Toronto Maple Leafs Destroy Canucks In Extremely Lopsided Game

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 27: Jason Spezza #19 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 27, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 27: Jason Spezza #19 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 27, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs played perhaps their best game of the Auston Matthews era on Thursday night.

After a nice four day breather, the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted a most-likely exhausted Vancouver Canucks team and the result wasn’t pretty. The Leafs absolutely crushed Vancouver for their first decisive victory of the season after ten close games to start the year.

The Leafs started the game with two or three odd-man rushes, and never looked back.  Vancouver kept it close for a bit, but they looked terrible and the Leafs could easily have hit double digits in this one, if not for the fact that, despite allowing seven goals, Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko made some spectacular saves.

Other than their goalie, no one on Vancouver even bothered to show up for this one.

Toronto Maple Leafs on Fire

The Leafs have been winning games, but not decisively. This game was different. From the first puck drop to the final buzzer, they controlled play and basically did what they wanted to do whenever they felt like it.

At the end of the night, Jason Spezza scored three times for what the broadcast told us was his first hattrick in over four years.  The final goal was something to see, and it will most likely be one of the best goals anyone in the NHL scores this year.

Not only was Spezza great, but Wayne Simmonds was promoted to the second line, had a fight, and posted a 70% Corsi, no big deal.  God I’d hate to be the guy that suggested those two were done.

I have to admit, I still don’t think that long-term, Simmonds is a good top six option for a contending team, nor do I think that Jason Spezza is actually better than Pierre Engvall at this point of their careers, but when you are wrong, you’re wrong…….and that was a spectacularly ill timed and poorly thought out suggestion.

Fine by me though, if the Leafs ever want to make me look dumb by scoring seven goals in a game, I’ll be happy to take the abuse.  (all statsnaturalstattrick.com).

As for the rest of the game – well, you don’t need me to recap it for you, it was awesome.  Matthews was robbed of his third career hattrick by an incredible save, and Nic Petan earned himself some more ice time. 

The Leafs didn’t have a single negative Corsi player, and they controlled 63% of the play overall, while posting a 75% expected goals rating – so this wasn’t just a lucky game, this was a thorough and professional beat-down.

Also Travis Dermot was injured, so hopefully he’s OK.  Tavares scored his first 5v5 game, and Nylander had a three point night.  Their line was incredibly dominant.

Next. Analyzing the Leafs Big Four So Far. dark

Overall, this game was an absolute clinic and I hope I continue to be incredibly wrong about Spezza, Simmonds and Bogosian.