A familiar script took place at the Scotiabank Arena on a rare Friday Night encounter between the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils. The Leafs after an emotional opening ceremony honouring not only our War Veterans but also the recent inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame including long time voice of the Blue and White, Joe Bowen, started on time. The strong opening frame produced a John Tavares “tip-in” on the back of a terrific setup from Ron Hainsey to put the home side up one.
A seeing eye shot or a goal scorers goal by the suddenly hot Nazem Kadri followed by Connor Browns 3rd of the year gave the Leafs some breathing room 6 minutes into the middle period. The only blemish on the board resulted after a bad clear by Kadri ended up behind Frederik Anderson who again was sharp when needed, kicking aside 38 shots by the determined Devils.
Another knuckler from the point from Morgan Rielly sandwiched between ‘lights’ from the snake bitten duo of Andreas Johnsson and Tyler Ennis produced a large sigh of relief from the Maple Leafs bench. Finally, some well earned production from the bottom six. Make no mistake they will need these guys deep into the season.
While the score looks one sided, the same mid-game breakdown fell over the Leafs once again. Half the 32 shots registered were produced in the opening period.
The never quit Devils doubled the Leafs up on shots the last 40-minutes, and while a win is a win, Toronto will not get away with in game let ups against the big boys.
It was one of those nights pucks found the back of the night and frankly they have played better with less production so that is a good sign.