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Emotional Blender: Detroit Falls Short of Epic Comeback vs Toronto, 10-7

Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

First Period

Look, I’m going to level with you guys: I was walking in and out of the living room, warming up my dinner during the opening minutes of this one. I was kind of feeling bummed out about it; just some hum drum leftover hamburger and Brussel sprouts. Not as disappointing as coming into the room to see a sick down-ice feed to William Nylander in the opening minutes. He didn’t screw up the opportunity to fire the puck top corner on Nedeljkovic, 1-0 Leafs.

The Leafs obliterated the Wings on the puck for the first ten minutes. The Leafs went up 2-0 after Leddy failed to clear Michael Bunting from the crease, and with half the period over the Leafs were up in shots 11-2.

Soon after, Larkin would win and offensive zone faceoff and dish the puck back to Hronek, then over to Staal for the slapper. The puck wouldn't find it’s mark, but Raymond would pick up a juicy rebound and score on the Wings’ fifth shot of the night, 2-1 Leafs, comeback time?

Nope.

And that brought Nedeljkovic to the bench and Greiss into the crease. It was more of a “send a message” change than anything about Nedeljkovic’s play. Toronto’s first goal was a defensive lapse and the third goal was a brilliant redirect.

The change brought some stability to the game and things seemed to even out a bit, or at least get a lot less hectic. Toronto still dominated play, but they weren’t racking up a jillion scoring opportunities, at least. Detroit would get a pretty unsuccessful power play late in the period and overall everyone can feel pretty bad about how period 1 ended.

Score: 3-1 Leafs
Shots: 15-8 Leafs
Stand Ups: I guess nice job stopping the bleeding in the final 8 minutes of the period?
Sit Downs: Everyone should have a time out and think about what they’ve done.

Second Period

Thirty seconds in and the Leafs gain possession, cruise through the neutral zone, Matthews dishes it to Marner, then the snipe past Greiss. 4-1 Leafs.

Less than four minutes later the Leafs got a series of fortunate bounces as the puck ping ponged off players on both teams. Of course the puck squeaked out and tee’d up perfectly on Marner’s stick. 5-1 Leafs.

Two minutes later, Nicholas Robertson boarded Seider behind Toronto’s net because I guess it’s not enough to humiliate Detroit on the scoreboard. You’ve got to try injuring a rookie of year candidate, yeah? At least Seider was okay, thank goodness. But Detroit couldn’t muster a single shot on the power play and Mitch Marner came back and completed his hat trick after some great board play by Toronto. 6-1 Leafs.

Let’s all ponder what the hell Leafs media was thinking with this caption.

Detroit actually made a concerted effort to bring it back, so like, I guess the pride wasn’t totally broken? That’s really good to see, actually. Best thing I guess you could see in this situation save a monumental comeback.

If you were following along during the game, you were probably wondering how is there still 8 minutes left in this period? I don’t know, either. I just don’t know.

Ras and Veleno actually had a pretty good shift together. Ras’s shot was actually one of the better chances of the period for Detroit. When Campbell sealed up the puck, Ras began falling to the ice and Lyubushkin slapped him in the chest with his stick. Scrum ensued. Wasn’t the greatest scrum ever, but Detroit needed energy from somewhere.

And Detroit would actually get one back off a giveaway by the Leafs’ netminder. He sent it right squarely onto Gagner’s stick from the trapezoid, thanks to pressure from Rowney. Looked for a moment like Larkin deflected it, but Gagner threw the puck into the open net himself. The lead cut to four.

After the commercial break, Suter lost Matthews in front of the net as the Toronto cycled the puck up high. Clean pass to Matthews and it’s 7-2 going into the locker room.

Score: 7-2 Leafs
Shots: 26-18 Leafs
Stand Ups: The crowd, leaving the building.
Sit Downs: *sad noises

Third Period

Ned back in net, Wings won the opening face off, gained possession, then forced the icing. Campbell sealed up the puck, another faceoff win, puck makes it’s way back to Hronek at the blue line, total non-threatening shot, Hronek score! 7-3!

A minute later the Wings dump the puck, Campbell deflected it wide, Detroit cycled the puck behind the net, Rowney was Johnny on the spot in front of the crease, 7-4!

A minute later Veleno shot one past Campbell on a weird bounce at a sharp angle. Campbell gets yanked for Mrazek as the Wings charged back hard, 7-5!

Veleno and Ras continued to do beautiful work out there and a minute later Ras redirected a Seider shot to make it 7-6!! WHAT IS HAPPENING?

But Toronto stopped the bleeding with a near identical goal to the Nylander score that opened up the game. Probably should have been goal interference, not that I’m biased or anything, Man, that stings, 8-6.

But Raymond didn’t want the game to slip away again. Taking a feed from Larkin and Seider, he used Timothy Llijegren as a screen and went five hole on both him and Mrazek, 8-7!!!

Shorty goal by Toronto, 9-7. Sort of an unlucky bounce there =/

Then Hronek tries to force the feed to Staal who wanted the slapper, but the result was a 3-on-none that ended in the back of the net, 10-7.

The Leafs managed to sew things up after that and unfortunately that was that, a beautiful comeback snuffed out. But how many teams can mount a comeback after being down 7-2?

Score: 10-7 Leafs
Shots: 39-33 Leafs
Stand Ups: Anyone who wishes every game was like the All-Star Game
Sit Downs: I wonder if all the goalies get together on a net like this one. They probably feel more kinship with each other than their teams due to the shared misery.

Conclusion

I don’t even know what that was, man. That was just some weird, wild hockey. I mean, great on Detroit for fighting back like that late in the game. That was awesome. I just want to be on the winning end of one of these track races with the Leafs. I’m emotionally exhausted and I’m sure a lot of other fans are, too. What a night. What a weird, weird game. I think I need to use one of those sensory deprivation tanks now just to get myself back to normal. Hopefully we’ll all get our heads screwed back on straight (fans and teams both) for Tuesday’s home matchup against the Canes.