Valeri Nichushkin Scores Shorthanded After Jason Spezza Sets Pick On Morgan Rielly
- After getting blown out by the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs knew they needed to respond in a big way at home against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
- The two teams were held scoreless in the opening period, but exchanged goals in the second period.
- After battling it out for nearly the entire third period, the Avs managed to take a late lead while shorthanded off a brutal error by Jason Spezza.
- Moments after having his stick break, Spezza started to make his way back to the bench to get a new stick.
- On his way there he heard someone yell that the puck was coming, so he made the quick reaction to try to keep the puck in the zone with his feet.
- At the last second he realized Morgan Rielly was right there and tried to leave the puck for his teammate, only he ended up getting tangled up with the defenceman and it allowed Valeri Nichushkin to walk in all alone and score the eventual game-winning goal while shorthanded.
- Here’s what the 17-year veteran had to say about the entire sequence following the game.
Jason Spezza: “I’m going to the bench & then I hear someone yell, ‘The puck’s coming,’ so I make a split-second decision to play it & then Mo yells that he’s there & I kind of just froze to try to not get in his way & in turn got in his way more. That game falls on me now …”
- A lot of Leaf fans were quick to put the blame on Spezza as soon as the Avs went up 2-1, and he was feeling just like the rest of them as he put the blame for the loss on himself.
- With the loss, the Leafs fall to 13-13-4 on the year and ride a two-game losing skid into St. Louis on Saturday night.
Sources & Credits: TOR Maple Leafs, BArdown
NHL Highlights | Avalanche vs Maple Leafs – Dec. 4, 2019
“Just have to stay with it and the effort tonight and the way we responded was a real positive. We’ve got to bounce back and get some results heading into this weekend and then a road trip out west”
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 5, 2019