That was exactly what the Leafs needed and that exactly what fueled Marner’s goal, the Leafs third on the night. The game started off slow for the Leafs. In fact, it wasn’t until nearly 8 mins in that they got their first shot on net and it was nothing to celebrate. A weak wrister from Hyman that was gingerly swept aside. The Leafs just seemed a half step behind the Flyers; and as has been the case all year, when Mitch Marner is a step behind, he takes a dumb penalty. I love Marner but these stupid penalties have got to stop. Wanna know why? Because the Flyers scored putting the Leafs behind on after an already sluggish start. Juuuuuuust great.
The period and if we’re being honest the whole game, Frederick Andersen was an absolute beaut. Once the human embodiment of hot garbage Radko Gudas got an interference call, the Leafs PP did what it does best, score. Nylander scored with a glorious wrister short side. The Leafs came to life and finally decided to play as the period winded down.
The second period is best remembered by two moments that came back to back. Andersen’s ridiculous back to back saves especially the one on Del Zotto and Bozak stripping Couterier of the puck and scoring on another amazing wrister.
The third period was the Leafs controlling the game. They held the Flyers back, kept them in check and absolutely ran the show. When on the powerplay Marner takes the puck on his stick and holds it. Holds until the perfect moment and strikes putting the Leafs up 3-1. Right after that, the Leafs felt the fans at home need hypertension, so Connor Brown got a tripping call. It was a flop, which is happening far too much and the refs need to call it out more. This gave life to the Flyers. Late game + close score + loss of momentum = you better believe it’s a goal against. 3-2 Leafs. The Leafs looked poised to give up another one until Hyman broke in and still couldn’t score on an empty net. However, Nazem Kadri put the dagger in the Flyers chances when he went in and scored on a dump in to the empty net making it 4-2.
The Leafs are learning to hold on and walk away with a win, which is nice. However, they are putting themselves in that position for no reason late in the game. That is not nice.
A win is a win is a win is a win every single day. This review would be much different had we lost but we didn’t. The Leafs need to close out games better period, especially with every game being life or death.
SCORING BY PERIOD
Philadelphia Goal 6:09 W. Simmonds (28) (power play) assisted by S. Gostisbehere and C. Giroux
Toronto Goal 13:57 W. Nylander (18) (power play) assisted by J. Gardiner and C. Brown
Toronto Goal 9:28 T. Bozak (16)
Toronto Goal 13:44 M. Marner (16) (power play) assisted by M. Rielly and T. Bozak
Philadelphia Goal 17:32 S. Gostisbehere (6) assisted by V. Filppula and J. Voracek
Toronto Goal 19:00 N. Kadri (28)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MIKE BABCOCK POST GAME SCRUM