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Recap: Leafs beat the Flyers

By playing in the afternoon, they should just have time to fly out of Pearson by New Year’s Day.

Philadelphia Flyers v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images

Afternoon start! Whoo hooo! (Sorry, that means no Omar.)

First Period

Honestly, I have no idea who the Flyers even are other than Carter Hart this year is not the Carter Hart of last year.

The start of the game is extremely dull, with almost no shots for what feels like an hour.

William Nylander takes a penalty against Tony Deangelo that is at least partly a hook and not entirely him folding up like the proverbial cheap card table.

Mitch Marner gets the first meaningful scoring chance of the period on a shorty rush.

Unfortunately the irony setting is turned up to 11 on this game.

1-0 Flyers

The Leafs start finding their speed very late in the period and pile on some shots.

Nicolas Deslauries takes a holding call on David Kämpf with less than two minutes to go, and the shooting gallery continues, as does the saving from Hart on the power play. Yes it’s a 5F PP.

Thoughts

  • The Leafs dominated in SOG, and the goal was the Flyer’s lone effort for most of the period, but the Corsi was 12-10, so not a very good effort from the home team.

Second Period

Deslaurier gets a rush right out of the penalty box, but nothing comes of it.

Pontus Holmberg and Joey Anderson get a good chance, and they work well together. It looks like we might see Dryden Hunt play with them after the break.

Kämpf and Alex Kerfoot get a two-on-one, and while everyone knows who is going to shoot there, Kerfoot made Hart work for the save.

The broadcast just told us the km/h Kerfoot reached on his rush, and I can feel my brain shrinking.

A fairly ordinary offensive chance turns into a pushing and showing festival of brotherly love, as the Flyers are known for.

Travis Konecny and Jordie Benn take the penalties for being the biggest jerks in the scrum, I guess.

The Leafs are supposed to be great at four-on-four, but not much comes of the extra ice.

The Flyers come back with a “chasing the play” penalty, and the Leafs get to try the power play again.

The five forward power play is now so ordinary, it’s not worth mentioning. It also works about like any other Leafs effort — very good most of the time, but sometimes, they just don’t click, as in this one.

Deslauries draws a penalty, and the very bad Flyers power play is very bad.

The Flyers almost immediately take a penalty of their own, and the Leafs get a very, very long delayed penalty extra man for over a minute.

Lots of puck movement as the Leafs camp in the Flyers zone for the full two minutes, and I was going to complain about the lack of player movement, but the shooting for a tip technique pays off as the second unit is partly on the ice.

Mitch Marner made it happen, Calle Järnkrok is Johnny on the spot. Technically not a PP goal.

Tie Game

The Flyers take another “he’s too fast for me” penalty late in the period. He being Nylander this time.

Mitch Marner gets the go-ahead gaol with his patented one-timer in no time.

2-1 Leafs

Thoughts

  • The Flyers are really bad, and slow, and unskilled, and not very quick-thinking.
  • Less than 10 minutes of five-on-five in period two helped the Leafs focus on offence with all that forward-thinking power-play practice.

Third Period

Leafs get into the Flyers zone off the faceoff and chance, chance, chance and in:

3-1 Leafs

Time to play the bottom six a lot. Isn’t it cool how good they are at just making nothing happen?

Ilya Samsonov with a couple of nice on the ball saves. He’s still paying attention.

The Leafs play the spiritual opposite of a 5F PP when they have a lead like this. On the broadcast, you see two or three Leafs at most in the offensive zone. Unless it’s the Matthews line because those guys can’t help themselves.

No defencemen are hurt so Jordie Benn takes a penalty to make it seem right. Mark Giordano joins him a minute later in the box because he wants to sit down too.

During this PK, several people suggested the Leafs should trade Justin Holl.

Leafs kill it, Samsonov made one big save, and did I mention the Flyers are bad?

The fourth line gets the play in the right end of the ice, and then the Matthews line comes out and puts this to bed:

4-1 Leafs

Leafs top goal scorer William Nylander with number 20.

As good as the bottom six has been, Pierre Engvall has been the weak link today, and he gets confused in the defensive zone about his role. The Flyers grab the puck and (irony still at 11) Morgan Frost puts it home.

4-2 Leafs

You just imagine the Omar gif of his dad celebrating in the crowd.

Okay, hold on, who woke the Flyers up?

Joel Farabee gets one as well, and it’s a real game again.

4-3 Leafs

Wow. Farabee misses a wide open net that should have tied it. Leafs big boys puck watching defensively, and got spun a bit.

Matthews might have helped prevent disaster there. (Imagine the gif, eh?)

Kerfoot loses his stick and shows off the effects of those free tickets to the Whitecaps games with a great kick in.

Liljegren is going to the box for taking down Owen Tippett with a frankly pretty dirty crosscheck because the end of this game wasn’t close enough. Becauser only his hand makes head contact, they don’t even call it crosschecking.

1:10 to go.

So, if you’re trading Justin Holl....

And this is my shocked face. Farabee elbows Brodie in the nose and the Flyers take a dumb penalty. Not that I’m complaining.

Konecny breaks his stick as the horn goes, and that’s the Flyers for you. Giftwrapped chances from Leafiness Inc. and they don’t even open the box.

Thoughts

Next game is a the start of the near-western road trip in St. Louis on December 27.