I am not sure if someone on the broadcast team was chopping onions all night, but it was a strange feeling seeing Andersen play for a different team. John Gibson did his best to keep Anaheim fans on his side by making some beautiful saves. The only reason Anaheim held the Leafs to two goals was because of great goaltending.
Worst: Scoring Chances Against
Anaheim’s defensive coverage has been less than stellar this season. This can be attributed to both the defensemen and the forwards. Tonight it obviously took a hot goalie to get a win. If opposing teams are allowed to take all of these shots from the low slot then Gibson and Bernier will need to bring their A game every night.
Best: Auston Matthews
The kid is as good as advertised. Matthews finished with a 70% CF in a very evenly played game. Matthews’ opening goal was also his fifteenth of the year in only his thirty-first game. He may not be as flashy as McDavid, but the number one overall pick will be a force in the NHL for years to come. His speed and craftiness with the puck will be a tremendous asset for the Leafs to build around.
Worst: Jared Boll Ice Time
Do you even break a sweat playing 3:16 minutes of a hockey game? 900k per year seems a tad pricey for that.
Honorable Mention: Lindholm and Manson
This defense pairing was all over the ice tonight and in a good way. I thought they had one of their best games of the season. The duo was noticeably able to keep pace with the speedy Toronto forwards by taking great angles to the puck. Manson, in particular, skillfully stick checked the entire night.
3. Auston Matthews
2. Cam Fowler
1. John Gibson