Stanley Cup Champs. In their house. How hard can it be?
Yikes! Freddie makes the first great save after a pinch by Barrie goes wrong.
Barrie gets caught pinching and the Blues get an odd-man rush. Faulk passes the puck to himself off the boards but Freddie makes the stop#Leafs x #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/WBiEKv6ru8— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 8, 2019
That’s a terrible goal for Winnington to let in, no way should he buy in on Marner shooting, but who cares!
Hyman with a decent, but not world-beater shot from the circles makes it 1-0 Leafs.
Yeah, but the Blues, though. And Dermott doing, I don’t know what there, an AHL move, I guess.
Whoo Hooo, a classic William Nylander zone exit, neutral zone carry and zone entry, creates a goal from Auston Matthews. I’m sure the intermission panel will be all about some mistake he made, though.
Rielly takes a tripping penalty, because the game had gotten fun there for a second.
Wow! The PK is rocking. Absolutely rocking, super aggressive, and the Blues get one great chance against, while the Leafs just control the puck most of the time, And then Zach Hyman (hat trick watch, OMG) gets the shorty:
This shorthanded goal from the Leafs had an expected shooting percentage of 40%. pic.twitter.com/TBu6Huo3vz— Evolving-Hockey (@EvolvingHockey) December 8, 2019
Do the Leafs need a big-scoring game? Yes, they do.
Dermott redeems himself by drawing a penalty, so goody, this means the Leafs power play gets a chance.
Marner golfs a puck in midair over the wide-open net. That and a couple of one-timers from distance are the first unit’s efforts, which... It’s okay. It’s not scary good.
Marner got close on the wide-open net but batted the puck wide #Leafs x #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/AtkxBSyD8d— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 8, 2019
LOL. I love this. Morgan Rielly IS better at the PP than Barrie, and he does NOT belong on the second unit. He controls the puck at the blue line, sends it over, and Jason Spezza lasers it in. Not a high-danger shot, but a high-schadenfreude shot.
The Leafs are up 4-1, and the Blues are bringing in Jake Allen. He’s good this year, though.
Spezza takes a penalty for a high stick to kill the offensive flow. But that’s okay, I’m enjoying the Gauthier-free PK.
That PK was almost more fun that the Leafs are five-on-five. I really like this new extreme risk-taking PK. If you’re going to do that, do it big.
And that’s the big first period. It was fun, I’ll give you that.
- Pontus Aberg did a few smart things in the d-zone which was really fun to watch.
- Nylander was the best skater for the Leafs. Some guy named Robert was for the Blues, but I get them mixed up.
- There were an alarming number of turnovers from the Leafs.
- Binnington was crappy, but we deserve a crappy goalie once in a while./
- Ohhhh, that’s why the PK was actually more fun than the five-on-five.
- Pierre Engvall rightly got some commentary on the broadcast about his PK and Spezza with the PP goal was fun, but this fourth line is really terrible at five-on-five. So far Kerfoot’s line is worse.
- Most of the five-on-five shooting was by defencemen./
The Leafs hosted the Blues in their own end for most of the first five minutes. This collapse below the hashmarks defence system works to defend that sort of thing, but you’re also pretty much stuck there with a dump out as the only option.
Kerfoot takes a penalty for a puck over glass during all that Blues pressure.
Time for some fun!
This is less fun. The Blues are just dominating here too. I feel like maybe that first period wasn’t St. Louis’s best effort.
Kerfoot draws a penalty on the, I think, only Leafs offensive effort in the first half of the period, which was a rush by Hyman.
WOW. That was an epic fail of a power play. Barrie gets tied up with Marner and almost nerfs the entry, but they do make it in, and Auston puts in one that is what is called a variance goal.
The Leafs celebrate their goal in the traditional way with an offensive zone penalty from a defenceman.
One of the Roberts takes a puck in the mouth, and I think it was the good one.
Hey! Jake Allen made a save. Is that... about number three on the period? Maybe four.
And that (really rather dull) period limps to a close with a few shots from the Leafs.
- Nice to see Matthews actually at the net, even if it was on a power play.
- Yes, okay, the “Activated Defenceman” thing really irritates me. I’ll try not to drone on too much about it, but I hate it. Holl was all activated when he took a dumb penalty, and Barrie hit the activation button twice in the first and pinched for no reason and caused a rush against.
- The Blues totally dominated the Leafs, well beyond mere score effects, and the Leafs got the only goal. That’s hockey./
We’re playing track meet hockey here, trading chances, which is...weird given the score, but it beats how the second period started.
Or does it?
The Leafs do that thing where they all face the puck and ignore the players behind their backs, and boom - goal.
(Dermott is having a crappy game.)
Keefe calls a timeout to settle down the team that, well, you know, they’ve been bad all game at even strength, so I don’t know what that’s going to do.
Dermott is now having a very crappy game as he fights Troy Brouwer. I mean. Yes there were provocations, but... ow. This is the Leafs first five for fighting of the season.
This started the fight #Leafs x #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/RSIYUngY9c— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 8, 2019
Either the Blues have thrown in the towel, or the Leafs have discovered how to play a little, as they’re just low-event holding their own and running the clock.
This period ensued until the horn blew. The highlight was a great Freddie save on O’Reilly.
Even Ryan O'Reilly is denied by the Great Wall of Fred #Leafs x #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/wy63NuLsWR— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 8, 2019
- We all needed a win. A big win. And the players more than you and I.
- But I can’t tell you that was a well-played game because I wouldn’t lie to you.
- Points still count./