After four days off the Toronto Maple Leafs returned to Scotiabank Arena ice dresses up as the Toronto St. Pats, in honour of the holiday that was two days ago.
Gotta sell those jerseys.
The big news was the return of Jack Campbell and Wayne Simmonds to the line up and Alex Galchenyuk made his Maple Leafs debut. The team was so excited to have all these new faces in the line up they were distracted and missed defending for the first minute or two and Matthew Tkachuk opened scoring early.
Justin Holl isn't a fan of being down so quickly in a game and takes out his frustrations physically which leads to a cross checking penalty shortly after.
Holl called for crosschecking— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 19, 2021
Goes in on Tkachuk after he gets slashed pic.twitter.com/9zSDiDqHl7
The penalty kill works hard to tie the game, but just comes up short.
Mikheyev with another shorthanded chance pic.twitter.com/bHYm7KufCi— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 19, 2021
The Leafs kill the penalty but can't control play at all. Derek Ryan scores to make it 2-0 in the first half of the first period.
I'm sure he's taking vigorous notes on how to not be down so quickly. Or updating his resume.
Just past the midway mark of the period, Jason Spezza scores to cut the lead in half, 2-1 for Calgary.
While the Leafs score, the Flames continue to control the game, and they go up 3-1 with just over one minute left in the game.
Alex Kerfoot doesn’t want to go into intermission down two goals, and he scores the Leafs second of the game before the announcement of Tanev’s goal is over.
An uninspiring period ends with the Maple Leafs down 3-2, the Flames scoring three goals on only seven shots.
The Leafs come out in the second determined to not have a replay of the first period, with the play staying in the Flames zone for a good three minutes until a pane of glass at the Flames bench comes loose and play is stopped while it’s fixed.
Once we’re back in action the Leafs pick up where they left off, and Mitch Marner scores the tying goal, three all.
This is a forwards game, and neither goalie is picking up slack for the defense, and at times act like a liability for the teams. It’s nice that it’s happening for both teams this game.
Justin Holl checks Johnny Gaudreau and Johnny Hockey falls into the boards.
Holl with a huge hit on Johnny Gaudreau pic.twitter.com/cRabFKhV2T— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 20, 2021
As Gaudreau is slow to get up Juuso Valimaki comes to his aide and challenges Holl, who quickly accepts and before long Holl has Valimaki on the ice. Valimaki gets a two minute penalty for roughing and Holl gets nothing, so this gives the Maple Leafs their first power play of the game.
The Leafs are in the proper zone for the power play, but the Flames don’t give an inch of space for any quality chances and the penalty is killed by the Flames. Matthew Tkachuk feels like he needs to stand up for Valimaki and Gaudreau, so he challenges Holl to a fight and the two go at it in the offensive zone.
Justin Holl and Matthew Tkachuk drop em' pic.twitter.com/WkrfOYb4Pg— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 20, 2021
Someone is getting jealous of all this action.
Noah Hannafin gets caught up at the end boards as the Leafs come in hard. No penalties on the play, Hanafin seemed okay.
Galchenyuk catches Hannifin high— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 20, 2021
Didn't look intentional pic.twitter.com/w19SeFOHGj
Ilya Mikheyev gets called for holding. which gives the Flames another power play, and Mark Giordano quickly scores to end the penalty and he gets himself his 50th career PP goal.
There’s questions if this was tipped off Milan Lucic, but he’s denying it, giving the big goal to Giordano. After this goal, the Flames go back to controlling play for the final few minutes of the second period. Milan Lucic comes close to making it 5-3, but hits the crossbar and it sends the puck up and out, thankfully.
What a save by the goal post on Lucic! pic.twitter.com/CMg6DYvK0a— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 20, 2021
John Tavares gets called for hooking with 15 seconds left in the period, and that means the Flames will start the third with the man advantage.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Calgary Flames are 12-0 when leading after two periods. Neat fact.
Anyway it’s 4-3 for the Flames when they start the third period on the power play. BUT! They don’t get a single shot on goal before John Tavares’ penalty expires. That’s good!
The Leafs continue trying to tie the game, with shots missing, hitting posts, and sadly being saved. This is far from a great game by the Leafs, and you can tell there was a four day break ahead of the game, and the players are looking forward to another extended break after tomorrow.
Love the way Galchenyuk is digging in and winning battles pic.twitter.com/Alj9qGFzLC— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 20, 2021
Simmonds carries the puck in with the rush leading to a great chance for Spezza pic.twitter.com/mzevmrR4SK— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 20, 2021
Mikael Backlund is called for slashing Wayne Simmonds, and the Leafs go back to the p[ower play. They get set up in the Flames zone quickly, but no one can catch a pass, or they whiff on a perfect shot, or just catch the edge of the puck and it misses the net. Good set up, poor execution, and no tying goal.
Zach Hyman quickly draws another penalty, but Jakob Markstrom remembered how to play goal and caught and stopped every shot the Leafs put on the net.
The final two minutes begin and Freddie Andersen leaves the net to get John Tavares off the bench. A bouncing puck eludes the Leafs and Brett Ritchie of the Flames gets it, but misses the net by an inch. The Leafs call a time out with 1:05 remaining in the game.
Matthews passes to Rielly who whiffs on the shot. Nylander and Marner also try hard to get the goal, but the puck leaves the Flames zone and the Leafs are called offside.
The final seconds of the game are lost in the defensive zone and the Calgary Flames defeat the Leafs 4-3.
Overall a poor effort by everyone aside from a few bright spots. If Jack Campbell is ready, he’ll be starting in net tomorrow night when these two teams meet again at 7PM on Hockey Night in Canada.
The important thing is this game ended. Good bye game 31. No one will miss you.