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Maple Leafs game recap: Cancel the bye week. No one deserves a vacation

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The Leafs lost.

Toronto Maple Leafs VS Chicago Blackhawks Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs took on the Chicago Blackha-

Ahem. As I was saying. The Maple Leafs played the Blackhawks tonight and welcomed their 1,000th player into the fold as Timothy Liljegren dressed for his first NHL game. The Leafs decided to give the forwards some more ice time and play the defenders a bit more carefully by dressing 11 forwards and 7 defenders.

The Blackhawks did score early, with Drake Caggulia putting one past Frederik Andersen 21 seconds into the first period, as shown above.

Things continued to go the opposite of the Maple Leafs way, as Andreas Johnsson was tripped without a penalty call, and shortly after that Jonathan Toews scores to make it 2-0 Blackhawks:

The Leafs up their offensive effort and minutes later they’ve doubled the shot count against the Blackhawks, with William Nylander having two very good scoring chances. However, the Leafs turnover the puck at their blue line and Brandon Saad takes advantage, shooting blocker side on Andersen and the puck ticks the top corner of his blocker, giving it the angel it needs to hit the top corner of the net.

3-0 Chicago.

The first period continues mercifully goal free from the Blackhawks, but the Maple Leafs can’t get anything past Corey Crawford, despite their efforts. Chicago is doing a good job tying up the forward at the front of the net, but they continue to fill the spot and get rewarded with a power play when Patrick Kane is called for holding.

They don’t score on the first minute of the power play and the period ends with 48 seconds remaining on the man advantage.

After one, it’s 3-0 Blackhawks.

The second period opened with the Maple Leafs continuing their pow-

So, we’re just going to score in the opening minute of every period then.

William Nylander scores to put the Leafs on the board and break Crawford’s shutout.

Minutes later Jonathan Toews gets his second of the game as he has a long wrap around from behind the net go right through the five hole to put the lead back to tree.

The Leafs get their second power play of the game after Patrick Kane is called for hooking Travis Dermott. The Leafs don’t get much of a chance to score, they miss a lot of passes, fall over a bit, and fail at setting up plays, and the power play ends without a Leafs goal, or shot.

This is absolutely the game before the bye week. Everyone’s mind is on Cabo, or Barbados, or Turks and Caicos, or anywhere that isn’t the Scotiabank Arena. No one has been good from Matthews to Martin Marincin to Frederik Andersen in net. This is an all around awful performance and oh here’s another Blackhawks goal to make it 5-1. Dominik Kubalik. Who’s that? Whatever.

The Marner-Matthews-Hyman line puts some pressure on Crawford, but they can’t get anything by him. Marner shoots, Matthews has the rebound by Crawford’s in the way each time.

The third line gets us on the board when Alex Kefoot and Pierre Engvall team up to score the Leafs second goal of the night.

It doesn’t matter much, as the Blackhawks come right back and make the score 6-2 when Kubalik gets his second of the night.

The third period did not start with a goal, unlike the others, but it did give us a bit of excitement from the Leafs as they made an attempt at scoring, but did not. We thankfully go five minutes without a Blackhawks goal, but the Chicago players aren’t coming on as strong as they were in the other two periods. What with having a four goal lead and all.

We get some good moves from Justin Holl, who has been having a good night offensively as he’s taken initiative a couple times and tried to make a goal happen.

There hasn’t been much noteworthy happening in the third period, everyone was perfectly cromulent and did their jobs as averagely as they could. Which, to be fair, was an improvement.

There was a close call when Jonathan Toews almost got his hat trick, but Andersen made a save in time to deny him.

As the game ticks down to an end, Kasperi Kapanen gets called for a high stick, giving the Blackhawks a power play to end the game with. The game ends without a seventh Blackhawks goal and the only upside to this game is the Leafs denied Patrick Kane his 1,000th point. Get out of here with your milestones.

The next time we see the Leafs in action is at the All Star Game on Friday and Saturday next weekend when Matthews, Marner, and Andersen take the ice in St. Louis.

The next Maple Leafs game is on January 27th in Nashville against the Predators. That’s an 8PM start too. See you then.