Have you ever missed a couple episodes of a TV show and then you come back completely confused about what’s going on and who’s this new guy and what’s the plot about now? I have been AWOL with the Maple Leafs the past few weeks, and I come back and Michael Hutchinson and some other guy are in net? Is Frederik Andersen still injured? Did Jack Campbell get traded? Alex Galchenyuk is a top six forward? What the what?
As I catchup on who’s playing what tonight the Leafs and Oilers pick up where they left off with the fast and skilled play we’d expect from these two teams.
Galchenyuk keeping up with his physical presence on that second line pic.twitter.com/EjbkjGQoMH— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 29, 2021
Hyman nearly got himself a breakaway after cutting off this Draisaitl pass pic.twitter.com/t2GlPt4Gfq— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 29, 2021
Alex Galchenyuk is buzzing early— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 29, 2021
Good scoring chance pic.twitter.com/ADEJeu29BN
Pair of chances for Matthews pic.twitter.com/yLWfD5yevq— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 29, 2021
Despite all of the Leafs chances, and close calls, and Mike Smith playing like the gold medal winning Olympian he is, the Oilers are the team to score first, with Josh Archibald netting his sixth goal of the season.
The Maple Leafs don’t let the goal get them down, as Mitch Marner quickly responds with the game tying goal, and Auston Matthews follows up a few minutes later with a goal of his own.
After the Leafs take the lead things slow down a bit, and the home team plays it a bit safer. More low event hockey with less risks to keep the lead. This doesn’t mean the Leafs stop trying entirely, Matthews visits with his best friend the post again.
Matthews' double take after ripping the puck off the bar is pleasant pic.twitter.com/XSX8kemyJz— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 29, 2021
Mitch Marner attacking at both ends of the ice pic.twitter.com/9wNrst8K7l— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 29, 2021
The Leafs top six get ll the glory but the bottom lines also get some great opportunities.
Nice work by Spezza to start it pic.twitter.com/8k1Oh6JDS1— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
The safe play pays off, as the Oilers are kept from getting ay quality chances and the first period ends 2-1.
The Leafs pick up where they left off in period two, keeping the play in the offensive zone for first few minutes, and keeping the Oilers offense from getting a chance to play offense. When the Oilers do get a chance or two, the Leafs make the most of their defensive and goaltending powers,
Hutch makes the save on Russell pic.twitter.com/OaInkJbERc— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
Muzzin sticks with Draisaitl keeping him to the outside pic.twitter.com/JiShqR7UZX— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
The rest of the defenders get worked a bit harder as the Islanders kept the Leafs defense from changing and Morgan Rielly ended up with a three minute shift, but he did the job and kept the puck out.
It takes almost half the game for a penalty to be called, and John Tavares draws the whistle.
Gaetan Haas his stick in between Tavares' legs— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
Leafs to the power play pic.twitter.com/PCUSJxgNIS
We waited a long time for nothing as the Maple Leafs slog through the power play and don’t score. They don’t get scored on, but they don’t capitalize on the man advantage.
No rules pic.twitter.com/pgJPuV9IMe— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
Mikheyev fights off two Oilers to get the puck to Bogosian— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
Results in a good shot for Dermott pic.twitter.com/wYfx7auCLC
The Leafs power through the period, and the uncalled penalties, until the horn sounds the end of the second. It wasn’t as exciting as the first period, but it ends just as nicely as the first, with the Maple Leafs up 2-1.
The Oilers come out swinging in the third period, keeping the play in the Leafs end, and the Oilers catch the Leafs flat footed on a dump in, as the puck gets past Rielly and Brodie, and back up to Adam Larsson at the point who slaps the puck into Kyle Turris’ knee and past Hutchinson to tie the game at two.
Wayne Simmonds will get called for cross checking a little later on, giving the Oilers their first power play of the game.
No consistency pic.twitter.com/40Ro8SB70Z— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
The Maple Leafs keep the Oilers power play to just one goal during the two minutes they’re on the ice and Simmonds leaves the box with the game still tied at two.
Speaking of no consistency in officiating.
What in the blue hell is this?— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
What is your purpose!?
He's stopping Tavares from getting up pic.twitter.com/5n0t6r2oAH
Despite playing against two teams on the ice, the Leafs pick up play and make some good offensive moves in the Oilers end of the ice, with some huge close chances to take back the lead from William Nylander, Alex Galchenyuk, and John Tavares.
Galchenyuk-Tavares-Nylander are working it pic.twitter.com/aS3sgEzzto— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
Tavares hits the crossbar pic.twitter.com/r6DOOrOIs3— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
The Leafs continue to put together the offense and keep the defense going to deny the Oilers the lead.
Marner and Brodie deny Draisaitl the breakaway pic.twitter.com/WaSIUBVK5t— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
Things start to get chippy as the game goes on, the players are let to play.
Nurse and Simmonds go at it a bit pic.twitter.com/tHJruEap9r— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
There’s a close call near the Oilers net, with Tyson Barrie sliding into Auston Matthews’ skates, but his helmet/visor takes the brunt of the damage.
Matthews' skate gets Barrie high. Looks like the visor got the most of it.— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
Couldn't been way worse. pic.twitter.com/vyIY55cMxS
Both teams put on the pressure as the third period ends, with Darnell Nurse getting the final shot of regulation off, thankfully it goes high. After three periods the game is tied at two.
Heads up! pic.twitter.com/THTrmtAcrj— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
In overtime Marner and Matthews team up to make Mike Smith nervous right off the bat, but no goal for the Leafs. Play turns the other way and overtime ends quickly with Darnell Nurse getting the game winner.
Save on one end— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2021
Goal on the other pic.twitter.com/W7o7rIFDrD
The Edmonton Oilers take this game 3-2 in overtime.
This is the final game of the season between the Oilers are Maple Leafs, and the Leafs take the season series 6-1-2 - an excellent record against the team with the top two offensive players in the league.
This wasn’t a very wordy recap, this was the first Leafs game I got to sit down and watch in weeks so I was enjoying things a bit too much I guess, but even with the loss it was much better than the Leafs recent games against the Senators or the Jets*.
Speaking of those unoriginally named teams, the Maple Leafs take on the Jets* Wednesday night at 7:30PM on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.