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Leafs blow 3-1 series lead, speechless

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Upset is the most generous way of putting it.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Seven
TORONTO, ON - MAY 31: Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during Game Seven of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on May 31, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs go gently into that good night, the Montreal Canadiens go to the second round. The score of the game was 1-3.

Brendan Gallagher, Corey Perry, and Tyler Toffoli scored on the Leafs.

William Nylander scored for the Leafs in garbage time. He finished the playoffs with five goals and eight points against the Canadiens, by far the best Leafs player.

Disclaimer, the recap gets pretty dark by the end. I won’t apologize for anything I say in it.

First Period

Marner got the first shot of the game from the point. Most of the other chances for Toronto came from the perimeter within the first five minutes. Hyman had a drive to the net, but he backed off and went around the net instead. This is something I’ve seen the first line (especially Marner) do a lot and it’s not really worked. Full steam ahead, let’s go.

Nylander with a great back-check here that helped keep the puck from getting in the defensive zone.

We got a heart attack moment a few minutes later when Holl gave the puck away in the defensive zone and Dermott failed to break up the pass on a 2-on-1 between Byron and Anderson. Anderson luckily didn’t get a handle on the puck as Campbell was fully scrambling. The Leafs got away with it, but woof.

While the second pair was a bit of a tire-fire, and the third pair getting pretty light usage, it’s so good to TJ Brodie on the team.

Spezza nearly tipped this puck over Price’s shoulder, but it was just too low.

After One

5v5 stats:

  • Shot attempts: 17-20 (46%)
  • Shots on goal: 8-12
  • Scoring chances: 5-6
  • Expected goals: 0.23-0.39 (38%)

Thoughts:

The first period can be summed up with the following heat map. Blah, blah, and a big fat blob of blah from the right side of the point. Holl, Marner, and Brodie were the main culprits here.

Blah.

Our healthcare workers have the energy, where’s yours, Leafs!!!

Second Period

0-1

Turnover from Marner and Gallagher beats Campbell five-hole the other way. I don’t know what Marner’s instincts were, but he was dangling across the blueline in front of two defenders. No plan to dump it in, no plan to go back and reset. Poor decision making and it goes the other way. Campbell should’ve had it, not sure what else you can say about that.

Hyman had two chances after from around the net, but there was a wall of Habs defenders in his way before even getting to Price. No penetration.

All night the Leafs have struggled to get the puck to Nylander. Kerfoot was no exception on a 2-on-1 with the top scorer. It’s just so frustrating. Matthews had a rush chance on Price, but he missed it on the short side (might’ve touched Price or the post).

0-2

After some calls both ways that were let go, the refs chose Engvall to penalize with hooking. Other penalties weren’t called minutes before, but for some reason this relatively weak call was. Perry tipped home a point shot past Campbell, doubling the lead.

Leafs get a power play to start the third with Armia going to the box.

After Two

5v5 stats:

  • Shot attempts: 14-11 (56%)
  • Shots on goal: 6-5
  • Scoring chances: 5-2
  • High danger scoring chances: 0-3
  • Expected goals: 0.37-0.29 (57%)

Thoughts:

I don’t know what to say. The big blob of death has only gotten bigger from the right point, there is a massive void in front of the net. I don’t know what you want to hear. The Leafs gave up the first two goals of the game. Scoring three goals isn’t impossible, but from this vantage point in the game, it’s looking damn impossible. You already know what the result of this game is, but I don’t, but I’m sure we both know what it is.

The Leafs combined for 0.61 expected goals through two periods, no wonder they haven’t scored.

And through what only can be described as osmosis, the Leafs have acquired Tyson Barrie.

Third Period

The Leafs did nothing with the power play.

Oh hey, Gabriel Landeskog is a free agent. Maybe the Leafs can get Sam Reinhart for the cheap. Would need to shed some salary to get both done. But wherever will we find $10.916 million in cap space?

It took 13 minutes into the third for Matthews to get his first shot on goal.

Maybe we can convince the Sens to give us Brady Tkachuk too. Tell them Marner comes with his own sponsors. He only costs $6.2 million in salary — that’s much closer to his true value. We paid the front end for them. $31 million in two seasons. All of that good for four primary assists (and no goals) in the playoffs.

If you have a problem with me writing these things, feel free to go revoke the journalism degree I don’t have.

Matthews and Hyman showed off some pace and nearly got something going, but they couldn’t get by the wall of Habs and Price, again. Spezza is now playing with Kerfoot and Nylander. 10 minutes to go in this god awful game.

Not a penalty.

Leafs get a power play with Weber in the box, but Sandin can’t hold the line. Nylander is on the unit. Nylander created a chance for Marner, who didn’t shoot. Nylander then got his own one-timer that hit Price’s pad.

Five minutes to go. Campbell goes to the bench with four minutes to go.

0-3

Toffoli scores the empty netter.

1-3

Nylander scored his fifth goal of the playoffs within the last two minutes of garbage time.

After Three

Full game 5v5 stats:

  • Shot attempts: 42-37 (53%)
  • Shots on goal: 23-20 (ok sure)
  • Scoring chances: 18-10 (didn’t feel like it)
  • Expected goals: 0.98-0.80 (55%)

Thoughts:

What do you want me to say?