The Toronto Maple Leafs got curb-stomped offensively by the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night in a 9-3 defeat in Buffalo. Okposo and Skinner each got two. Skinner and Thompson both got three points. Alex Tuch had four assists.
Devon Levi stopped 25 of 28 in a sub-.900 performance for him, but it didn't matter because the Leafs didn't even reach 30 shots. For the Leafs, Ilya Samsonov basically asked to get pulled by the fifth goal against, his stat line finishing as five goals on 19 shots. Martin Jones didn't fare better, allowing four goals on 16 shots.
Shots were 60/40 in favour of the Sabres, expected goals were a worse 70/30 by the end of the night.
The Sabres gave the Leafs every chance to beat them by taking four penalties, including giving the Leafs a 5v3 and they even scored a shorthanded goal. Unfortunately, the Leafs gave up a shorty against and were completely flat otherwise.
This was (rightfully) the vibe shortly into the game.
Samsonov turns up the heat on his ass by allowing a floating muffin from Jordan Greenway to open the scoring. For crying out loud, what was that? This goal came after a strong start from the skaters, with the Leafs putting pressure on the lowly Sabres.
Superb edges. Elite awareness. Matthews catches Levi staring and swings a shot from the corner into the net.
Matthews' goal was only the second Leafs shot of the period, the other shot came from the fourth line after the goal against. The Leafs continued their habit of getting zone time, looking dangerous, but not being able to result it in a shot.
It was fun to see Liljegren doing AHL rushes against the Sabres, I missed those.
The Sabres took a couple penalties as the Leafs came back alive. Mattias Samuelsson was caught for holding Brodie first. And then with 22 seconds left in the power play, Jack Quinn high-sticked Matthews. At that point, the first unit had been out for the entire power play, so they sat for the second unit to get a goal on the 5v3.
Liljegren was the quarterback, Bertuzzi and Timmins got chances, but the puck was cleared as Samuelsson left the box. He had a breakaway on Samsonov – who looked beat – but Timmins came back to tie Samuelsson up to prevent a rebound.
The Leafs went back up the other way, still with the second unit, and it was Rielly (replacing a gassed Timmins) feeding Domi (who I still hate) for a goal.
Are you kidding me, Leafs?!
Just to keep track, that's a 2-on-1 for Benson and Mittelstadt against only Timmins – somehow. And then Power coming in for the rebound, completely unchallenged, which he buried into the blank cage. On the reverse angle, Benoit went for the hit on the zone entry. Matthews coasted to the net and turned to the wrong post. Nylander chased Benson to compensate, and then turned the long way when Power was coming down (his original guy). That's what putting yourself out of position does.
Yep, and again.
Marner fumbles (or tries to make a clever pass) a puck to him along the boards. Skinner steals it and roofs it for another Sabres lead.
Oh dear. The Sabres out-shot the Leafs 11-20, 5-12 on net. Samsonov let in a stinker, but the defense deserted him, and the offense didn't show up. Really didn't like that period despite a hint of a promising start.
Dahlin steps up, Samsonov never sees it, goal. This was while the Leafs were down 3v5 with Benoit and Gregor (holding and tripping) both in the box. Kämpf, McCabe, and Brodie did their best despite things.
With the Leafs having few actual penalty killers, and fewer when one is in the box, Nylander was out on the PK with Järnkrok, and they scored! This was the last competitive goal the Leafs would score in this game.
Samsonov pulled as a shot goes off his glove as the Sabres restore the two-goal lead.
One decade later, same goalie defeating himself, who also sucks.
Jones guesses on a shorthanded shot from Okposo, guesses wrong, and now it's a three-goal deficit. That was Jones' first shot of the game.
What do you expect to hear at this point. Oh right, the stats.
Despite trailing the whole period, the Leafs were outshot 5-14, 2-6 on net, and an astonishing 13% of the xG!
For a team that decided to sacrifice defense for more offense, it appears they just got a whole lot worse.
Has anyone ever heard of tying up a stick? Tavares also got caught drifting away from the front of the net in a difficult night for him.
Defenders chasing. Lots of time and space for the Sabres. Nothing to give. Skinner gets another.
I'm not interested in the praise Domi gets for his points. Want to know his stat line tonight? 2-12 on shots (14%). 0-3 on goals (0%). 1.52% on xG on a scale that goes up to 100. Reaves-esque.
Domi does another idiotic things. Can't hold his temper. Causes a scrum. Takes a penalty. Reaves-esque.