First Period

Dallas starts fast for a team that played last night.

Nick Robertson gets on the scoresheet first as the injured party in a high stick. The Leafs get a power play five minutes in.

Nylander wires it home.

1-0 Toronto

Not the greatest PK ever from Dallas, but who cares, the Leafs need to play with the lead a whole lot more. It's not secondary scoring though, so I'm sure it's bad that they scored.

For all the Stars couldn't disrupt a single pass on the power play against, they sure are right there to break up all Leafs' offensive chances.

Jake McCabe takes a penalty for, to be honest, being unable to outman Mason Marchment. Dallas to the power play.

William Nylander is first unit PK with David Kämpf and Calle Järnkrok out.

Mitch Marner with a very creative sliding puck steal and Matt Knies gets a breakaway. Knies is playing the last 20 seconds of the PK, a job that used to be Nylander's. Good work from Knies.

Scott Wedgewood with a really dumb move to pop the puck right back to John Tavares, and this is your reminder than Wedgewood is not very good.

Tyler Bertuzzi gets in on the high-sticking fun, and sits for two minutes.

The puck is in the net before the announcement of the penalty is done.

William Nylander (on the first PK unit, remember) takes the faceoff and isn't David Kämpf.

Tie Game

Okay. That's a bad one. The Stars have late-career Evgeni Dadonov on the fourth line, and he just makes fools of the Leafs here.

2-1 Dallas

Not good, McCabe. This is not getting it done, Reaves. Back the film up a few frames and you see the Leafs top line utterly failing to maintain possession in the offensive zone and then making way for the least talented Leafs.

The capper on the period:


Thanks guys, one and all, for making me talk about Ryan Reaves. Why isn't Kämpf on IR so any member of the Marlies could be called up? Hell, Make it Kyle Clifford, I don't care. It's stupid, it's not the real problem, McCabe made the worst play, the top line failed to leave the ice tidied up when they went off on the change. Keefe decided he needed to give that fourth line a shift.

But cripes.

Think I'll make that the headline. And this can be the header image:

Second Period

Morgan Rielly gets smashed into the boards and he doesn't look 100% after.

Reaves just going from guy to guy in the corner looking for a boarding penalty.

Dallas takes a hooking call, which is a miracle because the Leafs have done nothing to inspire that kind of panic defending.

Wow. Tavares does the Benn and it's a Tie Game.

Oh, how I've missed this! Bobby McMann is too much man and Dallas gets another power play.

Matthews and Marner on breakaways on the PK is both wonderful and kinda strange. Nylander gets a break. And the crowd finally is up for this game.

Pontus Holmberg does the proper fourth liner job of drawing a penalty.

Another Matthews goal!

3-2 Leafs

Reaves turns in one of his best shifts ever.

Pontus gives and Pontus takes. This time it's a holding penalty where I'm meant to think this is a good time to "build trust" in the fourth line against Matt Duchene and co. Sure.

McCabe is really mad about a hit from Marchment, and he's got the bloody nose from the visor on the late hit. He got right back in the PK, though like he should, he waited to do the yelling.

That should have been called, I tell you what.


The score is much better. Were the Leafs? It's not actually hard to outdo 25% Corsi, their results at five-on-five in the first period. So yes they were. They got to 47%. But when you add in the power plays, they look almost like a hockey team:

Third Period

Samsonov picks the wrong direction, but the shot goes off the post.

Meanwhile it's the McCabe vs Marchment show all over the ice.

This is a very open game this period.

Wedgewood with a great save off of Marner.

Nylander with a great chance, and you can't accuse the Leafs of turtling that's for sure.

Dallas gets a penalty shot when Dadonov wears Giordano as a blue coat on a breakaway.

And he scores

Tie Game

Mitch Marner says no.

4-3 Leafs

You know. This game is growing on me. Nylander from Tavares:

5-3 Leafs

Someone tell him 60% didn't feel like enough.

Benoit takes up the challenge and goes for Marchment.

Mason Marchment is built out of rock. These two Leafs defenders are definitely hurting themselves more than their target.

The puck goes for a stroll in the Leafs crease, but someone swats it to one side.

Dallas pulls the goalie, but the Leafs PK this exactly the way they the powerplays (they get the puck and never score).

Uh-oh. Dallas gets one back on a very slow and ponderous passing play.

5-4 Leafs

Not spectacular play or timing from Samsonov there.

Just over one minute to go.

It looked a little dangerous at the end, but the Leafs clear the puck and win this one in regulation.

Next game is Saturday.