In a dominant performance from start to finish, the Leafs ended their two-game losing slide with a 5-0 demolition of the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. Auston Matthews led the way with a goal and two assists before a sellout crowd of 19,388 at Scotiabank Arena.
- Michael Hutchinson made 28 saves for his first victory and shutout in a Leafs uniform. “It’s awesome. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s something you grow up thinking about as a kid. For it to actually happen is hard to put words to,” Hutchinson said.
- John Tavares opened the scoring in the game, deflecting Morgan Rielly’s point shot past Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom. It was the forward’s 27th goal of the season and 299th of his career.
- Trevor Moore registered his first career NHL goal. On the play he beat Vancouver defender Derrick Pouliot to the outside before breaking towards the net and firing the puck past Markstrom. “I was just trying to drive the play down to the other end of the ice but I didn’t think I was going to get around (Pouliot) and have that happen so that was great,” Moore said.
- As per Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun, two California-born Leafs scored in the same game.
- Andreas Johnsson and Igor Ozhiganov had third period goals.
- Kasperi Kapanen didn’t get on the scoresheet, but was dangerous all evening. He finished the game with five shots on goal.
Leafs are a Matthews goal away from having two California-born players score in the same game.
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) January 6, 2019
- Nazem Kadri continues to be snake-bitten, having been denied by Markstrom twice – at the edge of the crease – on a first period scoring chance.
- Eventually we’ll stop picking on William Nylander (yes I know he scored on Thursday), but that’s mainly because I’m dropping him in the office pool, next week. Serves me right, for taking a gamble.
In 2016, Rob wrote “Hockey’s Enforcers: A Dying Breed”, now available at Chapters and Indigo stores everywhere.