Typically, you’d expect a 1-0 game to be on the boring side, but that wasn’t quite the case on Thursday night for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Seeking vengence for an October loss, the blue and white set their sights on taking down the New Jersey Devils. The game ended up being a goaltending battle for the most part, but ended in spectacular fashion. Here are some items of note:



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

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

Freddie Forever

This season has been a roller coaster of emotions with Frederik Andersen, but tonight was probably his peak, not just this year, but as a Leaf. A 42-save shutout that stretched about as long as possible puts himself up with some of the best goaltending performance in recent Leafs memory; not to mention, shoots his save percentage back up from 0.901 to 0.909 on the year.

Is “Fuck You Freddie” back? Hard to say, but he’s had an encouraging last few games.

Compete, Compete, Compete

You could tell pretty early in this one that William Nylander was due for a moment. While he faded for stretches, the youngster flew out of the game with a solid first few shifts and looked as threatening as ever when in close range, up until that pivotal moment in OT.

Zebra Hunting

I obviously doubt that Mitch Marner wanted to take out Ian Walsh here, but it was such an “of course it happened” moment as it transpired. Walsh took the puck to the ribs with grace, though, and soldiered on.

Third Trio

On that note, the third line had a really interesting night. They weren’t particularly dominant, but the Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Marner trio found themselves in scoring position a few times, only to have the door shut on them or the puck go just a little wide. They’re seemingly due for a goal-scoring bender soon; almost a matter of when, not if.

Cory’s Credit

I feel really bad for Cory Schneider, in the sense that he was just two seconds away from being credited with a shutout tonight (the league gives credit to both goalies in a 1-0 shootout game). While he didn’t face as many shots as Andersen did, Schneider had to face several Grade-A chances and pushed them all until the game’s final shot.

Wave Delayed

For the most part, it was easy to forget that Nikita Soshnikov played in this game, but the young Russian made his clause-encouraged debut. Hopefully, we see a little more next game, be it him hitting like a maniac or putting numbers on the board.

Wild Willie

Finally, the game’s lone goal. The tally wraps up a 12-game drought for Nylander, and yet he almost threw it all away just a moment before. Tired from the shift that had transpired, Nylander decided to pass to the left wing rather than attempt to turn on the jets.

Only one problem, though; if he was expecting Auston Matthews to take his usual spot there, he wouldn’t be even close to the ice surface. But Nazem Kadri was enough support to help Nylander recover and redeem his error in the best way possible.

Coming Up Next

Toronto is now riding a five-game winning streak at a time where not many expected them to be able to do so. Hey, you take them when they come; the great teams separate themselves by winning games that they shouldn’t, not just the ones they should. Their next test comes Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens.

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