The Maple Leafs easily defeated a Buffalo Sabres team last night that simply couldn’t shovel their way out from under a storm of offence in the first period. OK I got the obligatory Buffalo snow puns out the way. Here’s our recap of last night’s game:

Recap: Maple Leafs decisively beat the Sabres

Let’s take a look at that Willy goal one more time. He even snows the goalie for good measure to remind him where he’s from.

Let’s also take one more look at the “controversial” goal scored by the Leafs that didn’t go in the net—because the net wasn’t there anymore.

It seems quite cut and dry to me on the replay that the puck would have gone in the net if it hadn’t been knocked away, and I am confused by those arguing against awarding this a goal, notably Kevin Bieksa who made a rambling argument about the post would have deflected it out or something? Whatever. It should have counted and it did.

The Leafs next game is tomorrow against the New York Islanders here in Toronto, with a slightly later than normal 7:30 start time.

The Marlies are back at the Coliseum today, playing against the Abbotsford Canucks at 4:00 p.m.. It’s their first game at the Coliseum since October 26 when they had to vacate it temporarily for the Royal Winter Fair.

Other News

The OHL is cracking down on mouth guard chomping and the players simply not wearing one at all. A memo went out to teams in the past week and officials have since handed out several misconducts to players already, and a few players have gotten it twice now. This is kind of amusing given how mouth guards are more like an accessory for many NHL players who chew them more than wear them properly, like Mitch Marner up there in the headline photo, or most famously in the league James van Riemsdyk and Matthew Tkachuck. The OHL isn’t letting the next generation turn out like them.

The NHL did go down a similar safety path on helmet visors in recent years, making them mandatory for new players and ordering them be properly worn for existing players, something for which Leo Komarov was famously hit with a penalty for while playing for the Leafs. Helmets also just became mandatory in warmup as well for players who entered the NHL after the 2019-20 season. Perhaps they will eventually go the same route on mouth guards too.

Gotta set this to the Benny Hill theme.

Speaking of the Bruins, Patrice Bergeron is at 999 career points after that game. He’s still running about PPG this season—17 points in 18 games—at 37 years old. Some kind of evil Bruins sorcery must be involved.

And speaking of 1,000, that’s how many games Alex Goligoski played as of last night, and he capped it off with an OT winning goal with a celly that caught poor Sebastian Aho in a very awkward way.

'Brother' Finns Selanne, Numminen inducted into Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame | CBC News
From frozen hockey hair to Palomino Club nights and random street hockey games, NHL legends Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen reminisced on Thursday about growing up as Winnipeg Jets.

Our Back to Excited podcast will have a new episode out this afternoon.

Reminder the Santa Claus parade is on today, so don’t expect to get anywhere that requires going east-west across University Ave. or north-south across Bloor St. until after the shutdown and cleanup, which is expected to be complete at 6:00 p.m..

Have a nice end to your weekend.