoughts

  • Boring period for the most part. Leafs were good defending, not many scoring chances for either, basically even in shots (attempts and on goal) until the second half when the Leafs started pulling away.
  • Alexander Kerfoot returned to the Leafs bench with about 5 minutes left after taking a big hit by Jeff Carter.
  • I am getting really tired of Mitchell Marner and his one timers. He’s not good at them. Practice it until your arms fall off, but save it in game until you’re better at it.
  • John Tavares had some rust early, whiffing on the empty net on the powerplay.
  • Was interesting to see the Leafs running two defensemen (Jake Muzzin and Tyson Barrie) on the second PP unit. I can’t say it looked bad, or at least not as bad as PP2 has been for a lot of this year. The whole second unit was Kasperi Kapanen, William Nylander, Nic Petan, Jake Muzzin and Tyson Barrie.

Period Two Highlights

1-0 Kings on a PP goal by Iaffalo

Kerfoot Ties It 1-1

Second Period Thoughts

  • Remember when they Leafs didn’t get many PP opportunities but also didn’t take many penalties? Those were better days. We should never have complained.
  • Score effects are a hell of a drug. As soon as the Kings got the lead, the Leafs were all over the Kings in zone time, shot attempts, scoring chances, and partridges in pear trees.
  • Gonna quote a quip from Arvind: “The monstars really should have picked a better player to steal talent from than Nylander”. Poor Willy...
  • A better period for scoring chances for the Leafs overall, they’re starting to look more dominant at even strength.
  • Their star players have been kinda... meh this game. Auston Matthews hasn’t even had a single shot attempt through two periods.
  • Can the Leafs just turn off all penalties? Or at least turn down their powerplays?

Period Three Highlights

2-1 Leafs thank you Zombie Jesus

3-1 the Flood Gates Open also BAH GOD THAT’S MY WILLY

Final Thoughts

  • Matthews must have known we were talking about his shot attempts because he had about 6 in one minute on the PP. That was by far the best looking PP the Leafs have had this game.
  • They followed it with their best looking PK of the game too.
  • Leafs have looked like trash for this entire period outside of the early powerplay. They’ve had nothing going.
  • Lmao what the fuck do I know. BUDS ALL DAY BABY NEVER IN DOUBT!
  • Amazing how a game can be so frustrating for 55 minutes, and then one dirty goal and one sweet, sweet skill goal happen in like 10 seconds and suddenly all is right with the world again.
  • Leafs lost the shot attempt battle in the third but won the expected goals (narrowly).
  • According to NST, the Leafs finished the game at 57% in shot attempts and 62% in expected goals at even strength. It didn’t seem like it while watching the game, but in hindsight it was a pretty convincing win against a team where they should have won convincingly.
  • Heat map don’t lie. Kings didn’t get a lot of chances in close, the Leafs weren’t so heavy on point shots as they have been. Some of those shot attempts closer to the net may have missed, but the fact that they’re getting shot attempts closer to the net again is a good sign.