Andreas Johnsson, five months removed from his MVP performance for the Calder Cup-winning Toronto Marlies, entered Saturday’s game versus Philadelphia with just two goals in 18 games played his season.
Johnsson dazzled the hometown crowd with a first period hat trick to help vault his team to a 6-0 win. All three of Johnsson’s goals came within a span of 7 minutes, 35 seconds.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) November 25, 2018
- Johnsson spoke of his accomplishment at game’s end. “After it kind of felt unreal. It’s hard to explain. I had the first goal, then the second goal and, all of a sudden, the third one, I’m like, ‘what’s going on?’,” he said.
- Patrick Marleau, Josh Leivo and John Tavares had the other Leafs goals.
- Defenceman Igor Ozhiganov registred an assist on the opening goal of the game, his first career NHL point.
- Mitch Marner collected two assists to boost his season total to 24; four behind Mikko Rantanen for the league lead. His give-and-go with Leivo on the Leafs’ fifth goal was a thing of beauty.
- Garret Sparks made 35 saves for his second career shutout.
- Coach Mike Babcock said “It’s my assumption that we’re getting both (Matthews and Nylander) back” this week.
- Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk was given a scoreboard ovation in recognition of his six-year tenure with the Maple Leafs.
- How to critique what was a perfect Leafs game? Let’s see, I’m not a Justin Bieber fan, so the attention that the singer and his new bride received on the scoreboard was a bit much for me.
Justin Bieber enjoying the game with Hailey Baldwin. A real happy Leafs fan. pic.twitter.com/9ovTZRCH0a
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) November 25, 2018
In other news, get off my lawn.
- Hockey fans of a certain vintage like myself grew up watching Dave Hodge as the host of Hockey Night In Canada. Hodge made an appearance during the pre-game broadcast as he and Ron MacLean and the rest of the HNIC staff sported the classic baby blue blazers, all of which will be auctioned off to support Hockey Fights Cancer.
During the first TV timeout, JVR was recognized with a scoreboard tribute. pic.twitter.com/mavPPdANUH
— Rob Del Mundo (@Rob_DelMundo) November 25, 2018
The blazers are great. The cause is fantastic. It appears that an olive branch has been accepted, 31 years after Hodge’s ugly, acrimonious departure from Hockey Night, after the infamous pen flip in March of 1987:
In 2016, Rob wrote “Hockey’s Enforcers: A Dying Breed”, now available at Chapters and Indigo stores everywhere.