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FTB: Winners and Losers from Game 1 against the Blue Jackets

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Few winners on the Leafs side...

Columbus Blue Jackets v Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 02: Kasperi Kapanen #24,Nicholas Robertson #89,Alexander Kerfoot #15 and John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs look on from the bench in the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game One of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 02, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

NHL Games to Watch Today

Rangers at Carolina (0-1) - 12:00 PM (SN, SN360, TVAS, NBCSN, NHL.TV, FS-CR, MSG)
Winnipeg at Calgary (0-1) - 2:30 PM (SN, NHLN, NHL.TV)
Washington at Tampa Bay - 4:00 PM (SN360, TVAS, NBCSN, NHL.TV, SUN, NBCSWA)
Dallas at Vegas - 6:30 PM (SN1, NHLN, NHL.TV, ATTSN-RM, FS-SW)
Montreal at Pittsburgh (1-0) - 8:00 PM (SN, TVAS, NBCSN, ATTSN-PT)
Chicago at Edmonton (1-0) - 10:30 PM (SN, NBCSN, NHL.TV, NBCSCH)

Yesterday’s NHL Games

Arizona 4, Nashville 3 - Series 1-0 (Ping Pong)
Philadelphia 4, Boston 1 - Round Robin (Fuck the Bruins!)
Colorado 2, St. Louis 1 - Round Robin (Naz!!!)
Flavortown 2, Toronto 0 - Series 1-0 (Frustrating)
Minnesota 3, Vancouver 0 - Series 1-0 (Hair?)


The Winners

The Blue Jackets

They won the game. They pushed the Leafs hard, often over the edge and deserved penalties that didn’t come, but they got away with it and won the game. Boo Jackets.

Frederik Andersen

He deserved the win. He doesn’t start slow. It would’ve been a lot worse without him. By the numbers, CBJ had 2.75 expected goals in this game, so excluding the empty net goal, he stopped nearly two goals more than the average goalie in this game. Imagine a 4-0 loss... Yikes.

Anyone else?

Nope.

How’s that for paragraph length?

The Losers

The Entire Defense

God it was a horror show from each member in their own unique way.

Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl were soft on pucks all night long and couldn’t handle the Blue Jackets forecheck at all tonight.

Cody Ceci took two penalties, one of which he kinda deserves, but luckily the CBJ power play is as bad as the MTL power play it didn’t matter. He and Morgan Rielly got eaten alive in the shots column, they were given the most defensive zone starts on the team and they did nothing to suppress the chances.

I thought Travis Dermott played a decent game all things considered, I was the least mad at him. But in third pair minutes with zero defensive zone starts, he met low expectations. For Tyson Barrie, the Leafs big summer acquisition, it has been free-falling expectations and a failure to even meet them. Again, Dermott and Barrie took lots of offensive zone starts with John Tavares and Auston Matthews and they had positive corsi with them on the ice which should be taken with a grain of salt. Mikael Nahabedian was tracking zone entries and exits for the game and was kind enough to publish them to Twitter. Dermott was passable in the transition game, but Barrie was downright awful. Watching him play, he couldn’t get the puck out of the zone to save his life. Real shades of Matt Hunwick. Just jittery and wild, everything was rushed and incomplete.

The Leafs have Rasmus Sandin waiting in the wings, I wouldn’t hate a change.

Mitch Marner

Marner didn’t have a shot on goal the entire game, in the last five minute of the third he dove and blocked a shot. I’m sorry, but the team isn’t paying him $11 million to block shots. Asking for a first line winger and getting a Tim Brent with fewer shots than Frederik Gauthier. He had two offensive zone giveaways from passes in the final three minutes of the game. Sheldon Keefe also played him significantly less than William Nylander, who had over 20 minutes on the night, 19 of which at 5v5. Marner only played 18 minutes total and 15 minutes at 5v5.

His shot share was strong in the game, but all of the .53 expected goals from his line came from Tavares and Mikheyev on 14 shot attempts combined for the two forwards. Marner just wasn’t distributing the puck or making plays like he used to. There were a lot of giveaways and thoughtless passes, especially in the second half of the game. Marner needs a hard reset and I think it comes with something new for the power play.

Nick Robertson

Robertson hasn’t adjusted to the pace of play yet. He’s still taking too long to make a move, particularly passes from along the boards. Getting the puck from one place to another needs to be quick, and I’m finding he’s holding onto it too long, so he either gets smothered by a defender or the player he’s passing to has less time to do things once he gets it. These are growing pains, but ones you can live with in an 18-year-old.

Pierre Engvall’s more accustomed to the NHL game, and even though he’s a more boring player, he might be worth a shot in Game 2. Robertson looked gassed by the end of the game, and was really struggling to get back on defense in the third by the end of his 12:28 of icetime. The NHL is hard minutes for a player accustomed to junior hockey, it was never going to be easy for him to succeed.

Steve Simmons

Did you know Auston Matthews has single-handedly put all of Toronto’s hot dog vendors out of work since the pandemic?

Us, the Fans

That game sucked. It was boring, frustrating, underwhelming. And then we had to deal with the Leafs media getting into a pissing contest over practice attendance. There are a million things to talk about, but this is who we got, and this is what they want to talk about.