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Game Recap: Toronto Maple Leafs lose in overtime

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The Leafs started awful, recovered in the second, and salvaged a point thanks to Andersen

Toronto Maple Leafs v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs are taking on the Edmonton Oilers for the fourth time this season, after taking a 2-1 lead in their season series Thursday night. Here are the lines:

Hoping for a stronger, more dominating performance by the Leafs tonight!

PERIOD ONE

A back and forth start, albeit without much danger either way. Then a sudden flurry from Frederik Andersen letting a shot squeek through him led to Lehtonen making a desperation play with his glove. That led to a penalty shot for the Oilers, which Tyler Ennis took and missed. Game remains tied... phew, tense moment out of nothing. I was mad at Mikko Lehtonen initially but considering the situation, it was that or let the puck go in. Nice save, Mikko!

Good lord, Freddie is putting in work early this game. He makes two solid saves back to back — first on a two on one, then another a few moments later on the same shift.

The Leafs finally have a solid shift, and go figure it’s from the fourth line. Brodie almost set up Spezza a couple of times in front, and while they came close they couldn’t score.

Edmonton Goal: 1-0 Oilers

We’re over halfway through the first period and the Oilers have been pretty dominant, and they eventually capitalize on a Dominik Kahun goal when Marner was caught as the second defenseman. Kahun fanned on the first shot attempt, which Marner bit on and floated past him because he looked away on the block attempt, leaving Kahun wide open for the second attempt and Freddie already down.

Oilers rocking an 87% expected goal share through 13 minutes. Goin’ well for the Leafs.

A testament to how the period has gone for the Leafs. Oilers ice the puck, third line comes out. They win the faceoff and get some cycling going. Puck comes to the point, defenseman passed it along the boards. Puck bounces up, and Kerfoot jumps for it like a jump ball and knocks it over the glass. Cycle ended.

Toronto Goal: 1-1 Tie Game

BUT WHO CARES! The Tavares line went to work on the next shift and off a crazy sequence of puck juggling in the high slot, Nylander gets it and makes a nifty move in tight for the goal.

Edmonton Goal: 2-1 Oilers

Edmonton cycled it in the corner, and McDavid simply makes an amazing pass behind the net with Freddie not able to see where he was going. Archibald was unguarded going to the net and had an easy tap in to make it 2-1 with 14 seconds left in the period.

First Period Thoughts

  • Offense: They were ass. They had no offense the period outside of one shift by the fourth freaking line. Before they scored the goal, Edmonton had it up to 88% of the expected goal share. Their second good shift came on the Nylander goal, and I’m almost mad they made it out of the period tied considering how bad they were for all but two shifts of it.
  • Defense: They were ass. They weren’t stopping Edmonton through the neutral zone, and they weren’t stopping them from almost doing whatever they wanted to do in the Leafs’ end. It was ugly. Freddie was an adventure at times, but he kept them in the game with some good saves. It could have easily been 5-1 Edmonton.
  • Special Teams: They were ass, is what I probably would have said if there were any special teams needed that period.
  • Standouts: None. They were ass.
  • Heatmap:

PERIOD TWO

Hey, maybe be less ass this period, Leafs? Just a thought.

They thankfully start off stronger. Keefe loaded up a super-line with Tavares, Matthews and Nylander and Willy almost scored on a nice tip.

The Matthews line had a great shift a few moments later. Matthews set up Marner for a wide open shot in close, and Hyman had a wide open shot off the rebound. Koskinen made two very good saves.

The Leafs, starting to get going? Can’t have that! Nylander got two minutes for... well actually he used his hand to drag an Oiler to the ice, that’s a pretty clear penalty.

Edmonton Goal: 3-1 Oilers

Connor McDavid dances through everyone for a highlight reel goal, there really isn’t anything else I can say but wow.

Fun fact: before that penalty kill, the Leafs had almost doubled their raw expected goal total from the first period and had a 98% share in the second period. That goal against is a back breaker. I’ve received permission from the Kitten Management to turn this into a drunken recap. My first drink of choice: Hibiscus Saison by Royal City Brewing Co in Guelph.

Toronto Goal: 3-2 Oilers

Holy moly, the Leafs respond with a great shift by the Matthews line. Matthews and Marner played a 2x give-and-go and Matthews buried it over Koskinen’s shoulder from a sharp angle in tight. Wow. I had already gotten my first drink so I’m taking this as a sign that I need to commit to this drunken path.

Right after the Matthews goal, the Leafs go to the powerplay on a Draisaitl crosscheck with a chance to tie it up.

Toronto Goal: 3-3 Tie Game

I am reading the omens, O Gods of Ice Hockey! And I will obey your commands to sacrifice my liver for the Leafs. Mikko Lehtonen with a point shot, Tavares with the tip, and Hyman was in the right place in front to shovel it into the empty net.

A heart attack shift led by McDavid led Mikko Lehtonen into taking another desperation penalty, this of the traditional 2 minutes in the box variety. Freddie stood tall, the Oilers got four shots on the powerplay but the Leafs escaped still tied. I’ll drink to that!

Second Period Thoughts

  • Offense: As ass as the Leafs were in the first period, that’s just about as good they were in the second. Or that’s how ass the Oilers were... who the hell knows at this point. They had 67% of the expected goal share at even strength, and were about equal in all situations despite having 42 seconds of powerplay time to the Oilers’ 3:32.
  • Defense: They had a few lapses, but they held the Oilers to 0.36 expected goals in the second period compared to 1.48 in the first period. That’s a big improvement no matter how you look at it.
  • Special Teams: That powerplay was pretty effective immediately. The first penalty kill... I can’t even be mad, because Connor McDavid. The second one they didn’t look great, but Freddie did, and the divine protection granted by my libations did the rest.
  • Standouts: Pretty much everyone looked at least okay that period. The Big Guns did their thing, and the third line had some dangerous chances — especially Simmonds. Freddie stood tall on the few chances the Oilers had, outside of the McDavid powerplay goal.
  • Heatmap: It’s much better. I’ll drink to that!

PERIOD THREE & OVERTIME

More of the second period, less of the first period please.

Matthews got a chance right off the puck drop, but shot over the net. Marner came close to setting up Matthews on another rush on the same shift. Really strong shift by the top line to start the period.

On their next shift, the Matthews line generated a couple more dangerous chances. They’re all over the place (in a good way) this period. Mikheyev got dragged down to the ice and spun around on a rush, and somehow that wasn’t a penalty... I don’t even know anymore, man.

And the makeup call comes a minute later. Yamamoto took a kinda weak penalty in comparison, but hey cosmic justice is restored I guess. I’ll drink to that, ref! Marner had a GREAT chance, but Koskinen made an even better glove save. I’m not sacrificing my liver this game for you to do Marner dirty like that, Hockey Gods! I’m breaking out the heavy stuff — Pike Creek Canadian whisky!

I’ve really liked the look of the third line since the current iteration of Vesey - Kerfoot - Simmonds was put together, especially Simmonds. He’s looked dangerous all game.

Poor Mikheyev has had so many chances with his speed this year and just can’t buy one...

Freddie made a HUGE save with seconds left in the third period to save us a point... thank you Freddie! Off to overtime we go.

Edmonton Goal: 4-3 Oilers in OT

McDavid... sigh.

Final Thoughts

  • Offense: Overall, another not-great game by the Leafs. The first was terrible, the second was good, the third was sub-par with Edmonton controlling around 60% of the expected goal share.
  • Defense: It was an overall poor effort by the Leafs. They did better in the third, but there were times they were really passive at defending the rush through the neutral zone and that led to several good chances (and sometimes goals) off the rush for the Oilers. Freddie was the best defender of the game.
  • Special Teams: The powerplay was 1 for 2, as was the penalty kill.
  • Standouts: The Matthews line was really going for it in the third. Simmonds was dangerous. Freddie made some really good stops, especially in the first period when the rest of the team was ass in front of him.
  • Heatmap: