The Toronto Maple Leafs are playoff bound, the Vancouver Canucks are not. Both teams decided to use this game to test out some spare parts before the year ends.
- Pierre Engvall (C/LW)
- Timothy Liljegren (RD)
- Ben Hutton (LD)
- Michael Hutchinson (G)
- Nick Foligno (LW)
- Morgan Rielly (LD)
- Jake Muzzin (LD)
- Jack Campbell (G)
For the Canucks Kole Lind made his NHL debut.
The game started as most games do, with a faceoff. Shortly after said faceoff Wayne Simmonds decided to punish Alex Edler for his knee on knee hit on Zach Hyman in his last game against the Leafs. Edler was suspended for the hit, but Simmonds wanted to make sure Edler knew not to try that again.
Simmonds wanted that one— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 29, 2021
Zach Hyman sends his regard pic.twitter.com/f5SPgnRdj5
Coming back to play, TJ Brodie snaps a shot off from the slot but it hits the crossbar, and the Leafs can’t recover in time to score in the midst of the chaos.
The Maple Leafs are not just being offensive tonight - not like that, this isn’t the Burke Leafs - they’re also working on a defensive game, with everyone chipping in.
The Canucks are...you know they’re here.
I think Quinn Hughes is done with this game already pic.twitter.com/8FQWvwGE6P— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 29, 2021
For a low event game like this one - shots after 15 minutes are 3-2 for Toronto - it’s been very fast, and entertaining. No trapping defense to bore you to death. Solid play from the Leafs with flashes of awareness by the Canucks. However, this play there was no awareness by the Canucks.
William Nylander is allowed to waltz into the Canucks zone and he easily scores the first goal of the game.
The rest of the period is all Leafs, but ends with less than ten shots total - 7 for Toronto, 2 for Vancouver. And Canucks coach Travis Green is not happy.
Travis Green is down to his last nerve pic.twitter.com/e0UCJ8K1lg— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
The Canucks come out hard to start with a scramble in front of the Leafs net thirty seconds in. David Rittich keeps the puck out and the Leafs head down the ice and Marner passes to Matthews, and they show the Canucks how to score. 2-0 Leafs.
The Canucks try some offense again and ths only makes the Leafs mad. Two minutes later Pierre Engvall scores the third goal of the game. 3- Leafs.
This assist from Jason Spezza moves him into 99th on the NHL’s all time scoring list, just above Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard, officially making Spezza a superior player.
Alex Galchenyuk feels bad for the Canucks, and gives them a power play by intentionally taking a tripping penalty. It’s very nice of him to let the Canucks have a man advantage for two minutes.
Gachenyuk sweeping the leg puts the Leafs on the PK pic.twitter.com/lORX4FcXWh— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
The Canucks blow the opportunity, and the game remains 3-0 Leafs when Galch emerges from the box.
The Leafs keep pushing for a fourth goal, Matthews tries to set Marner up, but it doesn’t get into the net.
Matthews returning the favour for Marner— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
Shot is gloved by Holtby pic.twitter.com/s0BFNLQMBG
Timothy Liljegren is kind enough to give the Canucks another chance to score when he’s called for hooking. Such a kind team the Leafs are tonight.
This time the Canucks score near the end of the power play. JT Miller shoots and the puck gets lost in Rittich’s feet and crease and it deflects off the goalie and into the net. A pass turned into a goal.
Maple Leafs still lead 3-1.
The period ends after Jason Spezza tries hard to end on a Leafs goal, and things get a little chippy between the two following this play. Nothing comes of it as the horn goes to end the second.
Spezza gets a pair of chances on Holtby pic.twitter.com/8reLELwJpD— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
Engvall and Virtanen exchanging words pic.twitter.com/7DZczKPfVi— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
The Maple Leafs come into the third period extra confidant, with some extray snazzy moves when trying to score goals.
Auston Matthews with a casual spin-o-rama backhand pic.twitter.com/0QgGp7RU3v— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
The Leafs are really taking it easy on the Canucks in this game, like they’ve been told to ease up on the gas. The game doesn’t mean anything, don’t get hurt, don’t embarrass your opponents.
Bayden Holtby doesn’t believe in this and keeps John Tavares off the scoreboard.
Great effort by Tavares to create this chance for himself pic.twitter.com/J5mpP1yL8l— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
Lots of practice with the puck in this game.
Timothy Liljegren is playing for a roster spot in the playoffs, and puts his body on the line.
Liljegren looks to be in pain after this block pic.twitter.com/sJcH0154BJ— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
At times the Leafs were taking it too easy on the Canucks...
This is why defensive zone positioning as a forward is important— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
Good breakup by Simmonds pic.twitter.com/WnkEJolCGn
The Leafs keep working, and they keep trying to score but Holtby won’t let another one in.
The Leafs young defense are really doing everything they can to show off to management tonight.
Bouncy one-time pass to Miller but Liljegren does a good job getting in his grill pic.twitter.com/3bDj37j1la— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 30, 2021
The Canucks pull Holtby with 2:30 left, and keep the Leafs from getting an empty netter until 1:03 left in the period where they call a time out.
Holtby is back in net after the time out and Mitch Marner scores to make it 4-1 off the face off.
The Maple Leafs will win this game 4-1. It was an easy game, not an ounce of stress while watching, and it got some underused players some time on ice.
Not a lot to say about this one, aside from it’s great to see some goals.
The Maple Leafs next play Saturday night at 7PM against these same Canucks.
See you then, and Go Leafs Go!