clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nick Robertson bests the Stars in overtime

Not a lot seemed to go right for Toronto’s top line, but Auston Matthews was on hand to play support to the star of the game when it mattered most.

Dallas Stars v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Good Evening, Leafs fans. It’s time to play a real team — no more of this bottom feeder stuff. What could go wrong?

First Period

Lovely puck control from the Leafs for the first five minutes. Mitch Marner looks like he’s in prime form, and they’ve managed to make the ice in the SBA look good. You’d have to be churlish to complain.

And then, as it goes, Mark Giordano gets a boarding penalty for a fairly stupid hit on Jason Robertson.

Ooooh, nice shorty chance from the Leafs who are dominating this PK (and getting away with a trip).

(the trip)

Justin Holl dumps Mason Marchment for the most exciting thing since the Mete chance. The Leafs are doing well, but no one would call this exciting.

Marner tried to up the fun by handing the puck over to the Stars, but nothing comes of it.

Miro Heiskanen fell and helped David Kämpf down, but no call (remember the one they got away with?)

NRob gets a chance at the net, and that’s what the bored fans in the stands came for!

Tyler Seguin on a breakaway, and okay, that’s the Leafs we know, giving it up for a rush against.

And for all the talk about how the Stars aren’t dumping it in, it’s a dump recovery that leads to this goal from Luke Glendening:

1-0 Stars

Seriously? Glendenning?

Marner goes off on a hooking call, and Dallas has a much better power play this time. The Stars cut it short with a penalty of their own, however.

What is that smell? Oh, that’s a Leafs power play. Luckily it’s only a few seconds long, so the Stars don’t score.

Matthews spent the final minute of the period sore about this in more ways than one.

Thoughts

  • That was not epically shitty, it was worse, it was boringly shitty.
  • A good opening five minutes just faded away into this:

I like this one because it proves I wasn’t imagining that good start.

Second Period

You set the bar low, Leafs, let’s see if you can clear it.

The Leafs go to the PP a few seconds in on yet another really obvious trip.

Marner tripping himself on John Tavares and destroying a scoring opportunity is this team in one sentence.

Oh, pretty, though, really gorgeous in-tight play leading to the tying goal from Alex “still not traded” Kerfoot:

Tie Game

Getting the power play working all the time would be really good, Leafs, just a thought.

Leafs follow up with some excellent shifts and they’re going to the power play again. So is Heiskanen always a penalty machine or...?

Matthews, in not the greatest shift of his life, gives up the puck a few times and then blocks a shot off his foot.

Samsonov bobbles the puck when he has to make a save off a turnover, and everyone is lucky that didn’t go wrong.

And the Stars get another power play on what looked like guys in a scrum to me. Shrug.

And... Jason Robertson hits Marner behind the net and it ends up as interference because he’s just too far behind the puck. Back to four-on-four and then a Leafs power play again.

Samsonov with a big save as the Leafs turn to the power play.

Leafs get another power play when the Stars defend by illegal means.

And the Stars kill that but cue one up to start the third period.

Thoughts

  • The Leafs are currently very irritating to me
  • If I was a Stars fan I’d be steamed about really stupid penalties from top players, if the reffing wasn’t “balanced” they’d have had five more
  • Samsonov has been very good at times, very necessarily so
  • The Leafs have 8 Corsi For in each period at 5on5
  • They had so much special teams time, they had 20 in total in period 2, though, and the power play has looked dangerous

Third Period

So what happens when you call out your elite players and Alex Kerfoot is your best forward in the next game? (Okay, JT likely is, but that doesn’t sound as incendiary.)

Matthews with a great shot on this early power play, and you keep proving this is just a little slump, we’ll sit back and watch. (Good lord, that was his first SOG.)

Whooooooooooo hooooooooooooooooo NRob takes the lead on a good Michael Bunting play (he’s been pretty good this game).

2-1 Leafs

(Sad I’m missing the “goal-scorers goal” jokes in the GDT.)

That was almost a goal by the second power play unit, the penalty had just expired.

Wow, Robertson just misses on a mixed up line with Engvall and Nylander. The Tavares line with Nylander and Robertson are the only line over 50% xG, and Robertson on the second power play unit is stealing the show.

Kerfoot flips the puck out, and off he goes.

The puck goes in, but it’s waved off on the ice. Hard to overturn that one, but Dallas is challenging saying that is not goaltender interference.

I don’t think it’s a goal, but...

Eighty years later the verdict is Tie Game.

This is one of those deals where the player who was pushed into the goalie is judged the cause, not the guy who shoves him. It’s a point of view I don’t share on these.

Jason Robertson is trying to win the game now. Samsonov is really getting worked here.

Dallas goes off again on a roughing call.

Matthews is losing his 5on5 matchup hard, and now on the power play, he and Marner are just... not clicking here at all. Rough game for them.

Mark Giordano takes a hard hit and ends up down and taking a knee to the head. Leafs go to the power play with just over a minute left.

Esa Lindell gets the first shot, because there’s a stupid pass that he picks off.

Not a very aggressive power play, and to overtime we go.

Thoughts

  • Big step taken by Nick Robertson at the end of preseason, and it’s showing in this game. Wonderful to see.
  • Victor Mete played very little, but I liked him.
  • Dallas is big and tough and not slow and can defend very well — their penalty taking is just weird.

Overtime

OT starts with the Leafs on the power play.

Kerfoot so close to winning the game.

The play stays four-on-four for a long time, and we end up with Robertson v Robertson, but no one has won it yet.

The Leafs take a timeout so they can put the top guys back out.

Nylander picks off the puck and gets a rush busted up by the ref in the corner.

Marner’s rush is no good.

Whoa! Nick Roberston!!! Nick Robertson!!!!

What a set of plays OMG.

Wait, I need more: !!!!!!!

He gets caught back, makes a huge, huge defensive play and he gets it going up ice and Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!!!

Leafs win!

It’s like a movie.

I want more: !!!!!!