Maple Leafs vs Red Wings - Preseason Sept 28 2018

By: Nabeela Damji

Friday, September 28, 2018

Note to everyone in the league: Don’t take a penalty against the Leafs.

Toronto scored four goals (3 PP and one SH) in less than four minutes, on their way to a 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings in their second last preseason game.  

Nazim Kadri got the Leafs on the board after Brown fed him the puck for a partial l breakaway to get a 1-0 lead early on. Josh Leivo also had an assist on the goal, who chipped the pass to brown.  

Toronto’s PK had a chance to show off after Frederik Gauthier went off for the first penalty of the game.  John Tavares and Par Lindholm started the PK unit, but the Wings made a pass to Gustav Nyqvist who nailed one home to tie it up before the end of the first. Kaperi Kapanen went off for high sticking and enter Mitch Marner who dazzled on the PK for the Leafs.  With Gardiner and Gauthier, Marner set up a 2 on 1 for Gauthier but ended up going wide and didn’t capitalize. The period ended with a 1-1 tie and the Wings still some PK juice left for the second.

Then all hell broke loose.

So, the Leafs started off the period killing what was left of the dull powerplay by the Wings. Then, Gardiner decided he wanted a penalty too, and off the Leafs went onto another PK.  Marner and Kapanen pressured the Wings, only giving up one shot against in the PK. The first Leafs PP wasn’t able to score, but the second unit for sure as hell got the job done.

On a double screen, Gardiner flicked the puck through a moving screen that was Andreas Johnsson, and then through Patrick Marleau to take a 2-1 lead.  Leivo got the assist on the goal for his second of the night. 

They weren’t done here…

With the Leafs going back on the PP after Kadri getting slashed while on an odd-man rush, the Wings decided to give the Leafs another gift.  The gift of the delay of game penalty and that dangerous 5 on 3.

Toronto stuck everyone out there for this penalty with almost 2 mins of a two-man advantage.

Auston Matthews on the point with the hard pass to Tavares by the faceoff circle who one-timed it over Jimmy Howard, gave the Leafs a 3-1 lead.

Still not done…

Still, with the gift of a 5-4, the second PP unit came out and literally scored right away. Johnsson passed to Leivo who missed, but the puck bounced off the boards and onto the stick of one Marleau who tapped that one in.  4-1 Toronto.

Almost done…

Right after, the Leafs went from PP to PK.  Did that stop them? Nah. Off the rush, Connor Brown was stopped by Howard, but Brown wasn’t done.  He fed Lindholm for the sharp angle shot for the short-handed goal.  Leafs up 5-1.

By the way, William Nylander hasn’t even joined the team yet so let this sink in.  You may contact your local tattoo artist for “2019 Leafs Stanley Cup Champs” tattoo’s in 3…2..1…

 

At the start of the third, Detroit decided they needed to score goals. 

And they did. Well, one.  They scored one. 

To kick off the third, the Wings floated a puck from the point that found its home behind Andersen from a Larkin tip in.  5-2 Leafs.

The third period was troublesome for both PP units for Toronto, until five left to go in the game. Matthews set up a nice pass to Gardiner for a 6-2 lead with less than 5 to go. The rest of the game passed without much hoorah, and with the 6-2 win, Toronto moved to 5-1 this pre-season.

Ray Ferraro once famously said (okay he said it 30 mins ago) theyre going to score a million goals this year”.

Honestly, at this rate, I wouldn’t put it past them.