Leafs overturned goal ends a night that was Coyote’s ugly
It was a canceled goal that proved the difference in the Maple Leafs’ embarrassing 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.
But it was a combination of ineffective power play and an inability to resolve Arizona’s clogging of their net zone that had the Leafs chasing after the game all night.
But about that call: It came in the dying minutes when Alex Kerfoot converted a rebound to tie the game 3-3. The goal, however, was overruled after a video review. Officials on the ice, with the help of the NHL Review Room, ruled there should have been a stoppage before the goal, due to a gloved pass from Morgan Rielly.
Although the puck fell on an Arizona player, Mitch Marner was considered the first player to gain control after Rielly hit it with his hand.
“It’s tough… Obviously I’m just trying to keep the puck,” Rielly said of Arizona’s blueline play. « It’s a game that happens all the time and, unfortunately, it didn’t work our way. »
It was frustrating enough for the Leafs, but they didn’t care to be in a tight game with an Arizona team that popular opinion is a candidate to end their season in order to win. get a shot at the first pick in the NHL Draft next summer.
Toronto trailed 2-0 after two periods and saw its NHL best power play from a year ago shut out on its first four chances on Monday. William Nylander eventually scored on fifth down, and Marner tied the game 2-2 just 24 seconds later.
Arizona regained the lead on Shayne Gostisbehere’s power-play goal with just under 90 seconds left. After Kerfoot’s tying goal was canceled, the Coyotes sealed the victory with an empty net goal.
“Just not good enough for any of us on (power play),” Marner said.
Pack a punch
Marner’s goal was his first of the season, and he then raised his fist in the air. The move was seen as a potential rebuke from fans, who were booing the Leafs’ power play for its failures.
« Nothing to that, » Marner said. « Obviously you could tell the fans were frustrated all night. For us, we can’t be frustrated…we have to stick to our process, make sure we persevere. For me, that was a big goal. , an equalizer, and that was it.”
Marner was worried about defenseman Jake Muzzin, who left the game after two periods with a neck injury.
« Probably my best friend on the team, » Marner said of Muzzin, who suffered concussions last season and missed much of training camp last month with a top problem. from the body.
“It’s outside of hockey, it’s much bigger. He has two amazing daughters, an amazing wife, I just wish him the best. You have so much to live for in this life, your family and this one. I hope all is well with him.
Toronto outshot Arizona 7-5 in the first period and held a 17-6 lead in shot attempts. But the offense failed to penetrate the Arizona defense in front of goal.
It spoiled a first period that saw Toronto controlling 77% of the game in the offensive zone. Marner, Mark Giordano and Zach Aston-Reese all had Corsi (shot attempt differential) scores of 100% during the period.
The Leafs had a 28-18 shooting lead at the end of the night.
The lackluster performance appears to be a carryover from last season, when the Leafs often played level with their opponents. They went 11-9 against non-playoff teams Arizona, Buffalo, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa, San Jose and Seattle.
The Leafs haven’t defeated the Coyotes at home since Oct. 17, 2002 — 20 years to the day Monday night.
The Coyotes are seeing creative hashtags encouraging them to improve their chances against super talent Connor Bedard in the NHL Draft next summer. Among them: #tankhardforbedard and #goner4connor.
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