(Toronto) At the end of the night, moments after the Leafs’ game-winning goal in overtime, Phillip Danault hit the glass with his stick before heading into the locker room.
Danault had just missed an almost certain breakaway goal, and he knows full well that this season it’s not a good idea to miss points like that in overtime.
Why ? Because in a schedule of 56 games, with only “four-point” games on the agenda, the result of an exclusively intra-division schedule, the points lost in overtime become very precious.
Lost points like this.
What happened in the end was a goal from Morgan Rielly, who gave the Maple Leafs an unlikely 5-4 victory in the Canadiens’ opener of the season on Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Improbable, yes, because the Canadian deserved to win this game, and it was a series of bad penalties, starting in the middle of the second period, that changed everything. (By the way, we’ll stop that right now with the fight between Ben Chiarot and Wayne Simmonds, which has absolutely nothing to do with the end result. The 1970s are good, especially for Led Zeppelin and punk. -rock, but it’s less good when you go back to old outdated theories of hockey to try to explain results).
Well. So with a 3-1 lead, it was rather the Canadian and his indiscipline that allowed the Leafs to score two power-play goals at the end of the second.
No need to look any further, it is there, exactly there, that the tide has turned.
“We did some great things and had chances to win the game,” said forward Josh Anderson. We played a good game overall. We were the best team but we had to stay away from the penalty bench… ”
Indeed, and the lesson will have to be learned soon enough. In this North Division, there are top scorers (the Leafs have three of them alone), and when you give time and space to scorers like that, a lot of times the puck ends up in the back. of the net.
This Anderson, other than that, has done very well on his new start with his new team, especially for a guy who hadn’t played in over a year, for a guy who hadn’t scored since October 26, 2019. The Canadian gave him a very heavy seven-year contract and we’ll see what happens, but in the meantime, he already has two goals on the clock, and if he keeps up with that, he will quickly become a favorite.
By the way, this line was the most active, with 7 shots for Anderson, 6 for Suzuki, and one for Drouin.
“It’s three of them have known good camp, replied Claude Julien. Immediately upon leaving, we saw the cohesion being built between them. (Wednesday) evening it appeared. I hope what we saw was a sample of what is likely to happen this year. With more time to play together, we hope they will get even better. ”
So no, this is probably not the result hoped for by Claude Julien for this first match, but the positive points are numerous. Enough, in any case, to suggest that this season will be better than the last. The Canadian combines speed, strength and talent. Most nights that will be enough to win.
A different start to the season …
No, it wasn’t a usual start to the season in Toronto on Wednesday night. There was no one in the stands, of course, but also almost no one in the streets, and we had to search hard to find something that would remind us that hockey was, finally, back. Before the match the players were introduced via video by brave healthcare workers, and then during the match you had to endure pre-recorded crowd noises, which very often did not match what was happening. to happen on the ice. But you know what ? We will not complain. Hockey is back, and that’s pretty much all that matters.
Already disciplinary problems …
We assume that Claude Julien will want to correct that, and quickly. With the Canadian having a good 3-1 lead in the second period, the discipline problems spoiled everything. First Ben Chiarot, already following a penalty to Brett Kulak, who offered a fight to Wayne Simmonds, a more than marginal player who was far too happy to get him out of the game for five minutes. Then, in quick succession, Anderson, Suzuki and Weber, who were all punished, and who allowed the Leafs to score twice on the power play (including a goal with a two-man advantage), to come in 3-3. after 40 minutes of play. By the way, if we calculate correctly, it is therefore four penalties in a row that the Canadian offered to the Leafs. “We had control, but the penalties gave them the chance to come back,” explained Claude Julien. We took the lead again, we managed it well after losing it (3-3), but there was an unlucky leap that ended in our goal. We had the chance to win in overtime. It could have gone both ways, it’s a disappointment. ”
Good start for Romanov
Young Alexander Romanov was playing the first game of his career in the National League on Wednesday night, and let’s face it, he didn’t disappoint. In the end, he collected an assist, his first point in the NHL, and with 22 minutes and 22 seconds of playing time, he was the second most often employed player by coach Claude Julien, behind veteran defenseman Shea. Weber. “For a youngster in his first game in the NHL, he looked confident, turned on, very comfortable,” commented Claude Julien. I didn’t hate his game at all. Sure he made a few mistakes here and there, but everyone did. ”
By securing an assist on the Canadiens’ third goal, Alexander Romanov became the club’s first defender to collect a point in his first career game since Jyrki Lumme in 1988.
We don’t really know if he will play like this for another 55 games, but it’s off to a good start!
We don’t really know if he will play like this for another 55 games, but it’s not off to a good start!
Plus a first game it was excellent. Josh (Anderson) has good speed and we’re going to have a good line… We talked a lot on the bench, on the ice, we knew what we were doing. We went looking for big goals in the first period.
The punishments were the turning point for me… it’s up to us to control that and it was costly.
What Josh Anderson can do, we had a small sample… but I can say he is a player who does what we need. I have found that he has brought great strengths to the team and that is an encouraging sign for us.
There have been ups and downs, the structure will be placed as we play. It’s a disappointment: when you lead 3-1, you want to be able to finish better than that. In Romanov’s case, I find he struggles, he moves the puck well. He’s a good player, too bad we didn’t win. He played well.