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Recap: Maple Leafs clinch a playoff spot in the Canadiens’ rink

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Word is the Canadiens will have a ceremony and hang a banner next home game.

NHL: APR 28 Maple Leafs at Canadiens Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Senators beat the Canucks in a classic game they will put in the HHOF on loop - 6-3 the final score. So that means the Leafs clinch if they win tonight in regulation.

First Period

1-0 Leafs

2-0 Leafs

Thoughts

Ummmm. Okay, truth, I use NHL Live and they didn’t air the first period of this game due to some technical glitch, so I got nothing.

Habs shoot from weird places. They did this the other night vs the Flames too.

Second Period

Muzzin from two old men, there, and Spezza is now chasing Rocket Richard for points.

3-0 Leafs

I’m enjoying the old men in the bottom six. I hope they get lots of chances at playoff games.

Whoooo hoooo. Campbell actually makes a save on a breakaway!

Sandin: not just a booty hitter.

Leafs pin Kotkaniemi and friends, and this game is starting to look like a steamrolling of a tired Canadiens team that is never in sync.

Boooo. You hate to see it, but Nick Suzuki scores on Campbell.

Bit of a screen, not a great Holl moment, and Campbell never seems to see it at all.

Keefe thinks it’s offside, but chooses not to roll the dice:

3-1 Leafs

Okay, but... Wayne Simmonds makes a great play to steal the puck off os Corey Perry, the dirtiest of Habs, and he passes it to Mikheyev who just... bobbles it away. Every time I try to get used to Mikheyev in this lineup that happens.

And that’s the second period, the Leafs need to hold this lead and it’s back home to face the Canucks.

Thoughts

  • Montreal is leading in shots, 31 - 25 Corsi, 18 - 14 SOG at five-on-five.
  • Let’s score adjust that and we get 26 to 29 Corsi, so yes their shot advantage is score effects.
  • Now, what about Expected Goals in All-Situations? 1.46 to 1.14 for the Canadiens.
  • This is the typical Montreal game. They can control the play, even while losing badly, to get well over 50% Corsi unadjusted. But when you start picking away at it, all they have is that numerical advantage in shots.

That is not going to win you many games, even if your goalie isn’t getting done over.

Meanwhile the Suzuki line plus Jeff Petry is owning John Tavares tonight, so that’s not ideal.

Third Period

Adam Brooks really moves the puck well. Imagine ever thinking he’d be on a line with Joe Thornton that’s not in the Swiss league? It’s good to see for however long it lasts.

Galchenyuk to the box for high-sticking.

The Montreal power play is so predictable, that when Weber lets the blast go and Jack Campbell topples over, you just nod and say, yup, that’s all they’ve got.

Their 71 (Jake Evans) is a scrappy guy who might go places. By which I mean, they’ll get disappointed in him and trade him to Vegas for magic beans someday.

The Leafs look a little inattentive, by it’s Marner who gets the breakaway, and he finishes it like Mikheyev. Way it goes sometimes.

Woooooooooooo! Brooks with the wide open net!

Bad goalie play there.

4-1 Leafs

Leafs with a power play with 8 minutes left, and Tavares gets a Ping! proving he’s alive in this game.

Not sure this old man (Thornton, Simmonds, Spezza with Sandin and Galchenyuk) PP2 unit is such a great idea. They look more than a little unclear on what they’re doing.

Everyone sat at centre ice and watched the clock tick down to the end of the game.

Thoughts

No matter how many times they said the Canadiens were outshooting the Leafs on the broadcast, it never made the Canadiens any better. They were never in this game, and if you never shoot from in tight against the Leafs, it’s because you never tried to.

Good game from Campbell, great game by Matthews.

Leafs clinch, and as far as I’m concerned, they did that three weeks into the season, so now it’s just official.

See you tomorrow night for the Canucks!