wnol.info January 22 2018

Pacific Division title, playoff seeding at stake on last day

January 22 2018, 08:25 | Van Peters

"I thought it would be like this". "I am not going to pick apart what my team is right now because it's so hard to judge in these type of circumstances", Columbus coach John Tortorella told reporters. "[Now] we're playing a real good team".

Matthews topped even Crosby, and all players for that matter, with 32 even-strength goals. It's really big. You don't want to go into the playoffs losing seven straight. "Might as well just jump in". "But we're going to have to make it one (Sunday)".

James van Riemsdyk tried to put the Leafs on his back in the opening 20 minutes and scored once before coming close on a couple of other chances.

"No space. Zero. Battle for every inch of ice, from the opening faceoff to the end", said Babcock, who's coached 144 playoff games in the National Hockey League.

Then they saw them play.

Not only has it never happened to a forward, there have only been two forwards that have reached the 70-game, 100-shot markers and only scored one goal - Shawn Thornton in 2009-10, and Tim Jackman in 2011-12. There was no junior hockey league domination like Crosby or Connor McDavid. Three of those matchups are Eastern teams, with the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs beginning on Thursday. It was Matthews post-game reaction that has stuck with the Leafs president. "There's been moments where we've got a good thing going, we're all committed to working towards the same goal and it's a good feeling".

"They're an improving team", coach Barry Trotz said.

As, indeed, the Leafs did beat the Caps this year. But those players did not enjoy much playoff success.

But Toronto blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 to Columbus.

Washington Capitals' Justin Williams, center, and his teammates watch a replay of his goal which was eventually disallowed during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston, Saturday, April 8, 2017. It was a deflating stretch for Toronto that they couldn't recover from in the final 20 minutes, sealing their fate and their playoff opponent in one fell swoop.

Then, on Saturday against the Penguins he was hit in the head again.

Polak also left the game and returned briefly.

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said Sunday morning that even though Andersen was not experiencing any concussion symptoms, the No. 1 goalie will not dress against the Blue Jackets. Rielly admitted there were times it was no fun reporting for work.

Drafted 87th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2012, Andersen started his pro hockey career as a starter for the southern California club.

Hold your cursor over a dot or tap it to see the details of the rookies who scored 40 goals in a season.
San Jose defenseman Brent Burns earned an assist for his career-high 76th point, which broke the franchise record of 75 he set previous year. Their possession numbers were superb against the Blue Jackets as well, registering almost 60 per cent and above each. "They're a good team, but they're not unbeatable". He still nearly put the puck, in for a spectacular goal, while air-born, with a blind backhanded shot.

Washington was already loaded at every position when it added Kevin Shattenkirk, an offensive ace from the back-end, at the trade deadline. On Sunday, Toronto won 59 percent of its draws mostly because of how strong the two veterans were. There were nights of futility certainly, including against Crosby and Henrik Zetterberg, and he got hammered in the faceoff circle (46.8 per cent), but generally Matthews held his own while leading all Leaf forwards in garnering nearly 18 minutes per night. Washington largely went through the motions during its meaningless Game 82 as goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 14 of 15 shots in two periods before giving way to backup Philipp Grubauer.

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