Maple Leafs overwhelm Islanders and win 3-0

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Back to the island, home to so many happy memories. Do you remember the rubber snakes? That was fun until the game got going. Let’s hope this one is better.

New lines tonight:

First period

Boooo, says the crowd as JT starts.

Wayne Simmonds takes a slashing penalty, but Clutterbuck started it and he’s also allowed to go into the box.

Oh, great, just great. Timothy Liljegren gets the door blasted and gets a desperate sentence so forget that, it’s a four-on-three PP for the islands.

David Kämpf only pushes the puck around behind the Islanders’ net on the PK, but cannot move it. However, Mitch Marner can:

1-0 leaves

Joe Woll ends this PP with a good job.

Simmonds with a nice chance. He was good against the penguins too. One day someone will score points for their game on the net.

That never gets old:

They’ll never stop implying that having a big head start on the hits isn’t really bad. I also hate this score bug and could write to the CRTC.

Leafs control the game a lot in the remaining minutes, but get a post from Jake Muzzin and a counter-attack from JG Pageau, which brings nothing.

Thoughts

No heat map for you, it is too misleading if too few shots are taken. So you have to be content with this:

Ice hockey is changing

All of these islanders miss helping Woll, and the team itself doesn’t have to admit that they allow the slot machine to play the most games.

Second period

Brock Nelson quits the Islanders for reasons unknown. Always good when the team has several players in the Covid protocol and they pull someone.

Islanders stage a slight pushback to start the period, but Woll is doing fine so far. The Islanders look weak and exhausted.

Nick Ritchie with a nice move to give fighting a chance. I think Ritchie looks great with the Czech line. (What?)

Rasmus Sandin tries very hard to keep up with 90-year-old Kyle Palmieri but he can’t and Palmieri makes a very ineffective insult.

I’m not going to lie, this game is really boring. Both teams are tired and start circling in the neutral zone like they would like to go back to the hotel / home and have a beer.

Michael Bunting, an innocent young man, pulls a penalty kick. To the Batmobile, uh, not to the power game we’re going.

Try to find a word for this PP: Flashback to April or maybe even 2020? Dying? Something like that.

Palmieri takes a really stupid penalty and the Leafs – who now dominate this game but don’t get very good chances – get another PP.

Yeah, okay, it’s terminally ill.

Spezza takes a punishment for an accidental trip, which is likely just a mistake by the referee who thinks he sneakily stuck his bat into it.

Auston Matthews plays a one-man-on-three routine and almost scores in 4on4. The Islanders PP isn’t exactly exciting either. The Leafs control the puck very much.

Impressive. Woll left the net open on a rebound, but the Islanders don’t care. That was the first AHL moment he had in the whole game.

Of course, the Leafs stay hemmed in to see if he will do it again. Fight it must freeze.

And that period ends with no goals scored and the Leafs control the game most of the time.

Thoughts

You will now receive a heat map. Check out the Leafs’ defense …

Sometimes the best defense is a good attack. At the start, the Leafs’ good possession showed up as a pretty normal percentage of expected goals, but that has been changed across the board to 60-ish. Still 1-0.

Third period

We open the time with an immoderate laugh as the show claims that the islanders keep the recordings outside. This is an undying trope that possesses magical powers in defiance. Most of the time, their teams don’t do this any better than any other team.

And the Czech line makes it 2-0! Big shift from them. Good games by Ritchie and Kämpf, but Kaše scores.

2-0 leaves!

Bunting takes another penalty and it’s a PP that fizzles until Nylander trips a guy and it’s time for the Leafs PK to shine because the Islanders PP is bad too.

The Leafs get a little too involved in the PK offensive (because it’s so easy against the Islanders) and almost do an ops. Woll saves and everything is fine.

Marner brings the drop pass back. He takes it off, drops it again and he and the blue bird of joy make it possible:

3-0 leaves.

Kaše goes to the bench and then into the locker room with something by hand that is not good.

Kaše will be back quickly, that’s a good thing. Maybe he’s as paranoid as the fans.

And it starts early after crashing the boards. The Leafs run out of clock easily and this is the ball game.

Thoughts

The Islanders aren’t very good when they have a few people on the Covid log. Against a more talented team, the mix of wool and the allowed shots might have been a very bad thing, but for this team it was good enough. Woll played well and rarely looked like he wasn’t one of them.

And now it’s off to California!



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