Toronto Maple Leafs 4 at Detroit Red Wings 2 – 2022-11-28 recap

The Leafs sweep a four-game road trip and re-establish themselves in the upper echelon of Eastern Conference teams.

Some games aren’t pretty, and it always bothered me that commentators would say “not every game has to be a Picasso”, as if they’ve never even seen a Picasso. This was a sloppy, sloppy game by both teams, with routine defensive breakdowns, a lot of scoring chances, and two of the three goalies in the game played well.

Ville Husso faced 7 scoring chance shots and allowed 3 of them, and it was early enough in the game that those were the difference, with the Leafs able to kind of sleepwalk through the remainder of the game. This may have been their worst game in terms of exiting the defensive zone, both in terms of efficiency and speed. They were very slow at getting the puck to the player that would eventually exit the zone, and certainly played like they were at the end of a four-game road trip that overlapped with a holiday.

Still, not all games have to be Rembrandts (paintings, not the band that provided the theme song to Friends) and the Leafs have certainly had their fare share of games over the last few years where they’ve had to bail out their goalie. Matt Murray I don’t think has played a game yet where he’s been bailed out by his forwards, but I’m sure it will come. Murray faced 15 shots that were scoring chances (both 5v5 and 5v4) and allowed one of them (the Erne deflection wasn’t considered a chance because the initial shot was from the point, and I use these stats to evaluate skaters, not goalies).

A lot of times, the goalie and a few bounces is the difference between a drama-free third period, and having to hold on to win 10-7.

As for Detroit, well, they’re 11th in points percentage (as of Wednesday morning) despite a 48% goals for percentage at 5v5. They also have a 44% scoring chance for percentage. Their special teams aren’t particularly good, either. It looks to me like they’re winning a disproportionate number of close games and probably aren’t long for the playoff race. They were about as unimpressive of a team registering 68% corsi in a game (my count) as I’ve ever seen.

I will say though: those reverse retro jerseys are fantastic for game tracking. Probably the easiest time I’ve ever had reading numbers off the back of a sweater.

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