I skipped the Aftermath post for Monday’s game due to a lack of energy and ability to concentrate on the task at hand, which in a sense, was probably a decent metaphor for how the team played. Wednesday Night’s effort was much better though, as the Toronto Maple Leafs appeared to turn a corner with a 3-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks.



5v5 Possession: Percentage of shots taken towards the net (Corsi, CF%) taken while the player is taken on the ice.

Game Score: A single-game performance metric created by Dom Luszczyszyn. Read about the methodology behind it here.

Behind The Scenes

The Leafs got to play this game in relative obscurity. No, the Ducks aren’t in an attendance bind, despite the relocation-worthy crowd; it’s just that this game was played head-to-head against Game 7 of the World Series, being played less than an hour away in Los Angeles. Needless to say, the town had bigger fish to fry than regular season hockey.

Breezy Season

Connor Brown had a very solid bounce-back night tonight after a couple games of struggling. He dominated the possession game, scored the opening goal, and made his share of intelligent plays. Catching Auston Matthews off of a line change here is a good example of that, even if the superstar centre hit the post on his breakaway.

Box Blues

The Leafs didn’t score on the powerplay tonight, but that was they didn’t have much opportunity to do so. It took 33 minutes for them to get their first call, which snapped a drought of over two full games without a powerplay. They had no luck there, nor did they when Corey Perry went in for two in the third.

I don’t think there’s any sort of particular bias against the Leafs or anything, but given how referees like to control a “balanced” game, and seeing how good Toronto’s powerplay is, it’s no shock that there’s been a level of hesitance to give them chances.

Whatever Works

This is from one of Toronto’s four penalty kills tonight. I’ve got zero idea what Ron Hainsey is going for here, but he’s been fantastic on the penalty kill and it looks cool, so I’m just going to run with it. Left Trigger and Right Analog Stick all the way.

Artful Dodger

Matthews has a sixth sense sometimes, and it’s incredible. Even if this wasn’t his best night on the stat sheet, little plays like this hit avoidance are still worth the price of admission. This isn’t the first time he’s done this either: just ask Erik Karlsson.

Winning Ways

Call it a rebound, a chop backhand, whatever you’d like. Patrick Marleau is now the eighth player in NHL history to score 100 game-winning goals, joining Jaromir Jagr, Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito, Teemu Selanne, Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, and Jarome Iginla on the relatively exclusive club (which will also add Alex Ovechkin at some point this year, probably).


We’ll have to see who Kapanen is coming in for tomorrow before I judge that move (Josh Leivo didn’t have his usual effort tonight, but losing him would still be a shame), but it seems a little odd to put Roman Polak in after a night where the team gave up fewer than 30 shots for the first time since the third game of the season. The Leafs seemed pretty decent on the back end tonight, and team speed seemed improved by keeping their slowest option off the ice.

Maybe this plays out okay. Polak’s one good game so far was his first, against Los Angeles, so maybe they’re hoping that lightning strikes twice. But I feel bad for whoever comes out in his place.

Coming Up Next

The Leafs play again Thursday night, and its another late-evening special. They’ll be taking on the Los Angeles Kings at 10:30 PM.

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