Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs beat up on the struggling, slacker Montreal Canadiens. It wasn’t a fair fight but no one cares, really. The Leafs are heading to their first division win in 21 years and the Canadiens are heading to fourth place; just where we want them.
This game began as most games do, with a face off. Then, the Leafs scored!
Alexander Galchenyuk scores against the team that drafted him. The team that traded him for Max Domi, who was then traded for Josh Anderson who has fewer points than Jason Spezza while making ten times the salary.
As I still laugh about the Galch goal, John Tavares, Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, rubs dirt in the wounds and scores a goal of his own.
Stefan Noesen makes his Maple Leafs debut tonight and got his first assist for the team when he draws a penalty on Jake Evens. The Leafs powerplay is at best consistent this season. As in, they don’t score.
HOWEVER Pierre Engvall shrugs off the lackluster power play and notches the third goal of the game against Montreal as the Maple Leafs refuse to take their foot off the gas and want to give the Canadiens a taste of what round one will be like.
HOW ABOUT THEM HABS?
As I act like the jerk, the Canadiens show some compassion for their opponents. Jake Muzzin takes a fall into the boards and his former LA Kings teammate Tyler Toffoli stops to check on him. Very nice.
Awkward fall into the boards for Muzzin but he skates off— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 6, 2021
Toffoli checking to see if he's okay was nice pic.twitter.com/8tnr6Ujmu8
NOW CHECK THE SCOREBOARD TYLER.
Which we should go back to, because after a few minutes of toying with the Habs Mitchell Marner scores his 19th goal of the season to make it 4-0 Toronto with a few minutes left in the first period.
After they announce one minutes left, Jake Muzzin almost makes it 5-0 with an easy point shot, but he hits the post. Engvall tries to get the rebound, then a few more attempts happen but no goal. The Habs get the puck out, and Pierre Engvall gets called for interference on Josh Anderson.
Muzzin nearly made it 5-1 pic.twitter.com/qZV22jfCAO— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 6, 2021
With 12 seconds left, the Canadiens start their power play, but Jack Campbell makes the necessary saves and we end the first period 4-0.
Jake Allen replaces Cayden Primeau in net for the Canadiens, and they begin the period with 1:47 left in the power play.
The Montreal Canadiens play most of the power play by passing the puck but they come within inches of scoring, as the puck get past Jack Campbell, but Justin Holl saves the puck from crossing the goal line. Thank you Justin Holl!
Justin Holl saves a goal pic.twitter.com/u9pzAZ1QlK— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
The Canadiens don’t score on the power play and the Leafs pick right back up, putting the pressure on Jake Allen and the Canadiens defense. Alex Kerfoot, John Tavares, Ilya Mikheyev all try to make it 5-0.
Rielly finds Mikheyev for a point-blank chance on Allen pic.twitter.com/wvYldj9ut2— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
The game tightens up with the Canadiens getting more offensive time, and both teams trading chances. It would appear that Mikheyev finally scores, but the goal is waved off due to goaltender interference. The Canadiens had a delayed penalty on the play, so instead of it being waved off on Mikheyevs goal, Joel Edmundson will sit for cross checking Alex Kerfoot.
So Ilya Mikheyev scored but they're waiving it off because of the penalty lol pic.twitter.com/pJjti3APop— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
The Maple Leafs, shockingly, do not score on the power play.
Post-power play Cole Caufield takes advantage of a Rasmus Sandin turnover to score his first non-game winning goal of his career.
Eric Staal assists, and hey remember he’s on the Habs now?
Either the Canadiens continue to improve this game or the Leafs are taking it easy, but the ice isn’t as tilted as it once was. TJ Brodie gets called for hooking Josh Anderson and the Habs get their second power play of the game.
An important save for Campbell on Suzuki here— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
If this goes in, the Habs get a lot more energy pic.twitter.com/MRgNuNPIEg
The Canadiens don’t score on the power play, thankfully, and we go back to the Maple Leafs beating on the Habs.
Kerfoot holding off the puck from 3 Habs players pic.twitter.com/z51BdTDD7j— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
The clock counts down on the second period with the Canadiens penning the Leafs in their own end, but the evil Habs can’t score on the just and right Maple Leafs and the period ends 4-1 for Toronto.
No goals for the Leafs in the second, very disappointing.
The third period begins and it’s almost all Habs, as they control the puck, push the play and get the chances. Two minutes later and Artturi Lerkonen scores to cut the Leafs lead to two.
The Leafs shake it off and come back hard on the Canadiens, Auston Matthews almost extends the lead, but gets stopped somehow.
Pair of looks for Matthews as he wants his 40th pic.twitter.com/MZrwJhEloh— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
Alex Galchenyuk gets called for high sticking shortly after, giving the Canadiens another power play opportunity. Which is squandered, no real chances, not much going on and neither team seems to be able to get much done with the man advantage tonight.
While it’s not a constant beating like the first period was - and boy did all those goals set me up for a much different experience in the second and third - the Leafs show flashes of oomph.
Tavares has been on it tonight— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
He and Nylander combine to set Muzzin up for another scoring chance pic.twitter.com/bqPwvUoBYc
This could be a strategy we see attempted in the playoffs, come out hard, score fast, stay back hold the lead.
Tavares and Nylander team up again, as the captain breaks out William Nylander who takes off down the ice and is robbed by Jake Allen.
Tavares breaks up the play and sends Nylander on a breakaway pic.twitter.com/GxfLMiQRPk— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
The Canadiens should have started Allen in net. I mean, they shouldn’t have, but they should have.
Marner outworks Merrill and Romanov leads to Muzzin's third look of the game pic.twitter.com/G8kcPBzqdO— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
The Leafs finally beat Jake Allen, as Auston Matthews scores his 40th goal of the season as he gets set up by Mitch Marner and Marner scores from the boards.
FORTY GOALS FOR AUSTON MATTHEWS!
The Canadiens get punchy in front of the Leafs net as Corey Perry...punches TJ Brodie in the face, and then Cole Caufield gets called for tripping so maybe - maybe - the Leafs can score on a five on three.
Perry didn't like that Brodie was playing defence and punched him pic.twitter.com/JxJdfJIDv0— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 7, 2021
They can’t, but William Nylander sets up shop in front of the net and comes close a few times. Too bad this isn’t horseshoes. It’s not a terrible power play, it’s pretty good and in control, but just no goals.
The period ends with everyone pushing and shoving, mostly the Canadiens being sad they didn’t win, in front of the Leafs net, but it doesn’t matter because the Toronto Maple Leafs win the game 5-2.
The next Maple Leafs game is Saturday night against these very same Montreal Canadiens.
I can’t wait. See you all at 7!