Post Game Analysis: Maple Leafs Victorious in Motor City After 4-2 win Vs. Red Wings

Maple Leafs Auston Matthews Takes Face-off Vs. Red Wings
Maple Leafs Auston Matthews Takes Face-off Vs. Red Wings Photo credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 in the Motor City! After getting points in 10 of their last 11 games, the Toronto Maple Leafs took care of business yet again. The team has successfully completed its four game road trip and grabbed all 8 points available. After opening up the trip in New Jersey, back-to-back with the Wild and Penguins, they then finished with a win tonight in Detroit! The blue and white now have Tuesday off before a date with the San Jose Sharks at home on Wednesday night.

Things got off the rails pretty quickly in the first period, as you would expect, when two very quick and highly talented offensive teams collided. The opening goal scored by Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider was definitely an interesting one. A weird pileup in the crease of Matt Murray caused a bit of a stir-up. Fortunately for Moritz, he found the loose puck to open the scoring and grabbed his 2nd of the year! However, the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t back down after Detroit took the early lead! Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting found fellow teammate Auston Matthews in the slot, who ripped one up high on Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso! It’s also important to mention the secondary assist by Maple Leafs defenseman Mac Hollowell was his first point in the NHL! After Auston’s snipe, an early power-play opportunity arose for the Maple Leafs. Despite going 0 for their last 10, this Maple Leafs power-play was easily converted! Leafs forward William Nylander scored his 13th goal of the season thanks to a loose rebound off Rasmus Sandin’s point shot. Nylander’s team leading 13th goal was also the 150th goal of his career! An incredible accomplishment for a highly skilled player that the blue and white are fortunate to have. As for scoring, that’s all that happened in the opening frame, but it’s hard to write a post game without appreciating Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray’s performance early. Murray made several key saves to keep the Leafs lead heading into the intermission. 

In the second frame, the red-hot Maple Leaf Mitch Marner scored his 7th of the year! It only took 52 seconds into the period for Marner to continue his now 17-game point streak! Marner’s historic point streak is now just one game shy of tying the team’s franchise record of 18-games set by Leafs legend Daryl Sittler and the great Ed Olczyk! After Marner’s goal to make it 3-1 Maple Leafs, Detroit came flying. The Red Wings offense had some good looks but were ultimately shut down by Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray. It’s refreshing to see the Maple Leafs get goaltending that can keep the game simple when needed and keep out the danger. This is a luxury the Maple Leafs didn’t have for most of last season. With the pressure Detroit was putting on the Leafs defensively, if Murray wasn’t sharp, this one could have been extremely back and forth. Then after about seven minutes from Marner’s tally Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin scored his first of the year! Without Morgan Rielly, it is extremely encouraging to see Rasmus starting to find his way offensively again! This was Sandin’s second point of the game, and now his fourth point in six games! The Maple Leafs might have been up 4-1 after 40 minutes of action, but the score doesn’t tell the full story. It’s not that the Maple Leafs were outskating the Red Wings off the rink. It was just the blue and white’s ability to capitalize on their opportunities. For the second period in a row tonight, Matt Murray kept the team in check, making saves left and right without much panic. When Murray is on his game like this, he certainly is one of the best goaltenders in the National Hockey League, and we’ve seen that most of the road trip. 

Heading into the final period with a 4-1 lead despite trailing in the shots tally 25-19, the Red Wings still kept pressing. After testing Murray early in the third, the Red Wings finally got one by him for their second goal. A point shot from Detroit defenseman Moritz Seider was perfectly deflected by Red Wings forward Adam Erne. This was Erne’s 3rd goal of the season for the Red Wings and certainly gave them some life late in this one. After Erne’s goal, it was all Leafs goaltender Matt Murray the rest of the way. Despite outshooting the Maple Leafs 19-6 in the 3rd period, they could only beat Murray once in the final frame. Murray finished tonight’s game with 42 saves and a .955 save percentage. With the rapid Leafs offense burying their opportunities and the strong performance of Matt Murray, the Leafs cruised over Detroit in this one by a score of 4-2. The team will now focus on Wednesday night’s test against the San Jose Sharks at Scotiabank Arena. 

Thanks for reading! For more hockey content, follow my Twitter at @ITR_Anselmo

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Joshua Anselmo

A hockey mind that's always looking at new and insightful ways to bring different perspectives of the game we all love.

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