Game In 10 – Game 81

Game In 10 – Game 81

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    Other than the six goals scored, this was pretty much a typical Devils game. You could see the Leafs were somewhat drained on back to back nights. Continue.

    1 – The Leafs are 37-33-11 with one game to go.

    2 – Joey Crabb injured Dainus Zubrus early in the first – it was a clean hit, but an unfortunate rink design, the Leafs got called a two minute minor for NJ’s architectural inability and NHL’s Pacioretty hit paranoia. Stanchion Crabb, the most hard hitting kind of Crabb in the hockey ocean.

    3 – The Devils might just be an appropriate team for Jacques Lemaire, because he’s certainly going to hell for perfecting the trap. He’ll probably put the devil through a bag skate when he gets there too. There really should be a penalty against it, not because it’s illegal or anything, but because it kills the game of hockey and should be illegal. I thought about going with the game in 2.

    4 – The Kessel trade looks much better this year doesn’t it? We’re out of the lottery pick position in what’s certainly not known as the deepest draft in years, we have a guy who has, at just 23 years of age, scored 61 goals, had 57 assists for 118 points in 151 games for the Leafs and is a growing, improving player and scorer. Also, I want to wish a happy birthday to Clarke MacArthur, hope you spend the next one as a Leaf.

    5 – In order to be an effective 3rd line center, Bozak needs to learn how to handle elite players better. He got smoked by Ovechkin last night, tonight he was terrorized by Kovalchuk, a lot of missed defensive assignments by him when playing against high quality opposition. Some might say that’s to be expected, I say, 3rd line centers play the toughest shutdown minutes. Didn’t have the best of games, even if he was the third star of the night.

    6 – Tyler Bozak scored a 5 on 3 shorthanded goal also known as the double shorty delight! His 15th of the year and this is exactly why I sometimes think he has the potential to be a really effective third line, penalty killing center. Even with that shorty, you could say that the lack of discipline costs us tonight’s game with the Leafs giving NJ 5 PP opportunities as opposed to our 1 man advantage chance.

    7 – This can be called hindsight, but it’s really not – I fail to see the need for starting Reimer tonight, it’s back to back, we’re mathematically out of the playoffs, and the Devils aren’t exactly our arch nemesis. That’s Montreal who we’re playing on Saturday night. This is not to say he was bad, quite the contrary, he had a solid game between the pipes, making some good stops (18 saves on 21 shots, little to chance on the goals) until he was replaced by Giguere at the start of the 3rd period.

    8 – Who do you start against Montreal? Last game of the season, big stage, home game. Do you test Giguere’s groin or Gustavsson’s nerves? Do you give Giggy one last hurrah or try to lift the confidence of one the two returning goalies for next season?

    9 – JS Giguere was solid in the third, stopping all 10 shots in the period.

    10 – Playing hockey with no playoffs on the horizon is certainly deflating and you could pretty much tell that from watching our team during the first two periods tonight. A part of the overall experience was undoubtedly NJ’s defensive scheme, and the back to back situation didn’t help things. All that aside, I really do expect a better effort against the Habs.

    Hi there, I'm Mislav, a hockey writer from Croatia. My weird hockey journey includes the Maple Leafs Hot Stove, covering the Kontinental Hockey League as a Managing Editor at KHL.hr and doing a piece for the Hockey News that one time. This is me on hockey and stuff in between. Enjoy your stay!