Tempers flair in the Toronto Maple Leafs loss against the Winnipeg Jets
By Neil Becker
One thing is for certain, a strong rivalry is developing between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets.
While it might not be in the same category as say the Ottawa Senators and Leafs in the early 2000’s, it’s definitely getting very heated as the two teams made it clear that they will not be exchanging Christmas cards this year.
Shortly after Manitoba sports fans celebrated their beloved Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 21-17 advancing to next weekend’s Grey Cup, they saw the Jets fire 41 shots at Toronto’s back-up goalie Joseph Woll in what was a spirited win.
During what was an explosive third period, Leafs young defenceman Rasmus Sandin needed assistance getting off the ice and didn’t return after a violent knee-on-knee collision with Jets blueliner Neal Pionk which had the Leafs bench furious.
Other third-period incidents which caused temperatures to rise included Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois getting physical with Matthews and Luc Dubois kneeing Woll in the head. The third also saw Jets coach Paul Maurice screaming obscenities at the Leafs bench.
As tensions continued to rise, Leafs Kyle Clifford got into a spirited scrap with Jets Brenden Dillon, and another Leafs forward, Wayne Simmons had something going with Jets defenceman Logan Stanley.
The Jets who came into action outside of a playoff spot scored the opening goal as Luc Dubois scored a power-play goal early in the first. Toronto would eventually be rewarded as Michael Bunting also came through with a late-period power play marker to tie things up heading into the second.
Winnipeg’s offense would take over as they exploded for four consecutive goals from forwards Andrew Copp, Evgeny Svechnikov, Kyle Connor with the Jets second power-play goal of the night, and Nikolaj Ehlers which had them in control with a 5-1 lead.
Late in the second, Toronto made things interesting as they struck for two quick goals from Austin Matthews with his 15th and Ondrej Kase who 1:26 later scored to make it a two-goal game after 40 minutes of regulation.
The Leafs next game comes on Tuesday night when they are back home at Scotiabank Arena for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
4:05 PPG- Pierre-Luc Dubois (12), Blake Wheeler (11), Mark Scheifele (8) TOR-WPG
16:08 PPG- Michael Bunting (7), Pierre Engvall (6), Nick Ritchie (7) 1 1
1:51 Andrew Copp (7), Neal Pionk (13), Nate Schmidt (12) 1 2
4:54 Evgeny Svechnikov (2), Dominic Toninato (2), Jansen Harkins (3) 1 3
7:38 PPG- Kyle Connor (15), Pierre-Luc Dubois (15), Blake Wheeler (12) 1 4
10:45 Nikolaj Ehlers (9), Andrew Copp (13), Nate Schmidt (13) 1 5
14:20 Auston Matthews (15), John Tavares (15), William Nylander (14) 2 5
15:46 Ondrej Kase (6), Rasmus Sandin (8), Justin Holl (1) 3 5
8 :14 Mark Scheifele (6), Kyle Connor (12), Neal Pionk (14) TOR- WPG