The Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 last night, scoring four of those goals in the first period alone, which was not a fun time for Habs goalie prospect Cayden Primeau who was pulled from the net and then sulked in the hallway for a while.

The game was certainly setting the tone for a likely first round playoff match-up which will start in about two weeks, the tone being the Leafs score a lot and win easily.

Here’s our recap of the game.

Leafs break out early; beat Habs 5-2

Auston Matthews scored his 40th goal of the season, a significant milestone for any player in a regular season, never mind a greatly shortened one like this, and one where he has played at times with a serious wrist injury. Let’s watch that one again.

Can he actually get to 50 before the playoffs? Probably not, but what’s the harm in believing. He certainly can get more. There’s still another three games left to go, including another bout with the Habs on Saturday (yes, again,) so I’m saying there’s still a chance; two hat-tricks and then finish off the season with another four goal game. Why not? If it was going to happen to any NHL player, it would happen for Matthews.

Speaking of finishing off the season, that’s one week from today for the Leafs. When the playoffs will actually start isn’t yet clear. The Canucks have a game against the Flames scheduled all the way out on May 19th, which will likely be pointless beyond draft standings, though, yes, technically either team can still make the playoffs if they win all of their remaining games, and the Habs lose all of theirs. I hope we don’t have sit around a whole week waiting on those games to figure that out, and they simply start up the playoffs for the North Division on the day after that last game, which would be Thursday the 20th. That would work nicely as then game #2 would be on Saturday night.

The Marlies played yesterday afternoon and started the game with Frederik Andersen in net, loaned there by the Leafs to get a feel for playing after being out weeks with a knee injury. It was his first AHL game in about seven years and he looked a little rusty, letting in two goals in the first period before Joseph Woll took over the net in the second—a pre-scheduled change. He called this game simply “a step” on the road to rejoining the Leafs for the playoffs.

He is also bringing back wide lapels.

The Marlies ultimately lost this one 5-3 to the Manitoba Moose.

Other News

The Rangers vs. George Parros fiasco took an expensive turn for the team yesterday.

Rangers fined $250,000 for statement - Blueshirt Banter
“It is terribly unfair to question George Parros’ professionalism and dedication to his role...” said the NHL.

Team Canada defeated Russia to win the Under-18 World Championship yesterday.

There’s a lot of names in this tournament that are going to top out the NHL Draft wish lists in the future, though many aren’t eligible for another year, or even longer in the case of 15 year-old uber-prospect Connor Bedard who won’t be available until 2023.

Jeff Carter scored four goals for the Penguins last night, but, there was another Penguin you may know who had a great shot too.

P.E.I. in talks about hosting world women's hockey championship - CBC
P.E.I. has been approached as a possible host for the International Ice Hockey Federation women's world championship Aug. 20-31, tourism officials say.

ESPN has pitched Wayne Gretzky on a NHL broadcasting role - AA
A Gretzky move seems far from certain at this point, but it’s absolutely notable that the new broadcast-rights holder ESPN has reached out to him, and it’s also notable that he didn’t immediately decline.

Will Matthews reach 50 goals?

I don’t think so... but I’m not going to say no because it’s Auston Matthews and he might just do it.95
He’ll have to bend the laws of physics, but he’s proved he can do that, so yes he’ll get 50!23
Forget 50 this season. I’m thinking about 80 next season.133
No. I am a bitter Habs fan.13