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Recap: Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t half as sick as we all are of them

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The Leafs were so bad against the Penguins again that Kyle Dubas called Babcock to fire him again

Toronto Maple Leafs v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs played the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was a complete embarrassment and was likely one of the final nails in Mike Babcock’s coffin. Both teams wound up going through a lot of injury troubles, but have had very different fortunes in dealing with them. Pittsburgh has been dominant and one of the top contenders in the league, the Leafs have been up and down and looked very inconsistent within and between games.

Let’s hope for a better effort and result this time, eh?

PERIOD ONE

Leafs with a good start thanks to the John Tavares line.

The Leafs’ first chance at a powerplay went... less than well.

Jesus Christ, Freddie! (the bad)

Jesus Christ, Freddie! (the good)... thank you Frederik Andersen. Jeez.

Penguins give the Leafs a lesson on what a good PP looks like, 1-0 Pittsburgh

Mark Donk scores his first NHL goal because of course, 2-0 Pittsburgh.

First Period Thoughts

  • Offense: Don’t let the shots on goal fool you, that was a dominant period by the Penguins. The Leafs generated no offense of any significance, even on their powerplay. The Penguins had 75% of the expected goal share because they completely shut down the Leafs in their own end and through the neutral zone.
  • Defense: They didn’t give up the first goal on the first shot, that’s good! They got hemmed in their own end and gave up 5 high danger chances at 5v5. That’s bad.
  • Special Teams: The Leafs got an early PP but aside from an early Tavares backhand, the Pens did to the Leafs what the Leafs did to the Sens a few games ago. It was... not pretty. Then their attempt to kill a penalty went even worse, as they gave up a goal against Bryan Rust almost immediately as the Penguins just picked their defense apart with ease. Justin Holl failed to clear the puck when he had the chance and didn’t cover anyone on Crosby’s pass to Rust.
  • Lines: The Leafs top two lines got absolutely caved in by the Penguins top lines. Auston Matthews has the best mark with a strong 17% expected goals. Kasperi Kapanen, Jason Spezza and the Jake Muzzin-Holl pairing are above water at least, but I’m dragging Holl under for how bad he’s looked.
  • Heat Map: that’s not what good offense or defense is supposed to look like.

PERIOD TWO

Time to see some fight back this period. Let’s fucking go!

Narrator: they didn’t fucking go, 3-0 Pittsburgh.

The second dumb penalty they took went as well as the first one, 4-0 Pittsburgh.

Here’s a dog.

After wasting a 5 on 3, now it’s 5-0 Penguins.

Here’s a cat on a hat.

William Nylander with a brilliant pass and Matthews with a better shot, 5-1 ahh who gives a shit.

Spezza banks the puck off Kyle Clifford, 5-2 okay we’re starting to give a shit again.

Second Period Thoughts

  • Offense: They were bad.
  • Defense: They were bad.
  • Special Teams: They were bad.
  • Lines: They were bad.
  • Heat Map:

PERIOD THREE

Epic comeback or bust. Let’s fucking do this 2.0!

A better start to this period.

Penguins tightening things up, but Leafs getting the odd chance.

It’s been “all Leafs” in the sense that the Pens are coasting. Zach Hyman was the Leafs’ best effort player this game, if not the only one.

Fuck it, full send! Go Martin Marincin go!

Final Thoughts

This is not a game where you can blame the refs, or blame the goalie, or blame injuries, or blame illness.

This is a game where you blame the team for looking terrible for pretty much the whole game, who could get nothing going offensively except for soft point shots from the left defensemen, and could do nothing to stop Pittsburgh from just getting tap in goals. You can blame the coach for that, or the players, or both. I blame both.

I’m not giving any credit to their two goals or how better they looked on offense after it was already 5-0. As soon as the Penguins starting giving as little of a shit as the Leafs did, the Leafs started looking better. That’s not to their credit.

Here’s a puppy.

Poll

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