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Game 31 Recap: Maple Leafs hit em with the 6

The game started sloppy but the Leafs dominated in the end

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs
TJ Brodie sliding into your DMs like Matt LaBelle requested
Photo by Claus andersen/Getty Images

New year, new winning streak? GO LEAFS GO!

PERIOD ONE

Leafs start the game drawing an early penalty and go to the powerplay. The best thing I can say about it is that they didn’t get scored on.

Leafs get another powerplay a few minutes later, but it went pretty much the same as the first one.

It’s looked like sloppy hockey all around. You’d almost think they hadn’t played or practiced much in a while and a bunch of them just came off COVID protocol! Spezza’s been good though.

Leafs have something like a 10-1 lead in shots on goal, but now they’re going to the penalty kill. Figures.

FIGURES THAT JUSTIN HOLL WOULD SCORE THE SHORT HANDED GOAL OFF A BEAUTY ASSIST BY DAVID KAMPF JUST LIKE WE ALL EXPECTED! 1-0 LEAFS!

AND ILYA MIKHEYEV SCORED ANOTHER RIGHT AFTER IN HIS FIRST GAME OF THE YEAR! 2-0 LEAFS!

Jack was clearly bored for most of the period, to have this little adventure...

First Period Thoughts

  • Shot share: Leafs held a 12-6 advantage in shot attempts at even strength, which is good but...
  • Expected goals share: They actually were behind in expected goal share, with only 44%. The shots they took at 5v5 was not good quality, while they gave up some dangerous chances at the end of the period. I don’t really want to overstate it though, since it was a pretty boring period at evens.
  • Special teams: They had two pretty dull powerplays, but scored two short handed goals on their one penalty kill. So... good special teams I guess?
  • Standouts: Mikheyev has taken a lot of their poor quality shots, but hey he actually scored on one of his breakaways!
  • Heatmap:

PERIOD TWO

Leafs starting the second period off stronger, getting this great chance and going back to the powerplay early.

The powerplay turns into a bit of pond hockey though... the Leafs give up a 2 on 1, which turns into a 4 on 2 the other way, which turns back into a 3 on 2 for the Sens after that where they hit the post, which turned into a 3 on 2 for the Leafs after THAT.

TJ BRODIE WRAPAROUND BACKHAND GOAL JUST LIKE WE ALL EXPECTED! 3-0 LEAFS!

Mikheyev has been pretty noticeable. Not always high quality, but his speed is always fun.

TJ Brodie has been scoring points and denying goals all game. MVP!

Late in the period, the Leafs somehow had a 2 on 1 led by TJ Brodie and Travis Dermott?? What a weird game.

Second Period Thoughts

  • Shot share: Leafs had a stronger period. They were less sloppy, offensively anyway, and led the Sens 20-8 in shot attempts at evens. But this time...
  • Expected goals share: They had better quality for it too, with 54% of the expected goal share. Now, that still tells you that defensively they weren’t giving up many shots but what they DID give up was more dangerous. They’re out shooting them 32-14 for the whole game but have just a narrow 50.62% edge in expected goals.
  • Special teams: Powerplay still looks rusty and meh. Penalty kill is alright.
  • Standouts: So TJ Brodie this game has denied a goal, denied a high quality chance, contributed three points, and had some nice stretch passes too. He’s already like a net +6 in goal differential between his offense and defense through two periods.
  • Heatmap:

PERIOD THREE

Leafs choosing to start the third period... less good.

The Leafs having their top line reunited with Bunting - Matthews - Marner is a reminder of how fun they’ve been.

Lowkey, David Kampf has been a fun addition too. Just in a less obviously fun way.

Leafs are in the standard turtle-mode with a 3-0 lead in the third period. Ottawa is catching up in shot attempts, but now the Leafs are taking advantage of their chances with better quality.

AND WEE WILLY NYLANDER SCORES OFF A BEAUTIFUL BREAKAWAY PASS! Great pass by Dermott, great finish by Willy.

LEAFS GET A POWERPLAY RIGHT AFTER AND ILYA MIKHEYEV SCORED OFF A REBOUND TOP CORNER SNIPE! Okay yeah Murray was also kinda completely out of the net but whatever. 5-0 Leafs!

WILLIAM NYLANDER SCORES AGAIN WITH A BLAST THROUGH TRAFFIC! THEY’RE RUNNING AWAY WITH IT 6-0!

Final Thoughts

  • Shot share: The Leafs finished the game with a big lead in shot attempts overall, though the third period finished tied. They were giving up more as they held the lead, but capitalized on their chances.
  • Expected goals share: Leafs had 57% in expected goal share in the third, which helped them finish at 53% overall.
  • Special teams: They finally got a PP goal! And had two short handed goals to go with it. So good night overall for special teams.
  • Standouts: Mikheyev had a great game for his first back. Had two goals, almost set up Kerfoot for another shortie, and was fast all over the ice. TJ Brodie was all over the place too, on offense and defense. Jack Campbell got the shutout, so there’s your three stars.
  • Heatmap: