Chicago Hawks 2 at Toronto Maple Leafs 5 – 2023-02-15

The Hawks apparently had the longest odds in the cap era coming into this game and the Leafs decisively took care of business.

I’m going to take the same approach to this game as Sheldon Keefe did. The Leafs did what they should have done, although it was encouraging for them to have a “make right” game after two sloppy games against Columbus. The Jackets games were more sloppy execution than a sloppy effort, and the Leafs tightened things up against Chicago and led for 59:51 of the game. Chicago pulled to within one goal twice, briefly, but Toronto was never in any real trouble in this game.

I suppose the real intriguing thing about this set of games (the Leafs are in Chicago on Sunday) is that we’ll get a good look at two trade deadline targets in Jake McCabe and Patrick Kane. I might post a bonus breakdown of what either player did over the two game series, but this game wasn’t very kind to either. McCabe got dropped on a deke by William Nylander on the first zone entry of the game, and Kane was responsible for three awful, effortless plays along the wall that made me make funny noises.

If you were worried that the Leafs are going to trade for Kane, his performance Wednesday night might have effectively killed any interest the Leafs had in him.

I’m otherwise going to breeze through this recap. The Leafs are a pretty good team, and Chicago is not, and they were on the second half of a back-to-back. This is a game that will serve to inflate a some numbers in the bi-weekly/monthly stat recaps.

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