Remember when fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs were worried about the team’s lack of offensive production, especially at home?
I do. I had to write about it just over a week ago.
After going five straight home games without a goal in the first two periods, including last Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, the Leafs have remembered how to put the puck between the pipes once again. They’ve won both of their contests since that loss to the Stars and outscored opponents 8-1 in the process.
The goals continued to pile up for Toronto at Scotiabank Arena on Friday night. Already up 4-1 late in the second period against the Devils after contributions from up and down the lineup, defenceman Morgan Rielly netted a gift that seemed to come out of nowhere:
— John Smith (@NJviDs) November 10, 2018
Give that camera operator a raise because the face of Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid really says it all. He clearly didn’t see that puck until he was forced to fish it out of the back of the net.
It’s a tally that might remind hockey fans of a playoff overtime winner from about a decade ago:
Scott Niedermayer’s goal on Roberto Luongo in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal was obviously on a much larger stage, but both are similar in composition.
Following a failed breakout by one team, a quick shot from the point by an opposing blueliner handcuffs the netminder and results in a bit of an embarrassing situation.
When it comes to the goal that Kinkaid gave up, it’s tough to watch because the 29-year-old American was actually playing very well in the contest. Toronto’s offence was just that good.
Rielly continues his torrid start to the year. The goal was his seventh of the season and 20th point (he also assisted on John Tavares’ marker that opened the game’s scoring midway through the opening frame).
The Leafs went on to win the game 6-1 for their third straight victory.
Based on their recent play, I think it’s fair to say this: No Auston Matthews? No William Nylander? No problem!
(I’m totally kidding. Please come back as soon as possible. You are very missed).
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