First Period

Some excitement early when Simon Benoit passes across and the Leafs winger (Domi or Bertuzzi) sort of kicks it and a breakaway the wrong way ensues. Ilya Samsonov has to make a good save.

Tanner Pearson gets a post.

They get another chance off the next faceoff.

I don't like this start.

Tyler Bertuzzi bobbles the puck. If this keeps up, Mitch Marner will be on the top line before the first is over.

John Tavares with a beast of a shift (albeit against mostly AHL guys) and the Leafs finally get a second shot on goal.

Joel Armia runs his own face into Bobby McMann's shoulder.

More Samsonov saves on the Canadiens' first line.

Auston Matthews with a nifty move, but no goal. Still, it's nice to see some actual offensive skill.

Speaking of, McMann with a post.


Worst period of play Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi have produced with Auston Matthews. They are getting stomped by Nick Suzuki et al.

William Nylander is just not really in the game meaningfully and he can't drive a line, and he can only just not be bad defensively, and he's basically Nick Robertson without all the qualities that Robertson uses to succeed there.

John Tavares winning his matchup to an extreme, but so far Mitch Marner still looks like he's in his first game back.

Second Period

Happy Birthday, Boosh! Look I don't care if Domi tipped it, this is a birthday goal for Ilya Lyubushkin, the only defender in the NHL to turn 30 on a team with a defender a decade older.

1-0 Leafs

Wow, Keefe must have really yelled in the intermission because it's 64!

2-0 Leafs

Modest improvement from Matthews' wingers.

Suzuki gets some time against the Blond Robertson line which makes Samsonov busy again. He started the period making saves while they watched.

They get half a shift a little later with Bertuzzi and end up in the offensive zone where Nylander is... the net-front guy.

Okay, now I have to stop picking on this dumb line:

3-0 Leafs

Nylander out where he belongs, and the right guys are at the net-front.

Oh and there's a fight because of some hit. And if you like that sort of thing, you'll have to go looking for the film, as Omar is off tonight. From what I saw, Reaves just about pulverized Michael Pezzetta which is well, there's another goal, so never mind what that is.

4-0 Leafs

Mitch is back. Helping to make too much McMann a thing again.

Bertuzzi goes off for high-sticking when he accidentally swings his stick into a person and not the puck.

That was quick.

4-1 Leafs

Those Londoners, you gotta watch them.

Oh and now some stuff along the boards. Wow. That's really exciting. Okay, to be honest I get where Jake McCabe is coming from in having enough of the new, improved, rattier Gallagher. They both go off and we have some four-on-four.

And we get Nylander on the fourth line! Ryan Reaves seems to have vanished post-fight again.

In an event foretold by many, the Canadiens score again:

4-2 Leafs

Cole Caufield should also be watched.

That should sharpen the minds of the Leafs at the start of the third.


Was that the Leafs better or the Canadiens worse? Who can say. Okay, I think the Leafs started to connect on some passes and to skate a little harder.

David Savard is very quietly the best defender in the game.

The last 10 games of the season should be two periods long.

Third Period

Leafs spending some long stretches in their own zone early on, but no real scoring chances from either side have appeared.

Some weird stuff after a whistle where nobody really did anything. A little playoff taste for you when someone likely will have done something.

I don't like the start of this period either, as it's all Canadiens.

More Nylander on the fourth line, now in place of Dewar.

Finally! A power play as the Canadiens find McMann to be too much in front of the net.


Why is all the play in the Leafs end? Not a great debut for the reunited power play.

The second unit is better until they try to handle the puck and then it's first period Domi and Bertuzzi again.

There were four SOG, apparently, but well, never mind, Reaves has a breakaway, and I think I'll watch that twice.

With just over five minutes left, who is winning the full game matchup? I'll tell you who isn't: the fourth line are getting absolutely killed. Must be why Nylander got some time there, to help them out of the defensive zone. Connor Dewar has been frankly unplayable at five-on-five in this game.

The Matthews line are now gods who own the Canadiens entirely, as are the Tavares line, and Nylander, well, best not to dwell on that.

Jake McCabe and Simon Benoit are, to put it nicely, struggling, but the Canadiens so lack talent they can't get any quality shooting or good scoring chances though all those holes in the Leafs' game.

Montréal pull the goalie with just over two minutes left. And Bertuzzi chooses to pass to Nylander but it goes astray.

And that's the Canadiens until next year.


I cheated and wrote them while the game was still on, so see above.

Next games are a Monday and Tuesday back to back at home to Pittsburgh and away vs the Devils.