N.J.@TOR W 1-0
The Toronto Maple leafs hosted the New jersey Devils on Thursday night still without Auston Matthews in their lineup.
Is it because he is still hurt? Possibly. Or maybe its because the Buds have won three in a row without him. Or it could be because of Nikita Soshnikov. The young Russian had a clause in his contract that stated if he wasn’t called up to the big club by TuesdayNov 15 then he could go back to the KHL. Now I’m not suggesting that Soshnikov is better then Matthews however, it makes sense to get Soshnikov in the mix and showcase his talents for a possible trade. One thing that is for sure is that the feisty Russian is an NHL player and if the coaching staff didn’t insert him in the lineup for Thursday nights game then it is not known when he could get another shot. Another point that would help the coaches decision to do this is the teams play without Matthews. We all know the Leafs break down the season into five game segments. By my count the Leafs have already taken enough points in this five game segment to allow wiggle room for a minor league player to come up to the big club. Its not that far fetched to think, all you have to do is look at how we got Matthews in the first place. By having almost our entire team on injure reserve and falling to the bottom of the standings.
To the game at hand. It pitted the leagues 2nd best offence against the leagues 4th top offence . So that means a full on barnburner, right. Wrong.
This game had tons of scoring chances but both goalies were unreal making save after save. Freddy Andersen made 42 saves for the shutout. After sixty minutes there was no scoring. The three on three overtime was back and forth, end to end. Taylor Hall who was the best player on the ice all night almost ended it in overtime but Freddy Andersen, as he did all night, shut the door. As the clock was winding down towards a shootout, William Nylander circled the back of net. With three seconds left he came out front around the hash marks and let a shot go that Went in the bottom right corner for the Only goal and the game winner. Toronto has now won five in a row. Next up the Montreal Canadiens on a Saturday night in La Belle Province.