First Period

Calle Järnkrok gets the first shot of the game.

Tyler Bertuzzi gets a ping, and I'm left thinking that at a point, maybe quite soon, we'll start to see his chaotic style as a plus not a minus on the second line. JT and Willy play a fairly conservative and therefore predictable style offensively that gets success on skill, and Bertuzzi is just... a random number out there.

Toronto takes a tripping call when Mark Giordano skewers his guy's legs instead of just stopping him. To say the Chicago PP is bad is to understate things considerably.

Domi - Robertson - Järnkok. You know sometimes Domi's "pass you can see coming from space" works out well. Robertson with the goal, Järnkrok just underlined it.

1-0 Leafs

I complained about the Leafs letting the other team run up the shot clock in their last two games. They are not doing that this afternoon.

I was just thinking how Chicago makes the Leafs look like defensive geniuses after Jake McCabe just swipes it away from a guy. The sloppy play after that is one thing, but this goal is stanky, baby, like a week old herring.

Tie Game

Robertson gets a breakaway, then Matthews goes, and the pass off to Marner draws a penalty.

Chicago proves it can defend the Leafs power-play setup about 1000% better than they do a power play themselves. But they do know you can cross-check a guy in the face after the whistle and right under the eye of the referee while you're on the PK and he's near your net.

Okay, you won't believe this. The Leafs are called for too much man (they almost were during the power play too). There's only 17 seconds left, so this one will roll over to the second period.


I mean...

I know, absolutely, that goals don't come when you want them to, you can't try it over the line, you can only create good chances for good shooters. And yet, come, on, guys, you only scored once in this period?

Second Period

Well so much for that Chicago PP, Tyler Johnson takes a tripping call a few seconds in. Gio makes this happen because the oldest man in hockey is the best defensive defender on the Leafs.

And I mean that of course because TJ Brodie is the Leafs best offensive defender. Evidence:

2-1 Leafs

Connor Bedard comes right back with a Bedardian Spinorama, but Brodie has that well defended. He's a renaissance man, is Brodie.

LOL Ryan Reaves gets his first as a Leaf. Go to the net, kids.

3-1 Leafs

Toronto's fourth line with a long offensive shift against Bedard and the rest of the top line for Chicago.

Soderblom with a big save on Nylander who came in hard and all alone.

Wow. Someone is going to go all off on the RVH here too, but it was the right play, just, you know, you have to know where the puck is and move sometimes.

Two Sparksian Statue of Liberty misses here from Samsonov.

3-2 Leafs

At least this shot was a good one from in tight.

Dickinson tries for the hat trick on an out of position Samsonov, while the Leafs dither around in their own zone.

Knies and Domi get a two on some guys and manage to successfully defend themselves by just never shooting.

Mitch Marner, who I have found very absent from this game, with some excellent defensive play in the last minutes.


And, it's still a one-goal game.

Chicago has two goals on 1.12 xG in this game per Moneypuck.

Conor Timmins – this is his first game back, and he's mostly okay. Needed Marner's help along the boards there at the end of the period. He's got no flow, he's not relaxed, but why would he be. I'm just going to say that I do not understand why they didn't send him to the AHL on a conditioning loan for a couple of games. Maybe Sweden got in the way and the timing was wrong, but it would have helped him.

Third Period

And there it is. Hell, I'll give him a hat: 🎩

Jason Dickinson with the first hat trick of his career.

Tie Game

Let's just blame McCabe, so we don't have to look to hard at the Matthews line.

Samsonov misplays the puck on the glass and he is very lucky this game is not 4-3 Chicago.

Okay, somehow there's five fights at once because over here there's a hit, so Reaves and Seth Jones are over there wrestling. The hit on Domi looked legal but was hard, he then cross-checked a guy. But the result seems to be Reaves and Lagesson (who was into it somewhere else entirely with a different Chicago player). Two each in the box, and the result is just back to five-on-five.

Play that lasted five seconds and there's a big scrum at the Leafs net on the next whistle.

Bertuzzi hits Johnson hard, and the crowd wants to call the cops, but it's a tie game in the third, and it was a hit that started a long way from the boards.

All hell has broken loose because Samsonov had made a kinda save, and the puck came loose after the whistle, and a Chicago player, Boris Katchouk shot the puck into the net. Noah Gregor gets a roughing penalty for taking forceful exception to this.

Mike Johsnon is mad enough about this for all of us, as he feels Katchouk should bet an unsportsmanlike. It would be so DoPS if they fined him for it.

Chicago sure looks like the team with the upper hand all of a sudden.

Keefe is playing no one but the top six to end regulation until there's one shift left, and it's the fourth line with Järnkrok subbing in for Reaves. The Committee for Public Safety designed to get the Leafs to OT.


Don't show me the deserve to win meter, Chicago outplayed the Leafs in the third.


Keefe, thankfully, doesn't try that defensive line to start OT. I think that's stupid, and no one can convince me otherwise.

Samsonov with another make you nervous play out of his net that nearly goes horribly wrong. Then he makes a glove save with Nylander stuck out defensively with no stick.

Marner with a pass to Matthews that he has to double clutch on.

Nylander with a break, and it's not a goal. Posts and out. John Tavares dumping a guy in mid-ice to create that break was something else.

Chicago have Samsonov beat and miss. Bedard again misses. Samsonov is under siege, and finally Chicago get one by him. He fought hard, don't blame Sammy for that ending. Kevin Korchinski

4-3 Chicago

Consolation prize: Nick Robertson had a great game.