The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins took to the ice tonight with a list of injured players that was rivaling the healthy players. Missing from tonight’s game was:
Micheal Hutchinson was also missing, as he was waived and sent down to the Toronto Marlies to try and finally win a game this season, so Kasimir Kaskisuo suited up and made his NHL debut as a starter.
The game gets off to a roaring start with the Leafs getting three shots on net in the first 90 seconds, keeping the Penguins from gaining any kind of offense for several minutes. Big move from Kaskisuo by saving the first NHL shot he’s faced.
Frederik Gautier takes a tripping penalty on Brandon Rust, giving the penalty kill their first shift of the game. There’s a very audible scream of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” mid-PK, and it’s hard to tell which team that was for, but someone was not happy.
The PK is giving Kaskisuo a work out, as they can’t get the puck away from the Penguins. A clearing attempt up the middle is stopped and Alex Galchenyuk gets the shot in through the crowd. Kaskisuo claims Jak Guentzel interfered with him as Jake worked the puck into the net, but there’s no review of the goal.
The Leafs will try to scramble a goal together in the Penguins end, but a turnover brings Evgeni Malin down the centre of the ice and he is allowed to get shot off in the slot that goes under Kaskisuo’s glove to make it 2-0.
The Maple Leafs struggle to keep the puck out of their own zone, and to get it out once it’s in.
After the initial flurry of shots at the start of the game, the Leafs aren’t as dominant offensively. Justin Holl is a bright spot when the bloody defender gets a breakaway into the Penguins end, but the shot doesn’t get past Tristan Jarry.
The Leafs are having trouble finishing their offensive shifts, as they struggle to get shots off when they’re at the Penguins net. Defensively they’re leaving the slot open for the Penguins to just walk into.
The first period ends 2-0 for the Penguins.
The second period begins with a goal from Dominik Kahun as the Penguins skate circles around the Maple Leafs in the offensive end, and a screened shot gets past Kaskisuo who doesn’t really move at all on that play.
The Penguins continue to treat the Leafs like the Washington Generals, with the Leafs falling over, and the Penguins scoring goals on easy turnovers.
Jake Muzzin trips up Brandon Tanev and he goes sliding into Kaskisuo, and as the goalie is sliding across the crease not under his own power, the Penguins score thanks to Dominik Kahun, but it’s waived off immediately.
Then reviewed for half an hour for some reason.
Then the goal is allowed because it’s the Leafs fault the Penguin slid into the goal and who cares, this game was over at that first penalty.
You know what happens later on? Another fucking turnover that leads to a Penguins goal.
At this point I would have turned the game off and walked away, but I have a duty (and a mortgage to pay) so I’ll hang in there and finish this recap. But it will be in contempt of this hockey team.
The Leafs got the puck as far as the slot in the Penguins zone, and it was flipped back out with ease.
I missed a bit when my kid stood in front of the TV for a while, but it actually improved the view.
Nic Petan and Jason Spezza team up to put the Maple Leafs on the board, cutting the deficit to only four goals.
A bunch of crap happened after that, but none of it was noticable.
Here is some second intermission viewing for you:
The third period begins. I’ve had time to calm down and think about how things could be worse. Then I filled the other 19 minutes of intermission with ketchup chips and jolt cola.
Early on in the period, Dominik Simon gets called for hooking giving the Leafs power play their first chance to make some magic. Teddy Blueger gets his stick just in John Tavares’ way and Tavares can’t finish his shot in front of Jarry.
Speaking of Blueger!
He and Brandon Rust get a SHORTHANDED TWO ON ONE and put a sixth puck past Kaskisuo.
Sorry, wrong video.
Evgeni Malkin takes a penalty, and with him off the ice for two minutes this is the Maple Leafs best chance at scoring a goal tonight. So of course they give up another god damn shorthanded two on one.
No one gives a shit tonight.
The Leafs will get a run going into the offensive zone, but the Penguins are all over them, forcing bad shots, and taking away quality chances. The Leafs are not doing this as much as the Penguins.
Brandon Tanev flips Travis Dermott off his skates at centre ice, Blueger gets in on another odd man rush, and Zach Aston-Reese sits on Dmytro Timashov and forces him to eat the puck. Only one of those happened, but you believed that the odd man rush happened, didn't you?
Nothing notable happened in the rest of the game. The Penguins spent a minute just playing a passing game around the Leafs in the Leafs zone, and no one on the Leafs could do anything about it.
What could have been a night to remember for Kasimir Kaskisuo was ruined by the entire Maple Leafs team, who gave no effort. I doubt anyone expected them not to win this game, Kaskisuo hasn’t been setting the AHL on fire with his play since he left college, but no one expected a blowout like this.
The Leafs are heading to Vegas to take on the Golden nights on Tuesday. The only question is, will everyone from tonight’s game be on the ice at puck drop?