The Toronto Maple Leafs began their western Canada road trip with a stop in Edmonton, and have been gifted a extra day off to recover from being in Edmonton.
It wasn’t a thrilling start to the period of Brett Seney’s NHL debut, shots were 12-12 by the end of it, but it was sloppy defense and only a couple of out of your seat highlights from either team. One other item of note, aside from Seney’s debut, is that Brad Meier - of the Winnipeg clusterfuck game fame - is tonight’s referee. Boy how can that go wrong?
John Tavares called for interference pic.twitter.com/86q700F9Cf— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Well, an early power play for the Oilers may have been one way. However, the Oilers powerplay is as useful as a Jet in the Winnipeg logo because it doesn’t go anywhere. Not for lack of trying.
Zach Kassian cancels out the man advantage with a penalty of his own - interference - and the Leafs get some 4 on 4 time before they get their own power play.
Here’s one of those highlights I mentioned, Leon Draisaitl misses an empty net:
Jake Muzzin blessed by the hockey gods— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Draisaitl misses a wide-open net pic.twitter.com/7tf18QBGmV
Jack Campbell iS forced to make some saves that get the half of the crowd that is cheering for Toronto on their feet yelling “SOUUUUUUUUUUP!”
Campbell squeezes the pads on the Foegele shot pic.twitter.com/vlc3Oj90mx— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Another Brad Meier special, Duncan Keith goes after Michael Bunting but no call is made on the play.
At the end of the first period Leon Draisaitl is called for roughing Travis Dermott and the Leafs look to take a power play and start the second period with it.
How to score a power play goal in 10.4 seconds pic.twitter.com/wxhp8b1vQT— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
The Maple Leafs end the first period with a power play goal and a 1-0 lead.
The second period begins with a Timothy Liljegren giveaway and a save by Jack Campbell. We then get eight minutes of Oilers offense and not a single Leafs shot.
Campbell with a point-blank save on Foegele pic.twitter.com/bCdwF9DHfv— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Jack Campbell is handling this game pic.twitter.com/IryF3g6Z2p— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Shot counts be damned because when they finally do get one....
The Maple Leafs go up 2-0. The goal perks up the Leafs who pick up the offense, and get another advantage when Devin Shore is called for tripping Justin Holl. The Leafs get three or four good shots off on that power play, but no goals. Jack Campbell continues to keep the Oilers off the scoreboard.
Jack Campbell is the goodest of good soup right now pic.twitter.com/3v5zPd8eTz— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Shortly after we return to even strength, Evan Bouchard gives the puck away, TJ Brodie takes the shot and Connor McDavid tips it in, giving the Leafs a three goal lead.
T.J. BRODIE— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
TIMOTHY JIMOTHY SCORES pic.twitter.com/X2Db0lRgJC
As the second period counts down to its end, Justin Holl takes an interference penalty, but the Oilers won’t use that man advantage and we’ll start the third period with 14 seconds of a power play.
Connor McDavid: Joker Origin Story pic.twitter.com/c3NZyLK5Mj— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Yeah, the Oilers waste this little bit of power play too, but keep the pressure on the Leafs. Jack Campbell continues to be the last line of defence.
More wonderful reffing here. Just great stuff Brad.
Looks like Kase was slashed— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Oh look it's Brad Meier pic.twitter.com/rL3YhSUYvg
Everyone wants the new kid to score his first goal. Everyone on the Leafs anyway.
Mikheyev outworks Bouchard and sets Seney up pic.twitter.com/YyUoAbDT6J— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
Seney will be thinking of that all night.
A quarter through the period. and the Oilers dozens and dozens of shots finally pays off.
Colton Sceviour puts the Oilers on the board pic.twitter.com/CbvY7Ic5aV— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
The Leafs won’t put up with Campbells shutout being broken and one minute later they take back the three goal lead.
MORGAN RIELLY— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2021
WHAT A PLAY BY WILLIAM NYLANDER pic.twitter.com/3W8nAQ5Dxw
The Oilers pick themselves up and try to make up the for the huge gap in scoring, but can’t get anything past Jack Campbell. As the game comes to a close the Leafs step up their swagger and control the game, taking shots, making hits, and of course, scoring more goals.
The Leafs hang on to that and win the game 5-1.
The game started at 9PM Toronto time and it felt like it. The Leafs needed to warm up some, but woke up in time to score five goals and give the Oilers their sixth straight loss, capped off with the protest jersey being tossed on the ice.
Normally the Leafs would have one day off and play the Flames on Thursday night, but that game has been postponed, so the next Leafs game is Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks. Maybe.