First Period

Sean Walker steps in and shoots from the right side, just as the broadcast is discussing the Leafs lack of rightie defenders.

Leafs are struggling a little to exit the defensive zone, but not absolutely awful as they sometimes are.

The Flyers hook the puck over the glass under pressure, so the Leafs get a power play.

The team that leads in shorthanded goals gets a breakaway on the Leafs, and it hits the post. The follow up play, however, does not.

How it started:

And then:

1-0 Flyers

Leafs were already imagining themselves back up the ice rather than, you know, getting the puck and going there.

The Leafs then have to face that hot top line and get put in the spin cycle for a few minutes. That is the Matthews line, by the way, stuck in the mud.

The next Matthews shift is very different (not the Couturier line) but no one is going to say this has been a good period for the Leafs offence.

Leafs come out of the TV timeout looking like they just want this period over. McCabe goes to the dressing room early after taking a puck to the face area. His nose may yet just fall off. Which is some sort of metaphor.

This period blessedly ends.


I have no patience for the lunchbox theorizing of the simple game the depth players use being better so the Leafs simply won last game.

The Blues are not in the same class with the Flyers, and in this period, neither were the Leafs. No speed, no attempt to win a puck battle, no nothing.

Second Period

There were some post play scrum penalties, so things begin at four-on-four.

Max Domi gets the puck, and has time to think, so that didn't turn out well.

Everyone can see the wheels turning there, including the Flyers goalie.

McCabe takes a tripping call and let's see if the Leafs PK can limbo under the bar the Leafs PP set.

Well, they didn't get scored on, so okay.

Samsonov with a couple or three good saves.

Lunchbucket play from the Kämpf line, but the long-range shot is blocked.

Okay this long-range shot had a little something on it:

Tie Game

That's his 74th goal or something like that.

Tyler Bertuzzi adds to his fame with a great chance that ends in the goalie's pads.

Owen Tippett takes a penalty timed perfectly to ruin the Flyers transition.

Can Toronto keep this suddenly awake thing they have going on through the power play?

Well..... kinda. They give it up to Travis Konecny again by just being themselves, and then they do this by just being themselves:

2-1 Leafs

Matthews tries to do a McMann, but can't quite get it. The Leafs are a whole different team this period. They're defending very well as well as making smart decisions at speed.

And then he does it. After an intercepted pass stops his first chance, he gets another.

3-1 Leafs

A single period McMann from Matthews. has turned this into the Leafs' game to win.


It's not really fair to say the second period was all Matthews. It was a period where Mitch Marner looked like Mitch Marner most of the time. It's nice to see him do genuinely smart things under pressure. John Tavares looks like he needs a nap.

62% Corsi is not one guy.

Third Period

Samsonov has to make a sudden save, but otherwise it's just a lot of back-and-forth.

They show a shot of Hildeby on the bench, and unlike on the western trip, he doesn't look totally scared out of his mind.

Marner creates a situation where he can shoot for a Matthews tip. It just misses.

Simon Benoit with a big hit on Cam York, so Nicolas Deslaurier jumps in to fight Benoit. Deslaurier takes the instigator. I'm worried Benoit is going to break a hand, though.

The Leafs tempt fate and Travis Konecny by playing the first unit non-stop, but Mark Giordano has the moves on the inevitable Konecny break.

He also has the moves on a very embellished trip, which annoys everyone because how you can you embellish a penalty, and blah, blah, and you know how, you're trying to rules lawyer.

Get Gio the fainting couch for this one.

Sneaky dirty slash from Bertuzzi:

Noah Gregor takes a penalty with the game in the bag with a stupid shoving match after a hit.

Samsonov with a big save on the only shot the Flyers manage.

Post PP, though...

3-2 Leafs

Matt Knies with some of his defensive flaws on display.

Leafs. What are you like?

Bertuzzi takes a penalty to give the Flyers a fighting chance.

Yup. The worst PP ties the game. Konecny, of course.

Tie Game

Nick Robertson gets some Matthews line LW time.

Toronto gets lucky when a Tippett rush turns out to be offside.


It's December again. Leafs turn a sure thing into a coinflip. I am reminded of the Keefe line about doing just enough to lose.

Oh, beauty. Willy Styles comes on for the curtain call.

Leafs win!

Next game is Saturday against the Ducks.

But don't forget the PWHL tomorrow night at Scotiabank.