The Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers played their first of four games in a 10-day span last night and it wasn’t pretty.
When the feature presentation is Auston Matthews vs. Connor McDavid, it’s easy to get excited. However, when it was all set and done, the star of the show was Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen.
I don’t have much more to say than that. I kind of felt like Bernie Sanders on Inauguration Day watching this game. I was just sitting there in my living room, social distancing from the world, waiting for this game to end.
Regardless, here’s the breakdown of the good, bad and ugly from last night’s game.
The Good, Bad and the Ugly
- Auston Matthews
- Matthews was the lone goal-scorer for the Leafs and was the team’s best forward (as usual). He had six shots on net but more importantly did a great job shadowing Connor McDavid and limiting his chances. Matthews is going to break-out one of these games and have a hat-trick performance. I can feel it.
- Limited McDavid and Draisaitl
- Keefe matched Matthews against McDavid and it worked. Leon Draisaitl scored a goal, but it was a power-play tally, while McDavid’s lone assist came on the empty-netter scored by Josh Archibald. The fact that the Leafs limited these players and still lost is very troubling heading into their rematch on Friday.
- One Goal is Unacceptable
- Mikko Koskinen allowed three or more goals in three of his four games, but was a stonewall against the Leafs. No matter what team Toronto is playing against, they should never be limited to one goal. Similar to their bounce back game after losing to Ottawa last Friday, I’d expect them to respond and come out firing on Friday.
- Jake Muzzin Penalty
- I’m not blaming Muzzin for getting the penalty that led to Edmonton’s game-winning goal, but am blaming the referees for calling it, instead. If you looked back at the play, Muzzin didn’t trip anyone. In fact, one of the Oilers players tripped his teammate, so there never should have been a penalty called in the first place.
- First Two Periods Were Awful
- The first two periods of this game were hands-down the worst of the season. It was such a boring sloppy game and the only action we saw was when the Leafs scored on their own net. Leafs vs. Oilers games are supposed to be high-flying, filled with highlight-reel goals, but instead this game was hard to watch.
- Jumbo Joe Injured
- After the game, TSN’s Kristen Shilton tweeted this: “Sheldon Keefe said ” definitely” looks like Joe Thornton will miss some time. More tests needed.”
- When Nick Robertson got injured, it sucked but it wasn’t the end of the world. If Jumbo misses significant time, it’ll be incredibly upsetting because he was playing at an extremely high level. Expect Zach Hyman to reunite with Matthews and Marner moving forward, while Simmonds or Spezza gets a heightened role on the third-line.
After getting so hyped for a Matthews vs. McDavid match-up, it didn’t live up to our expectations. Instead, we saw a dud of a game that was more boring than my pick-up hockey games.
Friday night is now a huge game, as the Toronto Maple Leafs can’t afford to lose back-to-back games to Edmonton at home. Hopefully the Leafs offense can show up this time.