Game In 10: Game 27, Leafs at Rangers

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    The boys visited the MSG tonight, a place where we were already successful once this year. Oh, and Grabo made another baby. Congratulations! Good coaching by Ron Wilson is evident off the ice as well.

    1 – The Leafs are 15-10-2 and a well played game for the most part. I loved our first period.

    2 – Rosehill and Prust started the proceedings with a solid scrap at center ice. Both guys threw a lot of big punches but didn’t land a knockout blow.

    3 – Cody Franson buries a booming shot after some good work by Phil Kessel and JM Liles off the rush. Lundqvist even touched it but failed to keep it out. He has already eclipsed Lebda’s point total for the entire last season.

    4 – Our speed really created problems for the Rangers in the first period. The first PK on the Rosehill penalty was one of the best I’ve seen this year and the puck movement after that generated our first PP of the game. Kessel and Lupul had the puck on the string during that time. What impressed me most about the period was our puck movement and cycles in the offensive zone. Our best period of the season.

    5 – Matt Frattin with some great work off the faceoff and Tim Connolly manages to get the puck past Lundqvist for a two one lead. Immediately after, Anisimov takes a penalty and our PP makes light work of it with some sublime passing as Lupul buried it past Lundqvist from up close. 3-0 Leafs! So, when do we start calling “The Gardiner Trade” “The Lupul Deal? Why not call it “We Robbed You Blind Anaheim”?

    6 – Gus was really solid making big saves, but Bozak really bailed him out in the second period after mishandling the puck behind the goal. That was a fantastic defensive play by Bozak who dove stick first and prevented a sure goal. Gus came up huge on the final PK of the night as well.

    7 – The powerplay scored once again, but the PK let in a goal as well, but did look improved for the most part and got the job done when it mattered most. The empty net goal by Steckel was a nice way to end the game.

    8 – Johnny Malkin (John Mitchell) didn’t score but Dion hit, boy did he hit. A huge hit on the boards by the Captain. Loved Joe Bowen’s call of the play – “Sauer will be pretty sour about that!”, right after that Schenn drilled Anisimov and then Del Zotto crashed down into the boards after the icing was waived off.

    9 – Both Joey Crabb and Joe Colborne got more ice time than Nikolai Kulemin tonight.

    10 – For the most part, this was a fantastic game by the Leafs which once again showed off our ability to deal with adversity this year as well as our fantastic speed, passing, and individual quality of some players. What I didn’t like was the fact we turned a 3-0 lead which gave us a stranglehold of the game with about 27 minutes to play into a 3-2 game in less than two minutes. And even though the refs helped that, breakdowns like that need to be minimized.

    I'm Mislav, a Croat living in Zagreb. I love the Leafs and write hockey things. First wrote on Leafspace, then did some work on LeafsHQ for about a year and a half and have been a proud member of Maple Leafs Hot Stove ever since. Also wrote for the Hockey News (that one time was sweet!), have been covering Medvescak Zagreb for the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga and the KHL as part of KHL.hr. @Xterratu on Twitter.

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