Habs vs. Maple Leafs Top Six Minutes: Slafkovský begins to settle in

For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full summaries are available the morning after each game.

before the game

  • It’s game five of the preseason (or game one for those of us who got kicked off the grid by Fiona), and rosters are getting trimmed.
  • Let’s see what Sean Monahan looks like in his first game as a member of the home team at the Bell Centre.

First period

  • Early power play when Justin Barron gets tangled up with his feet defending a run, forcing Jonathan Drouin to make an emergency play.
  • The much-maligned William Nylander turns on the power play. The Leafs will miss him when they finally decide to trade him.
  • A small exchange between Evgenii Dadonov and Brendan Gallagher that almost resulted in an equalizing goal.
  • Mike Matheson closes out a breakaway opportunity before his man reached center ice. He apparently has been doing this often.
  • The other writers on the Slack channel say this is “easily the best” Juraj Slafkovský has worn in preseason, which sounds both good and bad, but at least the trajectory is up.
  • And now he has a chance at the side of the net, but he is slightly off balance in the shot after a deflection and misses the net.
  • 2-0 Leafs on a quick counterattack.
  • They cheat trying to score a third and get yelled at by the referee for having six players on the ice. Auston Matthews really wanted that preseason marker.
  • A little too much of the same hot potato style on the power play that makes it seem like the Habs only have four players too.
  • More good chemistry between Dadonov and Gallagher.
  • Montreal is getting some chances now just by driving through the ice. The shooting deficit has gone from six to two.
  • And apparently there is no chemistry between Dadonov and Christian Dvorak, because Dadonov just threw a breakaway pass out of Christian Dvorak’s reach.

Second period

  • Arber Xhekaj shows his pettiness to one of the players who finished ahead of Cole Caufield in the Calder vote. He may have a mission like Iñigo Montoya to eliminate them all.
  • Future ex Leaf Nylander scores again.
  • Matt Murray steals a goal from Slafkovský after shooting a one-shot goal between his feet. Good shot. Good pass from…Mike Hoffman?
  • A turn later, they almost become switched positions. Perfect pass to cross the ice from Slafkovský.
  • More good puck movement, this time from Jonathan Drouin, to Monahan, to the Spiderhorse.
  • Xhekaj almost scores a deflection.
  • Good closing by Otto Leskinen stops an offensive play and switches possession to Montreal.
  • I hope that the Canadians can maintain some of the creativity that they are showing during this second period of the season.
  • Xhekaj jumps into the race and almost fixes Murray. Cash game on the part of him.

Third period

  • Good run for Monahan crossing the zone, protecting the puck and almost breaking the goose egg.
  • Gallagher-Dadonov with another good look. This could be a good duo this year (at least until the deadline). I’m sure they’ll adjust their aim in due course.
  • The Spiderhorse is knocked down and receives a penalty. Marner also goes to the box to dive while the call is delayed.
  • I’m still having trouble playing from a distance while playing with an additional player.
  • Now a five against three. Surely they will look a little more settled here. Formation of five forwards.
  • He needs more shots and fewer passes, even if the puck movement is good.
  • Slafkovský is finally rewarded for his game by driving the puck straight into the net and making the rebound fall to Drouin for the goal.
  • Then the Leafs quickly score at the other end.
  • And once again as Alex Kerfoot has his second in a matter of minutes.
  • The Habs lose again, but tomorrow they will have another chance.

3 star

3) Can’t be that hard to fix

2) I was encouraged by the pass, but they forgot to mix some shots

1) Always good advice

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