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Rasmus Sandin leaves the game as the Leafs fall to the Jets

Knee-on-knee, and no penalty. But it was that kind of game.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Joe Woll vs Connor Hellebuyck, what could possible go wrong?

The Leafs dug in and showed some competitive fire against the Wild after a really poor first half of the game last night. That was good. A win vs the Jets would be better.

Lines, which you shouldn’t take seriously. Wayne Simmonds didn’t last long on the top line last night. No one ever does, really, save Marner. The top four by ice time on the team are Matthews, Marner, Nylander and Tavares, so the wingers are always in flux.

First Period

(I liked the Wheeler ceremony. Yes, it was long.)

This happened:

Nice backcheck by Timothy Liljegren after to show off his ability in the top four.

Leafs then take a slashing penalty as Wayne Simmonds sends a stick flying in pieces.

Whoa. Woll had to be sharp on a Dubois wraparound attempt.

That didn’t last long though:

1-0 Jets

Typical Leafs mixed-up defensive assignments on the goal against, and they send the Jets to the power play almost immediately when Jake Muzzin goes off for holding.

Liljegren’s stickwork stands out on the PK.

Connor Hellebuyck is Connor Hellebuyck:

View from the other side (from a reporter I like a lot):

Ah ha! The evil Jets take a penalty. And it’s Leafs-killer PLD going off.

I didn’t like the Leafs PP against the Wild without Marner, but moving Spezza up kills both units’ routine plays. And so it is again until the very last seconds:

Tie Game!

Nick Ritchie was very good there at the end of the PP.

The Jets take an interference call with just over a minute to go because Michael Bunting draws penalties by breathing.

And the rest of that PP will be in the second period. This one ends tied up at one-all.

Thoughts

Okay, see that orange blob? That’s what the Leafs allowed a not all that good team in this period. Last night they did that against the Wild and had to really, really dig down to get one point. Tonight, they’re against a team that everyone thinks is good defensively because of the goalie (sound familiar at all?). So while the Leafs usually can’t win with a backup in net when they allow that kind of offence against, they’re getting away with it tonight because they get to do whatever they like offensively as well.

Second Period

The power play isn’t powerful, and the second period gets underway properly.

And Woll lets in a stinker.

2-1 Jets.

Woll just barely makes a stop on the next odd-man rush against.

And again. The Leafs are unravelling, and letting Woll swing in the breeze here.

Third time lucky for the Jets on a rush by a former Leafs prospect and a guy the Red Wings couldn't figure out what to do with.

3-1 Jets.

Bunting takes a roughing penalty trying to rile up the Jets. This was a profoundly bad time to do this.

The Jets nearly make it 4-1, but the shot goes off the crossbar. Woll looks like he needs a breather.

He doesn’t get one:

4-1 Jets.

Woll has to stop a Wheeler breakaway. But then he doesn’t stop this:

5-1 Jets.

Sandin falls and another rush against is saved by Red Post, the greatest goalie to ever play.

So, uh... this game is barely more than half over, and Woll is going to stay in, short of death. The Leafs have decided to just let the game totally come apart now. Maybe one of those famous timeouts Sheldon Keefe invented would be a good plan.

The Jets take a penalty, and then another shorty rush leads to a penalty to Wheeler instead of a goal. The Leafs have some five-on-three time. Matthews gets it done on their best PP sequence all night:

5-2 Jets.

The Leafs still have some regular power play time, which comes to naught.

You know Hellebuyck is a god in goalie form, but even he can look bad:

5-3 Jets.

The teams play approximately two minutes at the end without a goal, but Bunting expressed himself to the ref.

Thoughts

  • If you missed news of Petr Mrázek in his Marlies debut, don’t ask the score like I just did.
  • The Leafs did it to Woll, but Woll did it to the Leafs too. Both can be true.
  • Everyone was terrible in this period, including the Jets!
  • Who is the top six? By 5on5 ice time it’s: Matthews leading the team ahead of all the defencemen, and then Tavares, Bunting, Nylander, Kerfoot, Spezza.
  • Is Liljegren really in the top four? No, of course not. He’s got the least TOI of all defenders. Sandin and Holl have nudged Muzzin out of the top four as well, but only by a few seconds.

Third Period

Woll has to be sharp again early, and the Leafs don’t look like the intermission helped them out.

Nylander nearly gets one, and he starts a mini-flurry, but it’s not long before the Jets are rushing the other way.

Matthews and PLD on the ice wrestling behind the play. Low-key rivalry in the NHL no one ever talks about.

They both go for something, complaints about how the refs just watching abound.

Sandin gets caught by Neal Pionk knee-on-knee in the middle of the play and hobbles off.

Pionk then gets absolutely clobbered by Jason Spezza. Sandin needs help to get across the ice to the exit to the locker room. This looks bad.

Grrrrrrrrrr.

Just, I’m so fucking annoyed at this. Also Spezza for Prime Minister.

No penalties for anything, not Pionk, not Spezza, and then it all blows up off the next faceoff and Simmonds wants to kill a guy, and oh, look at that, Keefe had Kyle Clifford out there too.

Simmonds gets two and ten, and this isn’t done. It’s like Pionk kicked their puppy, they all want some Jets blood. (Me too.)

Ah, that explains it. He means the epic zoo game suspension, not the other one.

And the Jets make it 6-3 on the power play, but at this point, who cares? I want Sandin to be miraculously okay.

6-3 Jets.

And then Woll is hurt when Dubois knees him right in the head. He should come out, no question, but we already know Keefe won’t pull goalies, they have to pull themselves when hurt.

Clifford and Brenden Dillon go at it, so this point is apt:

Five for fighting:

Bunting gets into a scrap near the end, but nothing like the heavyweight bout.

Oh, so Wayne’s 10 minutes is up. He ends up into it with... everyone. Logan Stanley comes in to save Josh Morrissey from Wayne’s ire. Sorry if you want outrage about all this ire. I have ire right now. A lot of it.

Thoughts

  • Zoo of a game.
  • I don’t like this double standard with goalies on head hits — Woll should have come out.
  • I am really upset about Sandin. He had a mixed results game, but when he’s good, he’s very good, and he needs to play.

Next game is Tuesday at home, so don’t expect much of substance on Sandin until they’re back home.