Toronto Maple Leafs vs Montréal Canadiens. A timeless matchup, the traditional opponents used to represent Canadian hockey.

The Canadiens have fallen on hard times after a miracle run to a loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Toronto Maple Leafs working their way back to respectability after being their first victims last playoff.

Petr Mrázek gets tested early by the Canadiens, offensively and physically when Rem Pitlick gets a turnover from the Leafs and breaks away towards the net, crashing into Mrázek.

The Canadiens come right back, and Josh Anderson pushes TJ Brodie out of his way in front of the net, gets a rebound off Mrázek and puts the Canadiens up 1-0 early in the game.

David Kämpf gets the Maple Leafs first good chance on Sam Montembeault, but despite a wide open net on the rebound no one can take advantage of it.

The Maple Leafs get the first chance with the man advantage after Brent Kulak is called for cross checking. The best power play in the league up against a bottom three penalty kill results in nothing at all, despite a couple of good chances. Mid-way through the first period it’s 1-0 Canadiens.

Weird thing to happen mid-game, but Leafs PR just pushed out this tweet:

This must be to distract everyone from the terrible, terrible, game that is being played against one of the worst teams in the league.

Justin Holl gets called for picking on the timbits player of the game when he pulls down Cole Caufield, giving the Canadiens their turn on the power play. Thankfully their power play is 31st in the league and the Leafs easily turn it away, and the game remains 1-0 for Montréal.

Josh Anderson and Cole Caufield go two on one into the Leafs zone as the final minute of the period ticks down, and they score to make it 2-0 Canadiens as the first period comes to an end.

Intermission reading:

Maple Leafs acquire Carter Hutton from Arizona

The second period opens just as well as the first. Mike Hoffman scores. 3-0 Habs.

Archer has the right idea.

This is a stupid game, played by a team that had two really great games against better teams than this last week, and it’s frustrating to watch the Leafs once again be easily beat by a team on their second half of a back to back.

They do some nice things, but overall this game is in the control of the Canadiens.

And then, Petr Mrázek said “enough” and this is the save that turned the game around. I hope.

The Maple Leafs get their second chance at the powerplay, they’re taking their time setting up more shots, but the Canadiens are getting in the way of everything. The Leafs don’t score but still, maybe things are turning around?

Nevermind. 4-0 Canadiens.

Fuck it.

5-0 Canadiens.

Nick Suzuki sends Justin Holl onto his ass, and Jason Spezza steps in to set him straight and we get a nice scrum with all the players. The outcome:

  • Nick Suzuki gets two for roughing
  • Jason Spezza gets two for slashing
  • Justin Holl gets two for roughing/

The Habs get a powerplay, and then Jake Muzzin collides with Chris Wideman, and Muzzin hits the ice hard, and leaves the game. Not good after his recent concussion problems. He won’t return for the third.

After two it’s 5-0 and I can’t believe you’ve read this far.

This game gave me a nosebleed BTW.

The Maple Leafs are leading this game in shots, barely, but they are. I’m always surprised when I see that tonight. It really does not feel like it.

Ilya Mikheyev scores to cut the lead by 4.

Then Pierre Engvall scores. 5-2 Montréal .

Is this a comeback by Toronto? We have spent most of the time since these goals in the Habs zone, so perhaps....

No, it’s not. Don’t be silly.

The Leafs try, but they for some reason can’t beat the Habs. After an exciting 45 seconds with back to back goals from some depth forwards, the Canadiens continue to control the play of the game and the final score is 5-2 for the Canadiens.

The crowd in the Bell Centre is enjoying this, cheering for the final minute, a lone bright spot in a season of despair.

The Leafs fans at home? Apoplectic that Toronto couldn’t get up to beat this bottom feeding team, shrugging it off, or knew better to watch.

Good night Maple Leafs, may you continue to confuse us with your mid-game trades.

The next Leafs game is tomorrow night in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.

Hopefully it goes better than tonight.