In keeping with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Next Gen theme for Monday’s holiday matinee versus the Carolina Hurricanes — and in keeping with my general Christmastime laziness — I tasked my nine-year-old son, Will Fox, to report on the game and give Dad a break.
I’m certain the next generation will uphold the proud Fox family tradition of barely passable sports reporting. Take it away, Willie! I’ll just transcribe your opinions and observations. (Just don’t read the comments, bud.)
TORONTO – Oooh, snacks.
[Fetches miniature bag of Munchies off pressbox stats table. Informed that Maple Leafs often flip pucks to kids during warm-ups.]
Saw it! Number 23, Dermott, gave a puck to someone.
I have a question: Every period, do they clean the ice?
I think Carolina is going to lose.
It was scary being this high up, but after 10 minutes you’re fine.
Thirty seconds in, Jason Spezza has made the lead for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That was quick.
The Leafs have five shots to zero – that’s a lot.
I’ve noticed the fans are cheering a lot. Now I get why everyone wants to be the home team – it makes a difference.
Great pass by John Tavares, and William Nylander’s goal was great, spectacular and awesome.
I also noticed that the puck is mostly in the Hurricanes’ zone.
Whoa, another goal: 3-0 Leafs. Is Mrazek better than Reimer?
[Notices a press-box veteran pilfer a Drumstick from the mini freezer before the end of the first period.]
Ice cream! I’m getting one. [Bolts. Returns 15 seconds later.]
Can you eat the nuts off this?
[Not happening. You like peanuts anyway.]
Nylander gave the puck away. Why did he wait so long to pass?
[Veteran reporter: “You should ask him that after the game.”]
Whoa, that was a good shot by Brock McGinn, 3-1.
Martin Necas scores on a backhanded, between-the-legs tip with 24 seconds left in first period. 3-2 Leafs.
Wow, that was a sweet goal. Hurricanes are doing way better.
I notice they hop over the bench when they change lines.
[Travis Dermott called for tripping minor early in the second period.]
That’s not a trip!
Freddy Andersen is doing spectacular.
All the passes are hard passes. Like, boom, boom, boom.
The Leafs’ best players keep shooting it high. I’m going to get popcorn.
[Leaves. Returns eight seconds later.]
Nice play by Nylander. Saves a goal from happening.
Carolina pours in three goals within 64 seconds and five unanswered altogether to jump ahead 5-3 in the second period.]
Comeback. Disappointing for the Leafs, but they were all good goals, though.
The Maple Leafs need to look where they’re going to pass, and they need to keep the puck in the Hurricanes’ zone. Carolina is doing a good job intercepting the Leafs’ passes.
[Game notes reveal Toronto has 14 giveaways to Carolina’s 11. Will spends the second intermission looking at retired banners in rafters.]
Number 7, Horton! Kinda like Tim Hortons.
[Third period begins.]
Auston Matthews scores. Well played. Nice pass by Hyman.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 23, 2019
I’m speechless. One more goal and they tie it.
Marner scores, Barrie scores, and Marner scores again off the draw. Three Maple Leafs goals in 59 seconds completes the comeback.
Incredible. I can’t describe it. I’m getting chills.
[Maple Leafs add an empty-netter to win 8-6.]
If the Canes kept Reimer in net, I wonder what the score would be.
[Post-game, Will fights off the scrum to secure a hard-hitting, one-on-one interview with Mitch Marner to get the inside scoop on his five-point effort.]
WILL FOX: How does it feel to win a crazy game like that?
MITCH MARNER: It’s fun. It got a little high scoring there at the end, but it’s fun for the players. I think it’s fun for the crowd. I’m sure the coaches don’t love it as much and the goalies don’t, but it’s a big win for us. We’re happy with it.
WF: What’s your favourite food?
MM: Ooh, that’s a good one. I’m a big fan of a cheat day. Any kind of burger, pizza, I also enjoy pasta a lot. Any of those three, I’m into.
WF: What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever gotten?
MM: Maybe when I was really young, a hockey stick. I used to always ask for hockey sticks on my birthdays and Christmases, especially the new ones. Usually when I got one of those, it was a pretty great Christmas.
WF: And what’s your greatest fear?
MM: Oh, wow. Sharks. I don’t like sharks. I’m scared to go into the ocean too deep. Especially when I’m tubing in the ocean, I think for sure there’s a shark in the ocean underneath me.
WF: Thank you.