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First Period

Ryan Reaves knocks down a random defenceman, and then Jake McCabe takes the retaliation from Ryan Lomberg who heads to the box. I swear McCabe takes some kind of punishment every game.

The Leafs power play looks pretty good, and again, Connor Timmins is my number two for that job behind Morgan Rielly.

Lomberg gets a breakaway, and Ilya Samsonov has him cold.

Mark Giordano makes a hit on enemy of the evening Lomberg and then basically hugs the guy to the ice. Obvious holding call is obvious.

The Panthers power play is very bad. Nice to see someone else with that problem.

Woooooo that was lovely. But wait a second, and rewind with me. Sheldon Keefe puts his Holmberg/Knies/Robertson line out when the Panthers have possession in the Leafs' zone. He intentionally sent them out to end up defending. And they do! They get the puck back, get it to Nick Robertson and it's 1-0 Leafs.


2-0 Leafs

(That's some stone cold horrible defending by the Panthers.)

Leafs take a penalty under pressure. John Tavares dumping Vladimir Tarasenko.

Sammy grabs a puck on the goal line after it bounces in behind him, which is the only power play excitement.

Whoa. Niko Mikkola (Reaves' victim) lands a hit on Holmberg and Matt Knies goes and fights him. Knies takes the only penalty because the original hit wasn't much.


Sending a message! Pack mentality! Blah, blah. Sure you gotta be tough on the man as well as the puck, but the Leafs seem to play this all to sincerely and end up in the box. I don't miss the days when someone got creamed and everyone just stared in disinterest, but don't take it too far the other way.

Corsi is even at five-on-five, and the Expected Goals favour the Leafs with 59%. Stay out of the box, win the game.

Second Period

I'm shocked when the Panthers score just as the power play ends. McCabe doesn't clear the puck properly, Knies doesn't join the defence effectively, and Samsonov has no idea where the puck is.

2-1 Leafs

Okay, well, it's that kind of game. Tyler Bertuzzi gets it right back.

3-1 Leafs

I can almost tolerate this line until some defensive zone time happens and then I want Mitch Marner back.

The Panthers take a penalty right after the goal. I don't care if they stay out of the box, so that's excellent that they have no emotional control.

This is not a very good Leafs power play and involves a lot of giveaways.

Robertson makes a bona fide nifty move and then Timmins blows it by bobbling the puck, and that's why he isn't going to get playoff time and won't be the PP2 defender.

Leafs doing a good job of keeping the puck in the right end of the ice here. Yes! Sick hands David Kämpf with a very good goal.

4-1 Leafs

Net-front battle. (And I am this close to saying something complimentary about Reaves, which would then raise the uncomfortable question about how the coaching of Keefe brought him to this point, but I've been thinking this for a while now.)

Panthers took a penalty on the play as well? Who is this ref?

Nick Robertson is doing everything he has in him to make the playoff roster in this game. He's a dynamo on the power play.

Yes! Speaking of making the roster, Holmberg and Knies team up for number five.

5-1 Leafs


Ilya Samsonov had a very brief period of empty brain syndrome, but he got over it fast.

This is essentially a perfect game to play vs the Panthers. Now, for extra credit, Leafs, figure out how to do this vs the Hurricanes.

That's just awful from Florida, you hate to see it.

Third Period

Leafs have chased Sergei Bobrovsky and Anthony Stolarz is in.

Amazing tip from Tarasenko on a shot from the famous Mikkola.

5-2 Leafs

Samsonov just barely makes a save after the Leafs decide not to get the puck and clear the zone.

Lyubushkin wins a defensive board battle – easily – and then all the other players watch him get double-teamed so he can't pass the puck. They do this constantly, and I don't understand the issue here. Some kind of zone discipline taken too far?

Simon Benoit with what starts with a great defensive play and ends with a dumb penalty.

Samsonov with another save on the line. This game could have a very different score. Panthers get a post, but don't cause any other mayhem.

Can the Leafs play 11 minutes without getting a penalty? Reaves tries hard to say no to that.

Sam Reinhart gets another one.

5-3 Leafs

Leafs call a timeout, so hopefully that will stop the chaos level of this game.

Well that helped. Panthers get an odd-man rush and ring it off the post.

Domi gets a break, and looks for Matthews to pass to, but he has to shoot himself, and it's not that good a shot to be honest. If he made decisions (even the wrong ones) a little quicker, he might not need to ride in a sidecar.

Samsonov, again, has to reach back for the puck.

Panthers pull Stolarz, but can't sustain offensive pressure.

McCabe with a black eye and a generally banged up face, bats a puck out of the air and nearly banks it into the empty net.

A big scrum around the net as Florida nearly scores leaves McCabe bleeding. Of course. He's been excellent tonight.

Sam Bennett makes it 5-4 as for reasons known to no one, the fourth line is out for this shift.

62!!!! and 6-4 Leafs

His second ENG of the season! This one was earned.


I thought I was being a bit hard on the Leafs after the second, considering the roster and the score, but you know, they had the door open all night. It just took the Panthers a long time to notice.

Samsonov was a little spacey at more than one point in this game.

Paul Maurice loaded up his roster with penalty minutes and hits. It did not work.

Next game is Wednesday against the Lightning.

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