- Big off season acquisition Frederik Andersens' SV% line in his 2016-17 starts:
Pretty sure the Leafs brass was hoping for more consistency. ICYW, Andersen's two strong outings were against Boston and Florida, he bombed the joint against Tampa Bay.
- Line matching watch - Weber and Plekanec line put out against Kadri line, 4th lines against each other.
- Therrien puts out Mitchell line to check Leafs Matthews line. Within 20 seconds Hyman hits the crossbar.
- Pretty good looking first powerplay by the Leafs, puck movement was good, Habs were a bit soft covering the passing lanes, just that nobody was able to finish with quality shots.
- Yum, yum, Galchenyuk and Radulov sure look a match made in heaven early in this game. More, please.
- Gears shifted at bit, Plekanec line put out to check the Matthews line. He and Nylander look awfully good tonight.
- Soft hook call on Emelin who gets called for doing his job, in this instance, guarding a streaking Mattchews as he crashed the Habs net. Zach Hyman totally overreacts, pummels Emelin, and gets nothing for it.
- Ice looks to be not good tonight, puck bouncing a lot, which didn't help either team to generate high danger scoring opportunities. Leafs look like they came to play tonight, Habs were given all they could handle by the super-duper fast Matthews line, which is strides quicker than slow footed defensemen like Emelin, Weber and Markov. Habs will need to adjust their neutral zone forecheck to at least try to slow down the Leafs young speed. Otherwise, the Leafs might be tough to beat.
- Habs 1st period possession numbers weren't very good. 5v5:
- Plekanec line took a real hammering that period, with Pleks and Byron both with 25.0% CF while 5v5, largely because they were assigned checking roles, and largely because the lines they were assigned to more or less dominated them. That line will need to pick up its game immediately.
- Habs defence also was taken to the cleaners in the first - playing most of it on their heels, and doing a fairly poor job feeding the puck out of their zone, mainly because they had trouble containing the Leafs young speedsters, in part because the Leafs were being pretty aggressive checking in the Habs zone.
- Habs first powerplay looks really good, Therrien putting out the Canadiens best playing line in Radulov/Galchenyuk/Gallagher. Pinned the Leafs almost their entire shift with excellent puck control along the boards, and creative shot attempt setups.
- A ridiculous play by Radulov on a broken play, picks up a loose puck deep in Leafs zone, fakes a shot and makes an absolutely pin-perfect pass to a streaking Galchenyuk coming down the left wing, who slaps it home. No chance for Andersen. That's pretty much as good as it gets. 1-0 Habs.Radulov sells the net drive and then finds Galchenyuk for this third of the season. 1-0 #Habs. pic.twitter.com/UZu2aOyptg— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 30, 2016
- Habs getting sloppy, Leafs coming really close from the 10 minute mark, but Carey Price is, as usual, coming to the rescue. Byron, who's struggled tonight, with a bad giveaway at centre ice that creates a Leafs breakaway, while the 4th line is, like the 1st period, getting destroyed by Leafs speed and aggressive forecheck.
- Leafs continue to apply some pretty aggressive forecheck in the Habs zone - it's been ongoing the past 4 minutes. Canadiens need to slow this game down, and find a way of reducing the pressure. Otherwise, it's going to be 1-1 very soon.
- Babcock doing his best to match lines - sending out either Kadri or Matthews line every time the Mitchell line steps on the ice. Leafs have been generating tons of shot attempts because of this.
- Polak with clear-cut check from behind on Shaw draws a 2 minute boarding penalty. I'm of the opinion it's not nearly enough - the League must start handing out 5 minute majors and game misconducts for this kind of dangerous garbage. Babcock, as much unsurprisingly as unbelievably, acting incredulous over the call.
- Habs the better team first half of the 2nd period, Leafs the much better team last half. But Carey Price just makes it look so damn easy - I can't even begin to fathom how frustrating it must be to play against him. Given his age, this might be peak Price. One of the greatest goaltenders in history at the height of his professional playing career. It's a marvel to watch, and it might just get the Habs another 2 points in a game they've clearly been outplayed.
- Habs and Leafs after 40 minutes, Canadiens were again outplayed in the period, the CF dropping more to 39.1%, Fenwick just barely above 41%. Those are bad numbers, but ... you know, Carey Price.
- First shift of the night by the Plekanec line (matched against Matthews line) that results in scoring chances. A good sign for the Habs where there's little margin for error.
- Soft hooking call on Radulov, and Kadri redirects a point shot past Price to tie the game. Canadiens bench still fuming about that penalty.
- Carey Price being ridiculous again, flashing out the glove and keeping the Leafs from grabbing the lead. At least for now.
- Habs 4-on-3 powerplay, beautifully controlled by the Galchenyuk line, with Weber added in. One timer shot by Weber simply unstoppable. Montreal takes 2-1 lead.
- Emelin caught out of position is forced to take an interference penalty. The Leafs powerplay is 25% this season, which is awfully good. And it's looked particularly dangerous tonight. Habs making this game much more difficult than it need be.
- 7 minutes left in the 3rd, it's been a better period for the Habs, certainly not getting as badly dominated by possession, a good part because of improved play by the Plekanec line.
- Plekanec line has really contained their assignment, mainly the Matthews line, this period. It's made a huge difference in helping the Habs to guard a narrow lead.
- Leafs are really blessed. Some shifts it's hard to tell who's better. Matthews or Nylander.
- 1:40 left, Leafs have been pressing here, but Habs have contained the slot pretty effectively this period, the only big let down being the Kadri goal. Leafs should be crashing here, looking for a late tie.
- Habs hang on Leafs last minute push to complete an almost-perfect October. 17 out of a possible 18 points. Habs outplayed as usual, Carey Price steals two points. You've read it before, you've seen it before, this is just same old same old.
GAMEDAY GAME NOTES:
Lines lines ... we got game day lines:
- Radulov/Galchenyuk/Gallagher (looks good should be very fun to watch)
- Pacioretty/Desharnais/Shaw (uhh, DD and Shaw as a top 6 line? Oy).
Meanwhile on the other side of the rink:
- Van Riemsdyk/Bozak/Marner
Okay, with that out of the way, check out this little gem quoted after Habs practice this morning:
Michel Therrien says he hasn't watched Auston Matthews, and therefore the Leafs, play since preseason. Says he's focused on his own team.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) October 29, 2016
And here I thought all this time that professional coaches of professional teams actually do research to help prepare their teams for upcoming games. What was I thinking?!?
Puck drops at 7:10 EST.
YAY! THE LEAFS ARE BACK IN TOWN!
Ah, Toronto. Ahhh, Leafs fans. We've missed you so. It's been 245 days since we've met. That's a very, very long time. So long, I think it's probably time we do a little refresher about how wonderful it must feel to be a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. TO THE TIME MACHINE!!!
Remember this goal?? It happened a certain night in May.
Remember that? No?? Well these fans haven't forgotten:
She looks nice. How about this couple?
They look happy. They must be thinking about how the average single ticket price to watch a Leafs game is $377.71. In American dollars. Plus parking. Plus beer. Happy fans!!
Let's head outside for a while:
They're clearly all thinking about how great it is to be fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, or as the common folk like to say, proud members of LeafNation! (all rights reserved). Let's get another angle of their joy:
I sure wish I was a Leafs fan. It seems like they have so much fun together. Oh well.