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Recap: Leafs Play Lifelessly and Lose to Red Wings

The SEGABABA curse reared its ugly head once again and condemned the Leafs to a bad, boring game

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

There are a couple of changes to the lineup tonight for the back-to-back. We’ve switched to Kerfoot on the second line with Bunting and Nylander, which Keefe used for the latter part of the game against the Predators anyway. Larger changes are Hunt and Timmins out for Simmonds and Benn, respectively. It looks like Keefe’s hoping Benn will bring some stability to Rielly’s game.

Period 1

Bobby McMann! Less than a minute into his second game, Bobby McMann follows up a contested faceoff and brings it to the net for his first NHL goal. 1-0 Leafs.

The Red Wings challenge it for a kicking motion, though, and McMann is still without his first. Boo! (It is the right call, but still) 0-0 again.

Tough go of things for McMann.

In the few minutes following the goal called off, the Red Wings seem to be slightly carrying the play, and Samsonov has to make good saves on a couple of Red Wing chances — nothing particularly dangerous, though.

Benn makes a nice play here to stop the Red Wings from getting a good chance.

Red Wings goal. 1-0 Red Wings.

Rielly misses a pass to Marner in the neutral zone, and Larkin takes the puck, skates into the zone, and drops it off to Raymond for an open shot. Benn gave Larkin a lot of space to skate in there, rough play for him.

Red Wings seem to be really carrying the play after their goal. Leafs haven’t put up much of a response at all.

Red Wings get a great chance that bounces off of Tavares’ skate right to a Red Wing in the slot, but Samsonov gets his pad out for a great stop. Shortly after, Nylander sets up Kerfoot for a nice chance, but Hronek blocks it. If any Leaf looks comfortable offensively in this game, it’s Nylander, but nobody’s created much of anything yet.

Simmonds gets a penalty for interference, and we’re off to the PK.

The PK is relatively uneventful, though, and we’re still at 1-0 Wings.

After 1

The Red Wings seem to be buzzing, and the Leafs seem like they played last night. The Leafs are keeping the Red Wings to relatively few chances but have created almost nothing offensively. As a result, xG are relatively even at 0.56 - 0.47 for the Wings (NST), but it hasn’t been a particularly exciting game.

The Leafs’ one PK was good, and the Wings created very little on it. We’ve had no PPs.

Onto period two, not a good first from the Leafs, but they’re not out of it by any means.

Me neither, Sheldon.

Period 2

30 seconds into the period, Benn gets a roughing penalty. Off to the PK again.

Not much going on early into the PK, but Giordano makes a nice block on a Kubalik one-timer.

Just after, Kubalik drives the net and loses it, leaving Berggren with the open net, but he hits the post. Leafs get a penalty on the play, so we get a 30 second 5-on-3 PK.

The Leafs stave off the 5-on-3 easily, and seem to be doing well with the ensuing penalty, until a breakdown and a Red Wings passing play leaves Fabbri open in the slot. 2-0 Wings.

This game is not much fun so far.

A few shifts later, the Tavares line gets some extended zone time, and a nice passing play between Tavares and Sandin gets Sandin a goal. Sandin’s attempted pass goes in off of Larkin’s stick. 2-1.

On the next shift, Hronek gets a penalty for holding Nylander, and the Leafs are going to the PP for the first time in the game. Let’s tie it up here.

Early in the PP, Tavares tips a Marner shot-pass on net for a decent chance.

The powerplay is pretty good; the Leafs get a couple of decent chances on it and seem to get a bit of momentum from it too. They’ve got a bit more jump now.

This is a pretty slow game so far. Not much from either team at 5v5, and not much on the Red Wings’ three powerplays until their goal. Both teams are on pace for fewer than 30 shots. Gio’s asking the refs for clarification during play.

Red Wings make a great passing play and Samsonov has to make a great save on Adam Erne. Right after he makes another on Walman. Wings with two of the best chances in the game so far, but Samsonov bails his team out.

The game’s picked up in tempo since those chances, and the Leafs do not seem to be defending as well.

Bunting almost gets a breakaway, but Hronek doesn’t let him. Frankly I don’t know how Hronek didn’t get a holding the stick penalty, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

Late in the period, Benn makes a big hit on Rasmussen.

Sandin and Liljegren do their best to keep the Red Wings from breaking in on the rush.

Holmberg gets a nice backhander off the rush as the period ends, but he gets stopped by Husso.

After 2

The second period felt better than the first because there was at least a bit of offense, but the Leafs allowed the Wings far too much in that period by my eye. Expected goals, 0.41-0.22 Leafs at 5v5 (NST), disagrees, though, and says that the Leafs created less that period than they did in the first, but defended better.

The PK was still okay, especially given that part of it was a 5-v-3, but the Wings did create more this period than the previous one, and they scored a goal. The Leafs’ PP was solid, but they weren’t able to score on it.

Overall, it was a better period than the first. I still don’t like this game much.

This is pretty nice, though:

Period 3

The Wings have a good offensive shift to start the period against the Tavares line, and some good plays by Seider remind me that he exists. He’s really been having the classic sophomore slump.

Nylander gets a great chance on the next shift, but Husso stops it. Bunting wants a penalty on the play as he’s taken down in front of the net. The refs don’t want to hear it from Bunting, though, so no penalty.

Leafs are getting more chances now. Tavares cuts to the front of the net and tries to tuck it in, but no luck.

Shortly after, Sandin gives it away to Bertuzzi in the offensive zone, but Samsonov doesn’t flinch as Bertuzzi tries to go between his own legs.

Holmberg’s getting some playtime with Nylander and Bunting now, and he draws a penalty after getting tripped into the end boards. It looked like a dangerous play as he went hard into the boards, but Holmberg seems to be ok.

Leafs’ powerplay now with a chance to tie it. This is a very bad powerplay, however. Nothing going here, no shots on net, and the Leafs are still down 2-1.

The Wings get a solid chance right after the end of the PP, but Samsonov is up to the task and stops it.

Rielly makes a nice defensive play on the Wings’ 4-on-2, and almost starts a 3-on-1, but Marner Baubles it in the neutral zone.

Leafs going to the PP again as Holmberg draws another penalty. Now would be a good time to have an actually good powerplay.

Decent start to the PP. Husso makes a good save on a Nylander one-timer.

Bunting gets a great chance on a pass from Tavares on the rush, but he hits the outside of the net on his backhand.

The dads are watching the chances closely too.

Right afterwards, Tavares gets a slashing penalty, and the penalty is over. Nothing much happens on the 4-on-4, though Nylander did go for a good skate in the o-zone before being knocked over by Chiarot.

The Leafs are really struggling to gain the zone. The Bruins get shutout at home and lose for the first time, so if the Leafs tie it, there’s a chance to gain ground for once. The Kraken have 7 straight wins now.

And the Leafs pull the goalie and the Red Wings immediately score a 200 foot empty-netter. 3-1 Wings.

The Leafs enter the zone and Seider gets the puck and almost scores again, but it’s an icing.

Nylander gets a high-sticking penalty with a minute left. Wings go to the powerplay with the game all but over, and the Leafs will have to pull the goalie to make it 5-on-5.

Seider scores on the PP on a wrist shot from the point. 4-1.

Game over. Wings win. The Leafs play an old-fashioned SEGABABA-with-travel type game and lost. Boo.