Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Be the better team, Leafs.

First Period

Brock Nelson goes down on a faceoff in what looks like a wrench to his knee. Hockey is a weird sport where you can get hurt standing still.

(He was fine after a trip to the dressing room.)

Just an amazing double shift in the Islanders zone that makes you think the Leafs do have “it” back. The Islanders survive to get a faceoff, but they just face the Matthews line as a chaser.

Nylander PING!

The commentators just spent 25 years discussing all the hits the big strong men on the Islanders land, and how smart the big strong men are for hitting, and how special they are, and hur hur identity. This is largely because hitting is all they’ve done so far.

Engvall loses the puck on a breakaway, and his blackhole is functioning well. Offense dies in his hands.

One of the big strong men knocks Denis Malgin down, so he just gets up and carries on with the puck. But let’s get real, when he loses it in the offensive zone and no real action ensues, you aren’t surprised. Because Malgin is fun, and a little sparkplug, but the goals never happen around him.

With five minutes to go, the Islanders have pulled even in Corsi, and as I was about to go on about their terrible shot quality, they uh, get one on a shot that deflects past Erik Källgren. A lot of chasing the playmaker by the Leafs on this one:

1-0 Islanders

Jordie Benn goes off for holding the stick when Mat Barzal is too much for him.

The Leafs kill it with their usual aggression, and only Barzal makes the team look dangerous as the period ends.


This is why you  play Marner with Tavares:

So after all that grart talk in the broadcast, a Martian watching his first game would be able to tell that Mat Barzal is the best player on the Islanders.

This isn’t annoying at all:

Second Period

The Leafs come out hard and there’s some exciting looking play from the depth again. If this is going to be a thing, I’m all for it.

Mr. John Tavares ties this game up a few seconds into the power play when our old friend Alexander Romanov is in the box.

Tie Game.

The Leafs follow up with some more relentless pressure.

Great flurry on Ilya Sorokin that comes to naught.

The Leafs go for four forwards and one defender on an offensive zone faceoff against the Islanders gritty fourth line. It doesn’t work right away, but once the extra defender gets out there for Marner, the puck is in the net courtesy of the Liljegren/Sandin pair and Auston Matthews.

2-1 Leafs

Hey, that was five-on-five.

Some extremely silly pushing and shoving ends up with three guys off the ice and five-on-five play to end the period. The refs carefully made 1 Bunting = to 2 Islanders tough guys, which is a good call because neither team should get rewarded out of this stuff.


  • That period was Leafs domination. Sorokin is why this game is close.
  • Calle Järnkrok has the second lowest TOI at 5on5 and the most shots and xG.
  • I don’t usually hate the broadcast and their silly obsessions with meaningless trivia like hits and faceoffs, but in this game it is driving me up the wall./

Third Period

Järnkrok (see the shooting stats above) fills in for the still boxed Bunting, and the top line is pretty good with him there.

Morgan Rielly and Kyle Palmieri collide and it looks painful.

Both have gone to their respective dressing rooms and are slow to return if this is just concussion protocol.

So far, the Leafs are defending extremely well without Rielly.

Suddenly a fight breaks out and it’s Rasmus Sandin (really) v Oliver Wahlstrom (really times two). Sandin is bleeding for five minutes as the Leafs cope with four defenders.

The Leafs only need one, though, because somewhere in there the Islanders took a too many men penalty.

Leafs with multiple chances late, but nothing is going in against Sorokin. But all this play in the offensive zone is good.

Järnkrok again nearly scores, and then it all goes to hell. Källgren gives the puck away and boom.

Tie Game.

There was no one at all to pick up the rebound on Järnkrok’s miss, and it’s not clear on TV, but it looks like Benn just backed off and conceded the rush against. Maybe he had to, but... it is what it is.

The exciting finish where both teams hold the puck along the boards is brought to you by the loser point.


If you believe hard enough, Morgan Rielly is fine, but he never returned.


No matter who wins, three-on-three is the second least important thing in hockey. It exists only to avoid the least important.

Liljegren takes the standard Rielly spot.

Nylander gives the puck to Barzal and Källgren saves his butt.

Mitch Marner gives the puck to Barzal, who lucky for us needs a change.

Trouble is Anthony Beauvillier (Barzal-lite) scores, and the Leafs gave the game away.

What’s that Keefe says about beating yourself? Yeah.