Not everyone will be beautiful.
The Toronto Maple Leaves defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Sunday afternoon. All three of Toronto’s goals were diverted off and on, which is a nice microcosm of how this game went.
To break things down a little more in detail, let’s dive into the personal player scores.
Pac Game: Jack Campbell (G, # 36) Talk about a show of courage. Towards the end of the game it was clear that Campbell was in severe pain after pinching his left leg. It didn’t help when Matthew Takachuk landed on him after a scrum in front of the net.
Other than playing, it’s Big Campbell’s savings given the circumstances. He had to make some crucial stops at Takachuk earlier in the game, not to mention a sharp shot from Johnny Gaudro that Campbell fought over his shoulder.
Sometimes I’m a little upset about how much we praise professional athletes who fight pain – they are not gladiators – but Campbell certainly looks like tonight.
Ilya Mikhayev (LW, # 65) – You’ll never believe it, but Ilya Mikhayev got another break.
I want to make the easy joke that he fails to convert (again) on one of those chances, but Maccabees did hit there in the top corner. He tends to exhale by defending with his powerful skating steps.
What impressed me more was this game he made later in the game.
We are used to seeing him tearing a wrist low from the top of the circle there. Instead, he looked for the better option and managed to move an ice transition to Pierre Angwell out of a hurry.
Alex Carpot (C, # 15) – I really enjoyed his game recently. Carpathian looks much more dangerous than the rush on Sunday, using his agility to dodge differences in the defensive zone and then move the knock quickly on the ice. Carpot was not rewarded for that on the results page, but he created some great opportunities with his passing. As always, he had a great stick in the neutral zone, delivering dedication and making it difficult for the lives of Calgary pioneers to get the area in transition.
Jake Musin (LD, # 8) – I’m not sure if it’s good that Mozin led the team with shots, especially since everyone came from outside. Then again, one of them spilled on the skate, so what do I know?
The reason I give Mozine four stars has nothing to do with his shots from the spot. It’s because he closed things down defensively. Muzzin was a disappointment, however. The ball landed at the feet of Muzzin, who was completely unmarked in the box.
Mitch Marner (RW, No. 16) – When Matthews fought the pain considerably, Marner was forced to perform the heavy lifting in the aisle. I would not say he did an A + job in this department, although he did make a nice move to get the area in front of Muzzin’s goal.
When we appreciate Marner’s play, what really comes down to it is his passing. Did he make a game-breaking dedication? I would argue yes.
If Matthews catches it clean, chances are good it’s in the back of the net. Later in the game, Marner performed a small, creative flip-pass to find Spezza the back door on 2-on-1.
Marner finished the game with two assists. What’s funny is that they probably should not have reached the goals that Made Log in, except those who No. Hockey is a strange sport.
Zack Heiman (RW, # 11) – Here’s a fun stat: The leaves replaced the flames 13-2 when Hyman was on the ice. They set off 7-24 when he was off the ice.
His teams have always performed better in power even when he is on ice and that is because of games like this.
Now, we have to remember that he took two penalties late in the game when his team defended the advantage. Then again, his stumbling block was a bit of a phantom call *.
Homer’s bias in full force
Morgan Riley (LD, # 44) – I was torn from that score because Riley put up three assists in this game, but all of those goals were the result of a weird bounce on the slide. We give it to him Some credit. After all, he made some nice dedications in the middle of the slot.
Just remember this was Toronto’s “most beautiful” gate night.
William Nilander (LW, No. 88) There were a few shifts where Nilander was definitely fly In the aisle, drag the pocket from defense to offense. He made some nice dedications after getting the area, but what really impressed me was the pursuit of his pocket on the railing. He will never be a guy who crushes his opponent through the boards (see: Simmonds, Wayne), but he put his stick inside the right points as an F1 critic, and that’s what you want to see from him.
Wayne Simmonds (RW, # 24) – His goal was a bit of a parchment, similar to Toronto’s other goals, and deflected his slip by chance. Simmonds actually made some nice dedications up the ice in this game, and even sent Maccabees alone for a break.
Let’s be honest, however, this is what most Leafs fans care about.
A dirty hit? gravel? An old presence? Whatever you want to call it, that’s why there was a market for Simmonds out of this season.
Justin Hall (RD, # 3) and TJ Brodie (RD, # 78) – They do not play on the same pairing, but both played a solid 200-meter game on Sunday. Hall did a good job of holding the play in front of him from the clutter, while Brody impressed me with his ability to pass on passing tracks.
It’s input at the back door if Brody doesn’t take the aisle.
The lower pair – It was a solid game for Zac Bogusian on defense. He made a few key blocks in the penalty shootout, looked safer with his pocket on his stick, and yes, he pushed Takachuk over his injured goalkeeper. Travis Dermot hasn’t done any acting shows, but he also seems a lot safer lately.
This flight pull and slip really stood out to me.
If Dermot can perform such performances consistently, he will gain more confidence from the coaching staff.
John Tavares (C, # 91) – Apart from some nice transitions here and there, it was a bad night for Towers.
The fourth line – You do not expect much from a fourth row, but I would like to see more than Jason Spesa in uniform intensity. His impact on the game on offense is nowhere to be found last season. Alex Barbanov had a break-in, but he also allowed Multiple Passes through the slot when there was F3 in the show. Pierre Angwell was arguably the most effective in the trio, using his speed to help Toronto win the neutral zone battle when it was on the ice.
Here’s a look at his best game in the game.
The salary cap will be damn, Angwal is one of Toronto’s 12 best forwards. Find a way to keep him in the lineup. Yes, I’m talking to you, Brandon Friedham.
Auston Matthews (C, # 34) We have to acknowledge the definite caveat that Matthews played injured in this game, but he failed to achieve much of anything in the first two periods. It was a pretty bad look at Calgary’s first goal.
It is worth noting that Matthews seemed more involved in the third period.
Jimmy and Say (LW, # 26) – Hockey is a strong link sport. Jimmy and Sei are a weak link. I understand that Toronto’s quota limits will force them into situations where they need cheap depth to fill the Top 9, especially when injuries hit. I’m just not convinced that Vicky is the right actor for this role.
Here’s a quick look at where each team’s shots came in uniform, courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.
The Leaves actually played uniformly, controlling only 48 percent of the shots and scoring chances.
Score the game
The game score is a metric developed by The Athletic’s Lushchisin House To measure individual game performance. You can read more about it here.