Latest posts by Omar White (see all)
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Slow start, but what a finish. Leafs Victory! beating the Nashville Predators 3-1. That’s the second series sweep the Leafs have laid out this season. The out of town scoreboard tonight was iffy. The Islanders were getting wrecked 5-0 at the end of the first period so that was good. However, Boston, Tampa, and Carolina ended up winning their games. So its understandable to say that the Leafs needed to win this game, and win they did. And obviously with another Leaf game, a rookie is breaking a record (nice one Marner). The Leafs have two more games before the dreaded four game home stretch. Hopefully they continue bringing this A game. With Andersen back and the team buzzing, it feels like there’s nothing they can’t do.
Connor Brown is one of if not the most underrated rookies in the NHL. His impact on the team has been insane and he continues to add on as the season continues. The game winning goal was a nice play made by the Toronto native. Nylander enters the zone and takes a shot on Rinne that is stopped (moment of silence for the end of his crazy point streak). The puck is kept alive and Brown sends a pass to the one and only Auston Matthews who makes it 2-0. You know it’s a good pass when the goal scorer immediately points at you. Brown also finishes the night with an empty net goal after Gardnier shoots the puck out of the Leafs zone. That’s 19 goals for the sixth round pick which has to have exceeded all expectations (to read about Brown’s journey to the NHL click here).
The Wall of Denmark returned without missing a single beat. On his side, Freddie completly robs Kevin Fiala who tries to send in a rebound off of Mattias Ekholm’s point shot. Another one of Andersen’s great stops was a team effort on the penalty kill. Roman Jossi’s shot squeaks through Andersen, but Morgan Rielly sprawls out preventing the puck from crossing the line. The scramble to get the puck in, but Leo Komorov and Matt Hunwick get in there too to help. The best defence is a team defence.
Also need to give a shoutout to Matt Martin for drawing that instigating penalty in the first period. He lays out Ekholm at the blue line, but refuses to fight Austin Watson who already dropped his gloves. Good job Marty, that resulted in a power play goal.
It’s weird to criticize him since he had two points and is having a career year. But Jake…Gardnier has to lead the league in face-palms generated in the fan base right? Kasperi Kapanen loses the puck in the Predator’s zone that is picked up by Ryan Johansen. He skates through the neutral zone into the Leafs’ zone and drops the puck to Filip Forsberg. Forsberg skates towards the net, and what does Gardnier do? He skates off to the right as if he’s trying to cover Johansen even though Forsberg has the puck. Forsberg has a wide open opportunity to snipe Freddie Andersen. And what happens, he snipes Freddie Andersen right over the glove to make it 2-1. If you give Forsberg all that room, it’s almost like you’re asking Forsberg to score. Anyway, that was his 30th, adding to an already phenomenal season.
Auston Matthews holds the rookie record for goals in a season. William Nylander holds the rookie record for longest point streak. Mitch Marner now holds the rookie record for assists. The Big Three each have their own record. Bozak wins the face-off on the PP right to Zaitsev who sends the puck deep into the zone. Marner gets the puck and passes it back to Zaitsev who takes a long shot on net. JVR in front tips the puck behind Rinne to make it 1-0. That was Marner’s 41st assist of the season. The 2015 fourth overall pick sits 28th in the league in assists, but is the only rookie to crack the top 30. Records are nothing to this crop of rookies. Matthews is three points away from tying the rookie record in points. With six games left, you have to think he’ll do it.
Tweets of the Game
Break out the ginger danishes, we are celebrating Freddie tonight!!! #TMLtalk
— That Nerdy Chick (@MockTheGeek) March 31, 2017
Can't be the only one who almost passed out from stress at the end of that game #tmltalk
— Jules (@JulianAltobelli) March 31, 2017