There was a lot of doom and gloom around the Toronto Maple Leafs entering the season, and a bad goal against in the first few minutes seemed to signal the start of a long year.
However, despite an opening night loss, there’s a lot of positives in the Leaf performance from last night. In addition to carrying the play in terms of possession, the Leafs had the better of the scoring chances and zone entries. While they only narrowly out-chanced the Habs, they were slightly ahead, and they won the neutral zone battle just over half the time as well.
The Leafs had their strongest run at the start of the second period, including the tying goal, but did disappoint somewhat in the closing minutes, as it was Montreal that had more chances in the last four minutes, when the Leafs were trying to push for an equalizer.
Scoring Chance Events
|1||18:55||0||0||Tor||Kadri from loose puck||ES||21||28||36||43||45||51||15||22||26||31||51||74|
|1||17:23||0||0||Tor||Lupul deflects Phaneuf shot||ES||2||3||19||23||42||45||17||21||28||31||32||77|
|1||15:49||0||1||Mtl||Fleischmann drives wide||ES||15||16||26||36||45||51||15||22||26||31||51||74|
|1||15:29||0||1||Mtl||Wiese post from Desharnais||ES||15||16||26||44||45||52||22||26||31||51||67||77|
|1||14:31||0||1||Tor||Van Riemsdyk wide from Holland||ES||2||3||21||43||45||14||26||31||67||74|
|1||06:48||0||1||Mtl||Galchenyuk bar from Subban||SH||2||16||26||44||45||13||27||31||76||79||81|
|1||01:33||0||1||Mtl||Eller wide from Semin||ES||24||33||44||45||47||52||13||27||31||76||79||81|
|2||19:41||0||1||Tor||GOAL! Van Riemsdyk deflects Kadri shot||PP||3||15||21||28||43||45||15||17||26||31||74|
|2||18:40||1||1||Tor||Kadri from Boyes||ES||21||28||36||43||45||52||13||26||27||31||74||81|
|2||13:43||1||1||Tor||Matthias from rebound||ES||2||3||19||23||42||45||11||14||26||31||67||74|
|2||13:24||1||1||Mtl||Petry from Pacioretty||ES||2||3||19||23||42||45||13||14||26||31||67||79|
|2||09:43||1||1||Tor||Holland wide from Bozak||ES||19||24||33||42||45||51||14||31||67||76||79||81|
|2||07:54||1||1||Tor||Van Riemsdyk from Matthias||ES||3||21||23||43||44||45||13||15||28||31||51||77|
|2||06:43||1||1||Mtl||Plekanec from Pacioretty||ES||2||3||19||23||42||45||11||14||31||67||76||79|
|2||06:42||1||1||Mtl||Plekanec post from rebound||ES||2||3||19||23||42||45||11||14||31||67||76||79|
|2||01:29||1||1||Mtl||Eller drives wide||ES||28||42||43||44||45||52||13||27||31||76||79||81|
|2||00:17||1||1||Tor||Kadri deflects Phaneuf shot wide||ES||2||3||21||28||43||45||14||21||31||67||76||79|
|3||17:37||1||1||Tor||Winnik from Spaling||ES||16||26||33||36||45||51||13||27||28||31||32||77|
|3||13:07||1||1||Mtl||Desharnais from rebound||ES||3||21||28||43||45||51||15||22||31||51||76||79|
|3||08:51||1||1||Mtl||Flynn deflects Gilbert shot wide||ES||2||3||24||33||45||47||17||21||28||31||32||77|
|3||08:27||1||1||Tor||Spaling wide from Parenteau||ES||15||16||26||36||45||51||13||17||28||31||77||81|
|3||08:10||1||1||Mtl||Eller drives wide||ES||15||16||26||36||45||51||13||27||28||31||76||81|
|3||07:58||1||1||Mtl||GOAL! Galchenyuk from Markov||ES||15||16||26||36||45||51||13||27||31||76||79||81|
|3||05:43||1||2||Tor||Holland from Arcobello||ES||24||33||44||45||47||52||17||21||31||32||76||79|
|3||04:22||1||2||Tor||Lupul from Bozak||PP||19||24||33||42||44||45||15||26||31||74||81|
|3||04:10||1||2||Tor||Rielly wide from Holland||PP||19||24||33||42||44||45||15||26||31||74||81|
|3||03:18||1||2||Mtl||Smith-Pelly wide from loose puck||ES||2||21||28||43||45||51||17||21||31||32||76||77|
|3||02:53||1||2||Mtl||Plekanec from Gallagher||ES||3||15||16||26||45||51||11||14||28||31||67||77|
|3||00:40||1||2||Tor||Hunwick deflects Van Riemsdyk shot||EN||2||15||21||28||43||51||13||14||31||76||79||81|
Leafs Players Game Data
It was a strong night for the ‘top’ line, with Nazem Kadri, James van Riemsdyk and Brad Boyes, as they were the primary trio that produced even strength chances, and they were somewhat unlucky not to be rewarded with an ES goal. A part of that offensive ability was down to their ability to enter the Montreal zone with control. They also were the worst line at preventing the Habs from entering with control, but the margin was much more in that line’s favour.
Tyler Bozak, playing with Joffrey Lupul and Shawn Matthias, was used mostly against the top Montreal line, and you can see that tough matchup reflected in their data. They were out-chanced, though not too badly, and were the only Leaf line to be beaten out in the neutral zone. They were able to prevent the Canadiens from entering with control, but didn’t generate much themselves.
I mentioned it in my preseason preview, but Peter Holland’s chance numbers have regularly been pretty poor, and this wasn’t a great start to the 2015-16 campaign. Despite having the most offensive zone start ratio, he was a team worst -5 at ES. That line was able to do well at entering the zone, but didn’t turn that into enough chances. Leo Komarov also had poor chance numbers, while Mark Arcobello managed to finish at even.
P.A. Parenteau and Nick Spaling, who were excellent in the preseason, were outchanced in this game, though they were used more defensively than any of the other lines.
It was a good first game as a Leaf for Scott Harrington, who had relatively easy assignments, but was the only Leaf defenceman to be above even in ES chances. Dion Phaneuf had the weakest numbers, lagging behind his partner, Matt Hunwick, who was solid in his matchup with the Montreal top line.
The two young defencemen, Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner, got a lot of ice time against the other Montreal lines, but were both out-chanced. Rielly was the best at winning the neutral zone, and was the most likely defenceman to carry the puck in himself, both good signs for the remainder of the year. Martin Marincin also started well, and was the defenceman on for the highest percentage of controlled entries.