Here we go. I’m ready to be hurt again, etc.
Maybe tomorrow though, once Montreal’s pre-game ceremony finishes introducing every single player to ever be drafted, signed by, traded for, or played for the Montreal Canadians, its AHL team, and ECHL team.
Okay hockey’s actually on GO LEAFS GO!
Toronto’s new look depth is out there.... playing hockey.
the fourth line making their identity known early pic.twitter.com/0zeuC5Vkqz— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 12, 2022
Muzzin is a buzzin
Muzzin crushes Gallagher along the boards pic.twitter.com/hwsdDIf7U3— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 12, 2022
Been a low event start to the game, but the top line has been in the offensive zone a bunch.
Bunting-Matthews-Marner is heating up already pic.twitter.com/GhC3EAO1uG— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 12, 2022
Murray has looked good. Toronto has taken the first two penalties but killed off both.
first big save of the season for Matt Murray on Cole Caufield pic.twitter.com/6AQB4mCOdo— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 12, 2022
Murray makes the save through traffic and a slight deflection pic.twitter.com/tZZfg4EHn2— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 12, 2022
Murray makes the save amongst the chaos pic.twitter.com/fcYEcWHTgH— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 12, 2022
GOAL! MITCH MARNER DOES THE HEAVY LIFTING BEHIND THE NET AND MICHAEL BUNTING FINISHES IT OFF IN FRONT! 1-0 LEAFS!
MICHAEL BUNTING 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 12, 2022
first goal of the Leafs season! pic.twitter.com/BOhusuEokX
A pretty dull period ends with the Leafs holding onto a 1-0 lead.
First Period Thoughts
Offense: A slow period at even strength, in part because there were so many penalties called — only 13 of the 20 minute first period was at 5v5. Toronto controlled 59% of the shot share, and 50% of the expected goals at even strength. And as you can see from the heatmap below, neither team really had anything going outside of the one moment of brilliance from Marner.
Defense: Now, on the other side of that, it means that Toronto didn’t really give up much. Only 9 shot attempts against, and nothing really dangerous.
Special Teams: The biggest danger they faced was being down almost six full minutes on the penalty kill, but they did manage to kill it at all off. They had like a 20 second powerplay which they didn’t score on, but whatever. Good marks for special teams in the first.
Standouts: Marner, Bunting and I guess Murray. Everyone else is still waking up after their pre-game ceremony nap.
If there will be one problem Toronto faces with their system, it’s giving up rush chances against. Montreal is doing a good job at picking off passes in their own end, and/or Toronto is doing a sloppy job not turning the puck over. Montreal finally gets a good chance from one such turnover and Cole Caufield snipes it over Murray’s shoulder, tying it 1-1.
Cole Caufield ties it at 1 pic.twitter.com/pV7akujWU3— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
Toronto picks up the pressure after the goal, however. Their top players are getting into rhythm.
Matthews rifles a shot off the post and Nylander is denied seconds after pic.twitter.com/XY5H8m9QaA— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
And known offensive defenseman, Jake Muzz- wait what
"IT'S JAKE MUZZIN TIME!"— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
- Jake Muzzin pic.twitter.com/SCpOTIBXmk
EVGENY MALGIN IS JOHNNY ON THE SPOT TO CLEAN UP A REBOUND AND RESTORE THE LEAD! 2-1 LEAFS!
DENIS MALGIN 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
First goal as a Leaf! pic.twitter.com/WYB9dPInuh
Toronto’s penalty kill has been getting a lot of practice this game, but so far they and Matt Murray have been up to the task.
nice penalty killing leads to an easy save for Murray pic.twitter.com/Xk0OUaVVi0— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
Malgin gets a breakaway with a chance to make it a two goal lead, but he rings the shot off the outside of the post.
Malgin had a breakaway before the Caufield equalizer pic.twitter.com/epXRA5OcBO— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, Montreal creates a rush chance and Cole Caufield snipes one past Murray to tie the game. 2-2.
Cole Caufield gets another one pic.twitter.com/qU2DhNQ2Vq— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
Not long after, Toronto gives up ANOTHER rush chance against, and Montreal came real close to taking the lead. After an unnecessarily long review, the call was no goal. So just gonna throw this out there... maybe stop giving up so many rushes against!
Murray looks to have denied Monahan on the wraparound pic.twitter.com/mPVXn6dF7H— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
Right after the review, Kerfoot gets sprung on a breakaway and gets hooked... that means a penalty shot! Neat! But he didn’t score. Not neat.
what a pass by Rielly to Kerfoot— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
gets a penalty shot in the process pic.twitter.com/n5NF8w9MND
Kerfoot denied by Allen pic.twitter.com/or4liPjSV2— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
Second Period Thoughts
Offense: There wasn’t much more time at 5v5 in the second as there was in the first, but it was a more eventful period. Toronto controlled 58% of the shot share but had a lot more shot attempts overall. They also had some more dangerous scoring chances, including their goal, two breakaways, a penalty shot, and some other medium-danger chances. They have 2.63 in expected goals in the game, where a full 2.00 of those came in the second period alone.
Defense: On the other hand, they are continually giving up rush chances against. Call it Toronto being sloppy, call it Montreal being opportunistic, call it a mix of both. Toronto would do well to take better care of the puck, which will have a dual benefit of causing Montreal’s entire source of offense this game to dry up and also help them pressure the Habs more offensively.
Special Teams: Still perfect on the penalty kill. Had a full powerplay where they looked dangerous, but didn’t score. They’ve had a lot more time on the PK than on the PP though, so it’s still a net win so far.
Standouts: Murray has looked pretty solid. Malgin had a goal and a breakaway where he hit the post.
What could help Toronto is generating some more rush chances themselves, and they manage to do just that early in the third.
Engvall takes the puck to the net off the turnover pic.twitter.com/qoydrdSDzC— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
This third period is apparently trying to make the first period look like an action movie, but Montreal has largely controlled the period at even strength. They’ve closed the gap in expected goals. Halfway through the period and both teams barely have 10 shot attempts between them.
Brodie to the rescue pic.twitter.com/cD6OppjEhk— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
But Toronto gets a big powerplay chance with close to 5 minutes left in the game, with a chance to take the lead. But... no dice. Back to even strength with a few minutes left.
Goalie collision with Aube-Kubel and Allen as he and Xhekaj make contact pic.twitter.com/95yupzmm7P— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
And right after, Sean Monahan scores... you guessed it, off the rush and Montreal takes a 3-2 lead with a couple of minutes left.
Sean Monahan. 3-1 pic.twitter.com/20FGhC9JqR— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
BUT WILD WILLY BILLIAM NYLANDER SCORES OFF THE RUSH HIMSELF AND TIES THE GAME 3-3! THE GOAL STANDS AFTER REVIEW!
WILLIAM NYLANDER 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
TIED AT 3 pic.twitter.com/cSofwjBrTD
But they get scores on off the rush AGAIN with less than 20 seconds on the clock, and Montreal wins it 4-3. Muzzin was handling clearing the puck like it was a live grenade.
need to clear that— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 13, 2022
need to stop that pic.twitter.com/EGfOV8cgKu
Offense: It was pretty lacklustre. They didn’t generate much at even strength, and nothing on the powerplay. Early season rust, some sloppy passing and turnovers, Montreal blocking a lot of shots and passes and being opportunistic off the rush. Ce la vie.
Defense: Saw a lot of the blame being put on the defense, but honestly... the calls I mean turnovers were coming from inside the house I mean offensive zone. Leafs defense and Murray didn’t acquit themselves trying to get back and make some stops, and boy did they look scrambly.
Special Teams: Perfect penalty kill. Zeroes on the powerplay. Call it a wash.
Standouts: Not many for the whole game, tbh. Just a few flashes from a few players. That third period was atrocious to watch.