Toronto Maple Leafs 5 – Montreal Canadiens 1
Auston Matthews: Matthews recorded a hat trick in this affair after scoring twice in the first 5 minutes. In this game Matthews shot was on display as well as his hand eye coordination, as he shoveled home the rebound of a William Nylander shot out of mid air to make it 2-0. He completed the hat trick by ripping a shot home after getting behind the defense in the third period, making it 4-1 at the time.
Williams Nylander: Nylander continues to be all around the play, firing home a shot mid way through the 3rd to cap off the Leafs 5-1 win and setting up Matthews on a couple of other occasions. Nylander has the speed, and the shot to drive a line in his own right, pairing him with Matthews is downright unfair to opposing teams.
Calle Rosen: This was actually probably Rosen’s worst game of the three that he’s played so far, but he gets in the good column for a play made in the first period. Off of a face off while on the penalty, Rosen took a skate to the throat. Rather that make a beeline for the bench, as would have probably been wise, Rosen, in obvious discomfort stayed on the ice and played his position, actually executing a poke check to disrupt Alex Galchenyuk’s scoring chance just a few seconds later.
The Leafs penalty kill: In addition to giving up a goal off of a one timer pass from Victor Mete to Jeff Petry, the Leafs PK also gave up several posts, and in general was not nearly as aggressive as they were last year. It’s certainly something that will need to be worked on going forward if they expect to be contenders this year.
Brendan Gallagher: The diminutive Habs forward fought Zach Hyman after running Hyman from behind, then as if he hadn’t learned his lesson from the previous incident, ran Nazem Kadri from behind, drawing the ire of number 43. Gallagher is a pretty good player, and his game in certainly to agitate, but he’s writing checks his body can’t cash by delivering these illegal hits, and there’s not really anyone on the Habs to cash them for him either. As a player who has missed significant time with hand injuries the past two seasons, Gallagher would do well to keep himself out of situations requiring him to throw punches.
Coach Babcock Post Game Presser