Saturday night was a battle of two Canadian teams in the Leafs and Canucks. The Canucks headed into tonight’s game on a 7 game losing streak and being shut out 4 times in 5 games. They managed to find the net a few times tonight but it wasn’t enough to beat the high flying Maple Leafs. Led by big nights from Bozak and the kid Mitch Marner who btw is a BEAST. The Matthews and Nylander line looked dangerous all night. Every shift they looked dangerous and Matthews had chance after chance to fill the net including at least 2 posts. They made a nice little play 4 on 4 to get Gardiner a WIDE open look in the slot which he buried.
The Leafs seemed to fix some issues I brought up in my last PGHT #1 which was limiting the terrible defensive breakdowns right in front of the net and a significant improvement in the face off circle going 57.4%. Face offs are huge, you have to be good especially if you’re a possession team. Nazem Kadri with a MASSIVE hit on Daniel Sedin MY GOODNESS. Kind of borderline on the legality of the hit but I think its a clean hit as Sedin had the puck and from the angles I’ve seen looks like he got the shoulder on the hit. Lets see what the NHL thinks about it.
Frederik Anderson had a decent game tonight, nothing to rave about but he was solid in net which is what the leafs need him to keep doing. He doesn’t have to steal games for this team, just play a good game overall which is easier said than done. In my team preview of the Canucks I said the Leafs would have a tough time getting through the Nucks defense and Ryan Miller, man did they prove me wrong with 42 shots and 6 goals on the night. By the end of the game tempers started to flare with a few fights and Burrows going after Rielly…. Really lol he spears Rielly and then the next shift goes after him and drops the gloves. Even Ryan Miller and Frederik Anderson got in the fighting spirit getting into it during a scuffle caused Matt Martin which caused BOTH goalies to get tossed.
Overall this was an exciting game for Hockey Night in Canada full of fast paced hockey with goals and fights. Who wouldn’t love that! Especially if your team wins at the end of the game. The Leafs youngsters in Matthews Marner and Nylander are looking so good. They are only gonna be better. 3 in a row! I CAN’T WAIT!! WOOO GO LEAFS GO