Plenty of shooting but not enough finishing in loss to Canadiens – The Athletic

The season has never been about whether the Maple Leafs will make the playoffs or not. Instead, it was about where they were in the Atlantic Division and there has been a lot of movement among the teams over the past two games. The Leafs entered tonight’s game in the top wild card spot and will stay there after a 4-2 loss to the Canadiens. Do you focus on the dominant first period? Does the frustration of easing into the second negate that? Are you congratulating Jake Allen for facing 51 shots while allowing just two goals or are you criticizing the team’s ability to finish? I think you can sum up the answer in one word: Yes.

Player reports

A

Marc Giordano

Such a performance is exactly why the Leafs acquired Giordano. He was making veteran moves and making veteran decisions on the ice and I like the way he and Timothy Liljegren play and handle situations. The composure needed to make plays and move the puck into the Leafs’ hands under pressure is so calming, and Giordano has proven he still has the wheels to jump offensively and come back.

A-

Ilya Mikheev

Another game where Mikheyev’s overall speed and acceleration was on display. The Canadiens’ defense struggled to contain him as he managed to push through and past a number of their players along the boards. Alexander Romanov personally felt part of the rocket’s exhaust.

I agreed with the decision to move Mikheyev to the second row in favor of William Nylander and I think Mikheyev’s style complements John Tavares.

B+

Auston Matthews

It took 36 seconds for Matthews to score his 47th goal of the season, tying his career high while setting a new scoring record. Matthews doesn’t need much time or space to put the puck in the net and she found herself behind Allen before he had a chance to react.

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