In the first 20 minutes of Tuesday’s game against the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs fans were lauding the team’s defensive effort. At the end of the game, Jake Muzzin gave Leafs Nation the last laugh with Matthew Tkachuk.
This was a game Toronto looked like they were in control but then allowed Calgary to gain momentum in the second period and for the rest of the game, they were hanging on by a thread. There were certainly a lot of positives to take from the game as the Leafs continue to show their toughness up and down the lineup.
Of course, the moment of the game was seeing Muzzin get under Tkachuk’s skin by harmlessly flipping the puck towards him. The Flames forward went after the Leafs defenceman in a fit of rage but with the game done, both teams shrugged it off while the war of words continued on social media.
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Coming into this game, there was the narrative surrounding Tkachuk’s incident where he landed on top of Jack Campbell. The Flames forward has been known for his antics and it’s rare to see an opponent turn the tables and get under his skin.
This is the type of response we expected from the Leafs considering they weren’t willing to let Tkachuk be a distraction. Instead, they made it a priority to earn the two points which they accomplished.
Muzzin did get an unsportsmanlike penalty at the end of the game but you would take what he did over an unnecessary penalty that could have been costly during the game.
Seeing Mitch Marner score the game-winning goal with a one-timer shows an improvement to his game and kept pace with Connor McDavid for the league lead in points. This while he has been playing a career-high in minutes in the early part of the season.
What are your thoughts on what Muzzin did at the end of the game with Tkachuk? Is this the type of effort the Leafs can sustain from now until the end of the season? Let us know in the comments below.