Tonight’s Toronto Maple Leafs game saw goaltender Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford make their Toronto Maple Leafs debut, as the Leafs were playing catch up with the rest of their division and conference, looking for two points against the Anaheim Ducks and improving their playoff odds.
Campbell was tested early in this game, and made the saves needed to give himself and the crowd a confidence boost.
Jack Campbell makes his first save as a Maple Leafs pic.twitter.com/3ZjXzfT2Zw— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
The Maple Leafs offense worked to push the game into the Ducks zone, doing so without William Nylander who missed the game due to illness.
The Maple Leafs don’t take long to get on the scoreboard, as Andreas Johnsson gets a pass from Auston Matthews to open the scoring.
The play was salvaged after Mitch Marner once again lost some equipment in the middle of play:
Mitch Marner lost his glove ahead of that play pic.twitter.com/80HmTxmwhX— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Someone help this kid figure out how to stay dressed.
The Maple Leafs continue to put pressure on the Ducks, with a strong offensive zone presence, but can’t get anything else past Miller. They’re also doing well in the defensive zone, not allowing a lot for the Ducks, playing in position and staying on their man.
Auston Matthews continues to be noticeable in the defensive zone pic.twitter.com/N0bavKLsYC— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
The Ducks however, sneak a goal past Campbell on his glove side, beating the slide across the crease, and Nicolas Deslauriers gets his second goal of the season to tie the game:
There is one downside to tonight’s game so far, and it’s the Tyson Barrie / Travis Dermott pairing. They aren’t gelling well, and letting the play get by them when they’re in charge of the defense. It’s time to try things out, and with Liljegren / Sandin paired up it’s what the Leafs were left with, but it probably isn’t something to last the whole game.
New Leafs Kyle Clifford is working hard to be a part of the team, and is throwing his body around, making the Scotiabank Arena crowd familiar with his style of play:
Same shift seconds later, Clifford charges down the wing and throws the puck to the slot pic.twitter.com/zqKerNwdBE— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Late in the period, Max Jones is called for high sticking Tyson Barrie, and the Leafs head to the power play. Not much happens at five on four, but then the Ducks become victims of the second dumbest penalty in hockey: Delay of Game for puck over the glass. Derek Grant gives the Leafs a short five on three power play, but the Leafs are only able to get one shot on Ryan Miller. Both penalties expire without a goal, but Frederik Gauthier comes close to breaking the tie with an almost five hole on Miller, but the puck goes a bit too high.
Kapanen sets up Gauthier for a chance on Miller pic.twitter.com/ZfqizjG6yH— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
As the clock ticks down, Dmytro Timashov gets called holding Ryan Getzlaf, and the Pens spend the final 90 seconds of the period on the power play, but can’t score a second goal and we end the frame tied at one.
The second period opens with a brief power play from the Ducks, but the Leafs penalty kill comes in fast on Ryan Miller and a just sprung from the box Timashov dives into the play, but no goal on Miller and Mitch Marner takes an uncalled high stick behind the play.
Marner gets high-sticked but it isn't called pic.twitter.com/aIoLUOdHtE— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Josh Manson continues the Ducks goonery by slashing Auston Matthews stick out of his hands and breaking it in half, giving the Leafs another chance to score with the man advantage,
Rasmus Sandin spends a bit of this power play looping around with the puck, and gets it down to Jason Spezza who sends it right back to the point but Sandin’s one timer doesn’t go into the net.
The Anaheim Ducks leave John Tavares all alone while on the power play, which is dumb because he scores. Dumb Ducks.
It’s not all roses and sunshine for the Leafs this period, Justin Holl has a turnover that gives the Ducks extended offensive zone time against the newest Leafs netminder.
Tough turnover for Justin Holl that leads to the Ducks getting more time in the Leafs zone pic.twitter.com/T6ypBL9A3M— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
The Leafs have a few minutes of sustained pressure on the Ducks, with Jake Muzzin, Kyle Clifford, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner all sending shots at Ryan Miller but the score still sits at 2-1. The crowd gets on their feet multiple times reacting to the action, and it only ends when the puck goes out of the rink.
Mitch Marner dances in on Ryan Miller pic.twitter.com/lDxHGPha0Z— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Auston Matthews looking for his 40th pic.twitter.com/w2OoeKjmGf— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Trying to defend the net, John Tavares is called for hooking and gives the Ducks last place power play a chance to tie the game. The Ducks power play is indeed bad, but the Leafs can’t take advantage of that to ice the puck, so everything is a little Keystone Kops for two minutes, but no goals come from the Ducks.
Post-penalty Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner team up to get Matthews his 40th goal of the season, making him the fifth Maple Leaf to have multiple 40 goal seasons, and his first since his rookie season.
After the goal Ryan Getzlaf and Kyle Clifford get up to some old Battle of California nonsense and rough each other up behind the Leafs net and get offsetting minors, giving us some four on four hockey.
Kyle Clifford mixing it up with Ryan Getzlaf pic.twitter.com/gIEIycNQtr— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Jack Campbell is making saves when they’re needed, and is having a great debut for the Leafs. Now it’s against one of the worst teams in the league, but still. Let’s appreciate these things.
Jack Campbell has been very pleasant pic.twitter.com/fTRwVLlv2V— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Kyle Clifford crashes into Ryan Miller and as the play goes on the two get a little pushy as the period comes to a close. The Maple Leafs lead 3-1.
Jack Campbell continues his good game early on in the third, making some key saves against the Ducks.
Pucks have been finding their way into Campbell's glove all game pic.twitter.com/VigzQHP97k— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Auston Matthews almost scores his 41st of the season, but gets robbed by the post.
Auston Matthews was looking for another one. Bats the puck mid-air but it catches the post pic.twitter.com/arsNU13xsZ— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Then Pierre Engvall and Timashov get the crowd on their feet with some good net play, but no fourth goal for the Leafs.
Engvall and Timashov get back-to-back chances on Ryan Miller pic.twitter.com/o5SS75DkdW— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Soon after Nick “Should have been picked over Nylander” Ritchie gets called for tripping giving the Leafs another power play. The Leafs try to score again, but can’t. HOWEVER Max Jones comes down the rink and scores the Ducks second goal of the game, with an assist from Andreas Johnsson.
We get a time out to let the Leafs regroup and reset for the final 10 minutes of the game.
just an evergreen graphic pic.twitter.com/DwpU2YLeOn— gotta be blessed // kit (@worthhellabucks) January 28, 2020
Oh, Kyle Clifford is now in the penalty box for holding Michael Del Zotto who flipped Clifford onto the ice and cross checked him, but no penalty for MDZ, sure.
The Amazing Adventures of Clifford and Thompson pic.twitter.com/Z4Th2RLNlK— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
“FUCKING BULLSHIT” is the call from the ice as the Ducks tie the game on a bullshit power play from a bullshit penalty.
Adam Henrique ties the game.
Jake Muzzin takes out all of our frustrations on Ondrej Kase by flattening them, and then Jason Spezza breaks the tie and makes it 4-3 Maple Leafs.
Jake Muzzin with a big hit on Ondrej Kase pic.twitter.com/JUe0vAlgsv— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
The Ducks pull Ryan Miller with just over a minute remaining, and the crowd around Jack Campbell is too much confusion and delay, and the puck gets knocked in by the skate of Justin Holl.
The Leafs put pressure on the Ducks net, but the period ends before they can take the win in regulation.
It’s now overtime....time, so the Leafs get at least one point tonight, which is good, but two would be better.
Holl-Kapanen-Tavares start off the three on three and get some good chances on Ryan Miller, but can’t get the win and Miller holds the puck to get a line change. Pierre Engvall gets the puck and dances around some Ducks to get into the offensive zone, but goes a bit too far with the dipsy doodles and causes and turn over that thankfully doesn’t result in a goal.
The Leafs are doing a great job in overtime and get the crowd going with expected goals, but are struggling to get their shots off. The Leafs are dancing and streaking all over the ice until Rickard Rakell has enough and trips Mitch Marner, the only way to stop him.
Tavares 1v1 with Miller but it ends up in his glove pic.twitter.com/LczyWP7RK4— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Holl gets an opportunity for himself in OT pic.twitter.com/XOpULbCemb— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
The Leafs have a power play and there is 1:04 left in the game. The Ducks call a time out, which, fine, let our forwards get a rest. John Tavares takes advantage of the rest and scores the game winning goal in overtime, and the Leafs get two badly needed points.
Maple Leafs 5 - Ducks 4.
John Tavares wins the game in OT! 5-4 pic.twitter.com/urObep0SJf— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2020
Mitch Marner’s assist in overtime was the 200th of his NHL career. #LeafsForever— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 8, 2020
The Toronto Maple Leafs will now travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens tomorrow night at 7PM.
Will Jack Campbell get the start?
Maybe, I don’t know.