Horrible Effort By the Toronto Maple Leafs Hidden By Unlikely Victory

Feb 15, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) battles for the
Feb 15, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) battles for the / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs played an extremely weird game last night, but ultimately won 4-3.

Like several other times this year, the Toronto Maple Leafs end up with a result they probably don't deserve, which will quiet down the complaints and keep the status quo.

Though you enjoy the results, and though the blue-line is without its' best player, you have to ask yourself how many two goal leads its acceptable to blue in one season.

Personally, I feel like the Leafs are at their limit.

Toronto Maple Leafs Win a Weird One

The Leafs didn't get a good game from their goalie, their didn't get a good game from their special teams, they took some incredibly stupid offensive zone penalties, and for about 50 minutes, did not look interested in playing at all.

And yet they pulled out a victory for the same reason they haven't been eliminated from playoff contention: Their star players.

In this case, the player in question is Auston Matthews who was just unbelievable on Thursday night. He scored 3 goals in the second period, a natural hattrick that he produced in nine minutes.

He also could have easily had two or three other goals during those nine minutes. Between the first and third Matthews goal, the Leafs came alive, evend the shots and showed the Flyers they are a vastly superior team.

Then the period ended and they went back to sleep.

Somehow they won the game, but they also once again blew a two goal lead thanks to sketchy goaltending and undisciplined play.

This game ended with the Flyers earning 65% of the dangerous chances and 61% of the expected goals. (naturalstattrick.com).

The 2 assists will hide the fact that Timothy Liljegren - someone I am usually happy to praise - had a completely terrible game on the top pairing with TJ Brodie. The Flyers just did whatever they wanted when those guys were on the ice, and Brodie finished with a 25% expected goals rating, while Liljgren was at 19%.

Those are puke-on-the-floor type numbers. They are never-play-those-guys-again-on-the-top-pairing-no-matter-what numbers.

The Leafs won and Matthews had a hattrick, but it's worth asking when exactly Brad Treliving plans on brining in reenforcements because this roster is a bit of a joke.

I don't care if Rielly is out, honestly, you should have a deep enough blue-line that you can survive a five games without your best player defenseman, but the Leafs have literally no one to turn to. Brodie and Liljegren were pathetic.


But a win is a win, so.....