The Toronto Maple Leafs came into tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings undefeated in November and winners of their last five. The Kings themselves were on a four game winning streak. The questions tonight were:
- Could the Leafs keep the streak alive?
- Can anyone aside from Marner, Matthews, Nylander, and Tavares score a goal?
The answers, are in the recap.
Spoilers: No, and lol no.
Warm ups began with a family reunion, as freshly recalled Marlie Joey Anderson took part in the warm up skate, getting to share the ice with his brother Mikey who plays defence for the Kings. Then we had a back up and a starter reunited.
The game starts fast and furious, with both teams coming close to opening scoring and after 90 seconds we have five total shots on net between the two teams - highlighted (lowlighted?) by former Leafs Carl Grundstrom and Trevor Moore teaming up on Jack Campbell.
Campbell tested earlier against the former Leafs pic.twitter.com/eoZftMh6pm— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2021
We always talk about former Leafs showing up to play their best game against Toronto, but don’t forget there are Leafs who used to play for the opponents in most games. Tonight’s former LA King to watch is Wayne Simmonds, who seems to be on a mission to open scoring for the Leafs.
Another near-scoring chance for Simmonds— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2021
He's due pic.twitter.com/rhsR8Qutso
The Kings are owning this period of hockey though. While the Maple Leafs may be giving the crowd some great chances, forcing them to get on their feet and cheer, it’s not nearly as often as the Kings are making the crowd shout “Souuuuuup” by hitting posts and making Campbell dive for saves.
The Kings tenacity pays off, when former Maple Leaf Trevor Moore scores his first goal of the season after fighting his way through Nylander, Liljegren, Sandin, and Bunting.
He definitely earned that one, 1-0 Los Angeles.
Jason Spezza and Wayne Simmonds respond with some solid offense after the face off, but can’t beat Quick.
Solid keep from Sandin results in another scoring chance for Simmonds pic.twitter.com/HtK6ccJq6K— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2021
The Kings don’t care about the Leafs getting a shot off, they take another rush into the Leafs end, and Andreas Athanasiou makes it 2-0 Kings.
Shortly after things keep on trucking as TJ Brodie takes a holding penalty, giving the leaders a chance to score with the man advantage. They do their best to try, penning the Leafs in their own zone for most of the power play, with a goal just deflected away by Jake Muzzin blocking the shot. The power play ends without a goal, despite the Kings best efforts.
They get another chance! The Leafs are called for too many men once again almost immediately after the first power play ends. Michael Bunting serves this one. It’s not as LA dominated as the last one, and this power play also ends without a goal. The period ends 2-0 LA.
The Maple Leafs start the second with a few shots on net, and then get their first power play of the game when Trevor Moore is called for hooking and ruining one great chance for the Leafs and they score quickly, unlike the Kings who could barely get a shot on net. Mitch Marner sends a pass from behind the net to Tavares and the captain score to cut the Kings lead to one.
The Leafs are evening things up in the stats department, not letting LA control the game as much as they did during the first period. The Kings are still getting offensive zone time, but they aren’t as dominant in controlling play.
Jack Campbell plays the puck from behind the net and Auston Matthews start building up a head of steam at the goal line, skates down the ice, grabs the puck and almost beats Jonathan Quick but hits the post and it deflects out of the rink.
After a puck battle along the boards in the corner, Phillip Danault takes a shot on net, falling over in the process and the puck v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w-l-y trickles through Campbells legs and just slips over the line before anyone realizes where it is. The play gets reviewed but it’s a good goal. 3-1 Los Angeles.
After that it’s more of the same; the Leafs can’t score on.....Jonathan Quick? they can come close, but it’s like it’s 2012 all over again.
William Nylander wheeling and dealing pic.twitter.com/jB9fNN3iqN— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2021
The second period ends with the Kings up 3-1.
The third period starts with the same score.
It also starts with the usual worry that Ondřej Kaše has hurt himself.
He was favouring his shoulder as he skated back to the bench.
Michael Bunting is then called for tripping, barely, and the Kings get their third power play of the game. The Leafs get a couple good shorthanded chances, and the penalty kill is working very well this game.
Nothing of quality for the Kings as the Leafs kill of a penalty for the third time, and we see that
Good penalty killing to deny the zone entry pic.twitter.com/39VxcgIEO0— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2021
Kase takes a shorthanded shot through the screen pic.twitter.com/6w8Kz0vr3x— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2021
The referees aren’t trying tonight. Questionable calls on the Leafs, ignored calls on the Kings. It’s a shitshow in stripes.
The Leafs had a good couple chances at the Kings net, and the offence leads to Adrian Kempe getting called for hooking. The Leafs get power play number two. This one isn’t as well done as the first. we get some good passing but the Kings are in the shooting lanes, keeping the puck away from the net. The power play ends without a goal and halfway through the third the Kings still lead 3-1.
The Leafs are getting frustrated and starting to play the body more against the Kings who are making it hard to get to the net.
Kase drives through the neutral zone and drops Clague pic.twitter.com/h9EgHVS8nL— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2021
Despite leading 12-4 in shots 15 minutes into the period, it doesn’t seem like there’s much hope in getting one past Quick. The Kings get another rush into the Leafs end and the puck gets lost in the side of the net, leading Jack Campbell to flail a bit before covering the puck to avoid another wobbly goal like we saw in the first.
The Kings score their fourth of the game after intercepting a pass that was meant to get the puck out of the zone. A corner puck battle leads to Phillip Danault score his second of the game. 4-1 Kings.
Philip Danault once again. 4-1— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2021
The Leafs pull Campbell and right away Adrian Kempe scores in the empty net to make it 5-1.
Then three more minutes of the game happen and everyone goes home miserable they paid so goddamn much to be at this game. Boooooo is all I can say.
The loss ends the Leafs five game winning streak, but the streak of only one of four players being able to score a goddamn goal continues. It wasn’t a great game, but it’s a quick turnaround to the next one as the boys head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers at 7:30 on Wednesday night.