Game In 10: Game 23, Leafs vs. Dallas

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    Wherever you go there are Leafs fans. Only logical I guess. Gotta love the GO LEAFS GO in Dallas. And we went, with a very indicative victory in Texas. Even without Morrow, Dallas is a really good, hardworking team. This was a great hockey game.

    1 – The Leafs are 13-8-2 and this game tested the Leafs. It tested their grit, transition game, special teams. Dallas outshot us badly in the last two periods but the team fought hard and deserves the W.

    2 – Franson with a good defensive play early to negate a good Dallas scoring chance but Eric Nystrom scored to make it 1-0 Dallas after Bozak lost the puck in a battle with Jamie Benn on the boards.

    3 – After Steve Ott welcomed Colborne to Dallas (which got him an assist), Dion Phaneuf makes a sublime play and just barely manages to keep the puck in the zone and throw it on net, Joey gets a redirect through his Crabb legs and it’s 1-1, tie game!

    4 – Dion continued his excellent play by scoring a PP goal after Jamie Benn drove to the net and drilled Gustavsson. At first it looked like Kessel got a touch, but Lehtonen actually tried to swat the puck away and pushed it in. Lupul gets another point and considering Gardiner’s promising appearances since the beginning of the year I think it’s fair to say – Thank you Anaheim!

    5 – Ryder wanted to slew foot Kulemin, but got his foot slain when some Russian heavy machinery fell on him. On a side note, Benn’s line was really killing us tonight; Nystrom scored his second goal of the game after a tick tack toe play with Benn and Dvorak. Dvorak scored the 3rd Dallas goal. Pesky line.

    6 – I really like Franson’s game right now. Is more physical, doesn’t miss coverage and contributes to the offensive end. Gardiner is showing he isn’t just about a hot training camp and a good start, Schenn’s play has vastly improved and Lilies is so smart out there. Add a solid Gunnarsson and a scoring Phaneuf to the mix and well, you have a solid defense.

    7 – Gustavsson has played very well over his past three games. He seems to have settled down and looks more composed in net. His rebound control is much better and he seems to have less trouble staying square to the shooter. A couple of big saves on the PK as well. He also stoned Riberio in the shootout which is always a bonus.

    8 – What a feed by Connolly on the MacArthur goal, they probably took a second look at it to see the beauty of Connolly’s dish. Yummy.

    9 – How do you miss two obvious calls on Lupul? I don’t often talk about the refs but come on. He was down twice on that same play. Message – A pissed off Lupul is money in the shootout.

    10 – Credit where it’s due. Couple of Game in 10s ago I criticized Wilson for a lack of transition game and no improvements in our special teams play. Well, both I and a lot of much bigger Wilson critics can just shut up now. I couldn’t be happier about him proving me wrong. Our power play, a laughingstock at times and as low as 30th in the NHL two seasons ago, has produced at least a goal in six straight games. Coming into this game our PK was ranked 27th in the league, but came up big tonight. The Leafs killed all 4 penalties which should boost our ranking in that department.

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