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söndag, november 12, 2023

Leafs grow to be weekend warriors in upset of Vancouver Canucks

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A brush was the very last thing anybody thought to see within the palms of the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Area this weekend. 

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That it was wielded by a 40-year-old scrapping defenceman, a brand new fourth line and the lesser of their two goaltenders to finish the unlikely sweep made it all of the sweeter for coach Sheldon Keefe. 

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Probably the most beautiful win got here Saturday evening, persevering 5-2 over the favoured Vancouver Canucks. It was the primary time in 9 house video games the Leafs held the opposition to lower than 4 objectives as they needed to combat their manner via the primary interval when the extra aggressive West Coasters may’ve made brief work of them. 

Saturday’s consequence didn’t look to be within the playing cards after they blew a three-goal lead Friday and survived the 5-4 shootout win over Calgary. 

“The sport works in humorous methods,” mentioned Keefe. “(The Canucks) rating on a few instigators (penalties), when these are moments you need the blokes to get a kill. However to me, we constructed up some good karma via that, guys sticking collectively, stepping up (Mark Giordano going after Dakota Joshua after what he thought was a excessive hit that reduce David Kampf, Max Domi leaping Ian Cole for flattening Nick Robertson), massive moments to get the gang concerned. 

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“Regardless of the very fact the puck went in twice, it simply appeared to tug us collectively. There have been nice responses all through the sport and we did an excellent job of managing (a 3rd interval lead).” 

Vancouver was rested, whereas the Leafs’ struggles on defence and in internet each time Ilya Samsonov will get the decision had been well-documented for the guests. However the Russian stopper restricted the harm by Elias Petterssen and Quinn Hughes, two of the highest 5 in NHL scoring, to a degree every in a night that unfolded with fireworks and dear fisticuffs.  

“It received some power going,” Giordano mentioned. “I believe followers in Toronto respect that. I don’t wish to be a man that simply barks on a regular basis and then you definately see a teammate go down. That Joshua, he’s a giant boy. But it surely received me going, too and generally you want that, to get proper within the sport, although it felt like I sat an hour after that (with a serious and misconduct).” 

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Maple Leafs defenceman Mark Giordano (left) fights with Canucks forward Dakota Joshua during first period NHL action at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.
Maple Leafs defenceman Mark Giordano (left) fights with Canucks ahead Dakota Joshua throughout first interval NHL motion at Scotiabank Area in Toronto, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. Photograph by Bruce Bennett /Getty Photographs

J.T. Miller and Pius Suter had the power-play objectives for Vancouver’s unit that got here in at nearly 33% success, Suter banging in a fats Samsonov rebound.  

However all this snark from the Leafs got here with designated enforcer Ryan Reaves scratched for the primary time this season and a rebuilt fourth line with Bobby McMann referred to as up and Noah Gregor and Kampf supplying go-ahead and insurance coverage objectives. 

“Vancouver was coming in fairly sizzling (10-2-1) so this was a giant sport to construct on,” Gregor mentioned. “Our line performed with tempo, pace and put pucks into areas the place we may get it again. 

“I’ve had probabilities to attain in previous video games so it was good to see one go in (in opposition to Thatcher Demko and his save share of .948).” 

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Domi assisted on Robertson’s aim within the third interval after their forecheck led to a turnover. 

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Matthew Knies earlier knocked in his fourth of the yr after Tyler Bertuzzi labored the puck into the crease by banking it off Demko’s again from down low. An analogous tactic noticed William Nylander feign going across the internet with the puck, however flip again, twisting Demko the fallacious manner.  

Nylander’s aim continued the most popular begin in franchise historical past, 10 objectives and 12 assists with factors in 15 video games, simply in time for the Leafs’ journey to Sweden. 

“This weekend is big for us going to Sweden,” Robertson mentioned, with seen stitches round his ear from the Cole hit. “It’s massive for our staff to go there and we wish to be assured. I assumed we’ve been due for extra wins.

“I’m not going to cry concerning the hit on me, it’s hockey, however I’m simply glad that Max stepped up for me.” 

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Keefe held an impromptu video session after the Leafs had solely three first-period photographs on Demko, whereas Samsonov made 21 saves of his 31 saves within the last two frames. 

The center interval noticed the Toronto penalty-killers underneath stress once more, together with a 23-second 5-on-3 that got here partly from 5 Leafs not noticing they had been one over the restrict for nearly 10 seconds. However Kampf nearly scored together with his staff down two males earlier than Gregor snapped the winner in. 

Kampf tipped within the fifth aim, his first of the yr. Toronto is now 6-0-0 when it does maintain a lead going into the third.  


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