Toronto Maple Leafs 4 – Chicago Blackhawks 3
The Fourth Line: Should I just copy and paste that into every postgame. For years we’ve heard about the amazing fourth lines that other teams in the league have had. The Bruins, Kings, and Islanders at various times have all laid claim to the best fourth line in the league. We may have that line at this point. Matt Martin and Connor Brown have been terrific, as have the combination of Eric Fehr and Dominic Moore. They’ve grinded down other teams, gotten scoring chances, and on occasion, buried them.
Rosen and Borgman: I think we’ve found our 3rd pair. Borgman has solid offensive instincts, and he’ll kill you if you give him the opportunity, Rosen has no problem jumping into the play, and can skate with just about anyone out there. I wasn’t crazy about the penalties that either of them took tonight, but they played fantastic games.
Matthews, Nylander, and Hyman: This line was all over the puck all night long, and for the most part managed to keep Patrick Kane in check. This is as dominant a line as I’ve seen in Toronto in my nearly 20 years of Leaf fandom. Hyman is like a tasmanian devil when he gets near the puck and Matthews and Nylander seem to specialize in creating space for themselves and finding situations where they outnumber the opponents.
Nikita Zaitsev: Despite limited power play time, Zaitsev continues to produce both offensively and defensively. He and Jake Gardiner have dominated the opposition on a regular basis. This defense corps has transformed from a weakness to a strength, without giving up a single asset.
The Officiating: These refs tonight called every little thing they saw. I’m all for enforcing the rules within reason, but a good example of this was a second period penalty called against the Leafs where the refs thought there was a slash into the hand area, but in reality, it was a light tap on the stick. The over officiating genuinely took away from the game tonight, although the Leafs managed to turn it into one we’ll remember for a long time anyway.
Not much ugly to discuss tonight as this was a fantastic performance from the Leafs.
Chicago Goal 3:46 — J. Rutta (2) assisted by J. Hayden and T. Wingels
Chicago Goal 7:57 — J. Toews (2) assisted by R. Panik and B. Saad
SECOND PERIOD (HI BON)
Toronto Goal 10:20 — N. Zaitsev (2) assisted by C. Brown and C. Rosen
Chicago Goal 7:52 — R. Panik (3) (power play) assisted by G. Forsling and J. Rutta
Toronto Goal 13:00 — C. Brown (1) assisted by N. Zaitsev and R. Hainsey
Toronto Goal 15:42 — J. van Riemsdyk (2) (power play) assisted by T. Bozak and M. Rielly
Toronto Goal 3:43 — A. Matthews (2)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MIKE BABCOCK POST GAME