It’s definitely not an exaggeration to say that Morgan Rielly has garnered his fair share of critics.
And to an extent, rightfully so. With the improvements the blueline has seen over the last few years, Rielly has become arguably the worst defenseman in his own end, which is a problem for a player playing a position that more or less requires that. But, his offensive impact has gotten a bit overlooked as well, something that has always made his play worth it overall.
Tonight, we got the best of both worlds. With Nick Suzuki rushing down the ice, Rielly hesitated to cover him and pressure him, giving him time to snipe a shot past Jack Campbell. Campbell probably could’ve been better at stopping it, but that didn’t excuse another lackluster defensive play from Rielly.
But, he reminded us why we’ve loved him for all these years, as only a few minutes later, he connected on a great feed from Mitch Marner and fired it past Carey Price to give the Leafs a 2-1 lead, a score that would hold for the rest of the game.
Not a perfect game from Rielly, but he reminded us again …
Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation