Game In 10: Game 19, Leafs at Predators
The Leafs had many roster issues coming into this game. Mike Brown was a late scratch and Matthew Lombardi suffered an injury in the game. The team played well for stretches but the giveaways and our own mistakes haunted us once again. A big contingent of Leafs fans made a trip to Music City tonight, gotta love the dedication of Leafs Nation. RIP Wade Belak, the league loves you for a reason. Also, Nashville fans love to tap dance on the glass.
1 â€“ The Leafs are worrying me, 10-7-2 on the season. In other news, grass is green and food is good.
2 â€“ Solid jump from the puck drop made this game different from other recent Leaf games, but the Predators managed to score on their first shot on goal after a puckhandling error (2nd in two games) by Ben Scrivens. Gunnar also has a helping hand in the goal but error or no error it was still a really lucky goal for the Preds.
3 â€“ Since the opening goal, which came after 5:48 minutes of play, the Predators needed 11 minutes to put their second shot on net. In fact, Nashville had only 3 shots on net during the entire first period. The Leafs outshot them 9-3.
4 â€“ Ben Scrivens made another gigantic stop on the year by stopping a sure goal on a shot by Mike Fisher in the middle of the second. Immediately after, Luke Schenn, whoâ€™s playing better hockey of late, stops the puck before it crossed the goal line saving Scrivensâ€™ rear end. So basically, Benâ€™s game plan is making a mistake on the first goal then standing on his head for the rest of the game. Interesting.
5 â€“ PK was solid, PP was solid. After going 1 for 2 on the PP against the Coyotes, the Leafs went 1/2 tonight. Liles made a really smart rush up the ice when the Predators wanted to change and sniped one. Need to keep it going, but itâ€™s really nice to see our powerplay finally producing and our penalty killing killing (5/5 in the last two games). The team was also excellent in the faceoff circle.
6 â€“ Bad giveaway by Dion and the Predators take full advantage. There were times in tonightâ€™s game when our captain was fantastic defensively. Then there were times in tonightâ€™s game where he looked really horrible defensively. The shot advantage the team gained during the first period was negated after the second. The Preds outshot us 14-8 in that period. The game ended with the Leafs vastly outshooting Nashville (39-21).
7 â€“ Quietly and without much fanfare, JM Liles has collected 11 points on the season along with scoring 3 goals so far. A smart, and cheap, offseason move by Brian Burke.
8 â€“ Matthew Lombardi got injured late in the second and he didnâ€™t return. Just what the doctor ordered, right? Not enough injury problems on the Leafs for the hockey gods, I guess. Komisarek left the game in the thirdâ€¦ Activate the Marlies!
9 â€“ I love the guy, but Nikolai Kulemin has to start generating offense. Heâ€™s doing what he does defensively, but when youâ€™re a top six forward youâ€™re counted on to produce offense – this isnâ€™t news. Good late scrap between McGrattan and Rosehill but McGrattan spoils it by being a clown at the end. Apparently, winning fights against helmets is pretty satisfying. Bleeding knuckles are just the icing on the cake. Craig Smith – top, top, top shelf? Even Fisher hinted a smile.
10 â€“ 3 mistakes, 3 goals against. That was the story of this game. Pekka Rinne is good at tending goal. Expect something. Soon.