GO LEAFS GO!
Hey, for once the Leafs are the ones to get the first powerplay of the game. Please for all our sanity, score on this and start a blowout early.
Narrator: they didn’t. It looked like a pretty poopy powerplay outside of this one chance.
Marner and Matthews breaking through pic.twitter.com/sHCg1qljQP— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 17, 2022
But it gets better, because now Toronto took a penalty so they have a chance to go down 1-0 early.
Narrator: they didn’t either, and it was also a pretty poopy powerplay. After killing it, Engvall with his reach and great skating created a 2 on 1 chance for himself starting in the defensive zone, but was stopped.
We are now five minutes into the period, four of which were on a powerplay for either team, and there was a grand total of four shot attempts between both of them. At the risk of manifesting a curse, SOMEONE DO SOMETHING!
Toronto listened, because they had Arizona hemmed in for a solid two minutes, including a full line change while cycling in the offensive zone. No good shots or scoring chances got through, unfortunately. This does have the feel of a game Toronto will control like 60% of shots attempts and expected goals and lose 1-0. So far 10 minutes into the game and they’re sitting at 87.5% and 100% respectively.
And yet, with 5 minutes left in the period the shots on goal are just 5-3 for Toronto. Källgren hasn’t had to make any tough saves, but he may be consuming smelling salts at a record pace just to keep himself awake.
Källgren swallows the shot from the blueline pic.twitter.com/ogDk6zFGv9— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 17, 2022
With the period getting close to the end, Toronto goes back to the powerplay after — and you can’t make this up — Nick Ritchie takes a dumb penalty on Michael Bunting.
But Toronto got zero shots through to the net, and after it expired Toronto took a penalty with less than two minutes to go in the period. And the most predictable thing in the world happened, as Nick Ritchie scores to give Arizona a 1-0 lead, which is also Arizona’s first lead of the season. The period ends shortly after.
Nick Ritchie gives the Coyotes the lead pic.twitter.com/SvxIr0R4cw— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 17, 2022
First Period Thoughts
Offense: Honestly? Pretty poor, from what you’d expect a team like Toronto to have. They had 78% of the shot attempts and 76% of the expected goals at 5v5, but the actual quantity and quality of what they generated was low. Even with two powerplays and so much time in Arizona’s end, they only got 5 shots on net in all situations and didn’t even hit 1.0 in expected goals. That’s just simply not good enough.
Defense: It was... I don’t know if we can say “good” considering how bad Arizona is, but they gave up 4 total shot attempts at 5v5. Hard to do much better than that.
Special Teams: Their powerplays looked like poop and they gave up a goal on the penalty kill. That’s bad, is my commentary.
Standouts: Honestly, no one. Marner looked nifty but it didn’t lead to anything dangerous, outside of maybe one moment on the powerplay.
Toronto opens the period looking hapless at both ends. Not getting any real offense and giving up rush chances against. Källgren had to make his first hard save of the game.
After that, Toronto started to get a couple of at least decent chances through. But they’re also giving up some against. Neither really matters if they don’t start actually scoring some friggin goals.
one of the better chances on net for the Leafs thanks to Kämpf pic.twitter.com/zQsfrGxQLu— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 18, 2022
Arizona takes a 2-0 lead, and I want to rant for a second here. I know a defensive breakdown has to happen for the other team to get a shot from the slot. I know that shot is a good scoring chance. But Erik fucking Källgren what the absolute fuck are you doing??? He just... pushed himself off the post or stumbled, and left his fivehole open so he was basically not protecting anything.
And right after the goal, Toronto is defending in their own end and Justin Holl takes a delay of game penalty. They did kill it off, but after it they’re still spending more time in their own end. They went from controlling play and losing, to not even controlling play and losing by more. Not a great combination.
But they’re gifted another powerplay and jesus murphy do they NEED to score here and start turning the game around.
Narrator: they did not.
And with a couple minutes left in the period they took a too many men penalty, and are now being outshot by Arizona for good measure. This is absolutely fucking pathetic. It’s one thing to outplay a bad team and lose, it’s another to just look completely ineffectual and lazy just because you’re down by two goals.
Second Period Thoughts
It was bad. They’re losing on special teams, they’re losing at even strength, at shot attempts, at expected goals, everything. I can’t understate how bad they were in that second period. In the first, they were at least controlling play. They could not say that in the second. And I’m mostly annoyed because I know they could go for a month without losing a game after this. They could come back to win this game and go on that month long winning streak.
At this point I refuse to put in more effort into this recap than they are into the game. So I’ll only be adding anything to this recap if they ever actually do something for the rest of the game
Hey, they scored on a powerplay and JT got his 900th point. That’s something!
William Nylander finally breaks the dam pic.twitter.com/ZyUKOaNmgM— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 18, 2022
Oh hey, the dam’s broken. Marner scores off a rebound and it’s a tie game. That’s also something. Now it’s interesting again.
MITCH MARNER— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 18, 2022
Tie game off the tunover pic.twitter.com/O4tgmro9xX
But they give up a powerplay goal against after Justin Holl failed to clear it. Less interesting again.
Tie game again.... maybe! Alex Kerfoot scores off a crazy flip shot from the point led to a scramble. But the goal is being reviewed for... reasons I still can’t figure out. Apparently it was because of a missed stoppage in play, for a high stick or a hand pass maybe? And it was called back because of course it was.
The less said about the second period, the better. The third period was also pretty bad until they finally scored, at which point they looked more like the first period where they controlled play and didn’t give Arizona much of everything.
Until they gave up a late powerplay goal, because Arizona’s powerplay just can’t be stopped apparently.
To summarize the game? Offensively they struggled to break through the Coyotes at even strength for a lot of the game. They stacked the middle of the ice and scrambled to prevent dangerous chances, and Toronto just couldn’t solve it.
Defensively they struggled mostly with handling pucks in their own end and clearing the zone when they had opportunities too. Those were the costly errors.
Special teams was pretty bad. They had multiple powerplays where they couldn’t get a single shot on net.
And when they could have used a break, the calls from the refs/league review officials did not go their way.