SEGABABA time, everyone. Think good thoughts for Erik Källgren.
Keefe sent out every skater for warmup, and this seems to be the lines. Remember September? So does Keefe with that third line.
How your Buds lineup tonight pic.twitter.com/b6sMI70bsG— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 30, 2022
First shot of the game comes, wait for it... when a Leafs pass is intercepted and the Ducks get a freebie chance on a wraparound.
“Pass picked off at centre ice by Zegras,” is what I hear not long after.
Auston Matthews, after a pass from Rasmus Sandin that isn’t intercepted, hits the post. The important part here is the pass getting through.
Matthews rips a shot off the post on the rush pic.twitter.com/bbZ4jq1O6g— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
But then we get a cross-crease Ducks pass that left a wide open net if it had connected, followed up by a Leafs defence pass up-ice that is nowhere near anyone. It’s just so frustrating!
The Ducks take a hooking call.
Oh, that feel good. Matthews with an easy-looking goal. (There was some stuff before that, that was bad, but we’ll ignore that until the next power play.)
AUSTON MATTHEWS— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
Vintage Nylander to Matthews pic.twitter.com/YWTqb8GFEB
I believe this is the first time Källgren has played with a lead this season.
The Ducks get a couple of chances in tight, and so far Erik Källgren has it in hand.
Pierre Engvall point blank, bunts the puck into John Gibson’s pads.
And a three-on-two is ended with a whiff of a shot from Sandin that Gibson freezes, and then there’s an almost fight behind the net, and I’m expecting more of that.
Oh man, oh man. So close. (This all started with an actual breakout pass too!)
celebrated too early pic.twitter.com/O3dJmEkq3U— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
And of course. “A turnover by Toronto is in the back of the net.” They’ve been getting away with it so far, but their luck ran out.
Silfverberg ties it— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
turnover in the defensive zone pic.twitter.com/Vx6pFx4Tfv
Nick Robertson does a one-man cycle, and he’s looked very busy in a good way in this game so far.
Mitch Marner has the puck and is moving in offensively (after an effective transition pass) and... Michael Bunting is getting into a bit of stupid business with Kevin Shattenkirk. Timing is everything.
Bunting and Shattenkirk mix it up a bit pic.twitter.com/FQryfkM8ll— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
Whooo hooo. Filip Král falls and somehow that leads to the preseason line doing all the things they each do well.
lol bless Filip Král— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
his fall paid off pic.twitter.com/4Xj3EtwtSN
DENIS MALGIN— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
WHAT A PASS FROM NYLANDER pic.twitter.com/8RUI6zlihn
“Toronto has had more rush chances in this period than the rest of the trip combined.” It feels that way for sure.
Amazing save from Gibson on John Tavares before the goal announcement is even made.
John Tavares was robbed, what a stop by Gibson pic.twitter.com/dHjAC2X0B2— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
Källgren gets his chance to shine too, with a few saves late in the game when the Leafs get a little too loose defensively.
- Outcome analysis says that period was great.
- There’s a lot going on here, though. It feels like every successful pass is a precious jewel, and that’s an analysis influenced by recent games.
- But the Leafs, as a group, don’t seem to know where they are, where their teammates are, and they are passing it right to the Ducks. These aren’t turnovers, they’re giveaways. And the skaters’ disassociation from their physical environment is so reminiscent of the original October Freddie season, it’s a little eerie.
- But that period was about twice as good as period one vs the Kings.
Toronto gets an early power play, and they look pretty good, but there’s a mid-ice collision between two Leafs players for at least the second time this game.
chaos in front pic.twitter.com/m0F7Jm7RaX— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
The Leafs have some flow here, and seem to be making more of their time with the puck. And so they should, this is the Ducks here.
Toronto takes a holding penalty, and it’s Král with a little too zealous a defence.
The Ducks have no power play skill at all, but Källgren has to make some saves.
Troy Terry gets a post, and then the Ducks follow up with a shot Källgren has to save.
Gibson has to work it on the Leafs next cycle, which is not out at the perimeter. Looking good at times here.
now this is the Bunting-Matthews-Marner we remember— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
the goals will come with more shifts like this pic.twitter.com/8kbvfe60Fa
Matthews gets outskated comprehensively by Trevor Zegras and Källgren has to make a save on the resulting shot. The Ducks then get a three-on-two on a tired crew, and a real team has a goal here.
The Leafs are doing a lot of puck-watching and chasing in the defensive zone. They’re too late to get the pass, too slow to hit anyone off the puck, too tired to do anything with the puck. Källgren saves it in the end.
There’s been a lot of really long shifts in this period, and fatigue playing a role in how the game progresses.
Král blows a tire and Auston Matthews takes a penalty defending a breakaway, and yes, that should be a penalty shot.
The Ducks will open the third with most of a power play.
- The offensive flow is very much improved, although the Ducks had the shotshare advantage this period, and dominated most of the period.
- The Ducks don’t have the skill to capitalize on the openings Toronto is giving them.
- By 5on5 minutes the Nylander line is the fourth line tonight. And to make the tiniest effort to be fair to Sheldon Keefe, that all offence line can’t really play in the NHL outside preseason. Wait, I’m told Keefe made the lineup tonight... hmmm....
Weee! Forget everything the Leafs are great. Calle Yarn Croc gets a beautiful shorty on the Ducks power play.
CALLE JARNKROK— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
SHORTHANDED GOAL pic.twitter.com/cZqxWhjpdV
Kerfoot gets another shorty chance, and you know, I don’t think the Ducks special teams are very good.
Now we get the penalty shot!
Alex Kerfoot is hooked on a breakaway. (Yes that other one should have been a penalty shot if this is.) Kerfoot misses.
Wow. That’s sight to see. Not fun in this context, but... just as Mike Johnson is talking about the Leafs playing out the game with a simple low-danger system, Marner turns it over to Zegras.
And he is made for breakaways.
Trevor Zegras brings the Ducks within one— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
unnecessary stuff pic.twitter.com/lwhOxwNdXi
Gibson gets a stick caught in his equipment, and then Keefe calls a timeout to tell the Leafs stop or he’ll say stop again. He’s essentially ripping Marner right out in public, from the lipreading. Rightly so, to be honest.
Keefe during his timeout— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
mentions how both goals were given to the Ducks, looks like he might've gestured at Marner (both goals were from his turnover) pic.twitter.com/RSqP1PUJ7P
This works well because the Ducks hem them in like whoa.
Marner replaced by Malgin on the top line, which ends up with a one-pass-too-many play, but wow, calling out Marner, huh.
Marner left the bench in the timeout, and smashed a stick to blow off some steam. I’ve been there, and I can’t criticize him for that one.
Usual stuff goes wrong, and Källgren doesn’t play like an NHL goalie all in the space of 10 seconds.
Dimitry Kulikov. 3-3 pic.twitter.com/0HkQvH1us8— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 31, 2022
That’s Dmitry Kulikov there with the goal. He’s a defenceman. And not very good.
The Ducks score to take the lead. The Leafs challenge the play for the slim chance the situation room guys are asleep. Which they are. So... I don’t get it. Just putting my hands up to say I have no idea how this isn’t random.
Leafs dodge a bullet there.
Nylander is back with Tavares as the Leafs need to play serious hockey for five minutes to avoid overtime.
As the period closes with the shutdown line out there, you’d be forgiven if you thought the Leafs were playing for the tie, but they’re taking it to the Ducks. The very last shift is the Matthews line who have less offensive verve than David Kämpf.
Troy Terry with a good chance right off the faceoff.
(This crowd is heavy into this game. They smell weakness.)
Zegras dekes himself out of the puck.
Gibson with a huge save on Marner who thought he had redemption on his stick there.
Zegras scores after the faceoff win.
Ducks win it legit. Kudos to that very loud crowd.
- Your AHL fill-in backup is in net, do you a: play like you’ll die before you let him get the L or b: just fuck around and find out?
Let it all out, everyone. Vent all spleens, but remember who is and is not responsible for this team.