The Leafs played the Skinerless Carolina Cam Wards tonight, who were coached by none other than Mr. Iâ€™m blond Iâ€™m tall Iâ€™m the most talented coach in the world, Krik Muller. For all intents and purposes, this was a must win game.
1 â€“ The Leafs are 16-11-3 I hate to be a gloomy Gus (no pun intended) but we needed to finish Carolina off much earlier. We were by far the superior team.
2 â€“ Our captain played his 500th career game, congratulations you stud defenseman you.
3 â€“ The first PK of the game came only 30 seconds into the game after Franson floated the puck over the boards. Luckily, since it was early in the game, Carolina team didnâ€™t find the proper rhythm and we managed to kill it off quite easily.
4 â€“ Our boys played a very good first period but unfortunately for us, Cam Ward played an excellent period and kept the score tied at 0-0. Sure, you can play badly against Winnipeg but as soon as you hit the ACC in comes Conn Smythe Trophy Ward! He was 4-1-0 in his last 5 games in our barn. Now he isn’t.
5 â€“ Jake Gardiner is one special player. Heâ€™s already a No2 defenseman on the Leafs and even with all the skill Iâ€™m not sure how well that actually speaks about our defense. Not doubting his talent, because he has loads of it, but youâ€™d expect someone else to at least challenge him for that spot. That takes absolutely nothing away from Jake The Snake because heâ€™s playing one hell of a season. Not sure about him being on the PK late in the game though. Heâ€™s still a young d-man with unpolished defensive game.
6 â€“ The Leafs worked on some new PP schemes during the 3 day break, coach Greg Cronin â€œtackling some adjustments with a group of penalty-killing forwardsâ€. Those adjustments seemed to work pretty well tonight. Of course it had a little bit to do with the Canes missing Jeff Skinner and their powerplay being 29th best in the NHL. And thatâ€™s with Skinner in the lineup. They still scored.
7 â€“ This was the first time this season the Leafs and the opposition entered the 3rd period with a 0-0 scoreline.
8 â€“ James Reimer wasnâ€™t tested much but made a big save on our PP which kept the score tied. Cam Ward was a beast but he was eventually slain by Tim Connollyâ€™s fantastic tip after some traffic in front of Ward. Good job by MacArthur by getting that on net.
9 â€“ It had to be Poni to tie it right? Ok, new rule! If a player plays for the Leafs heâ€™s ineligible to play in the NHL after he leaves our team. Problem solved.
10 â€“ This was a must win game. Weaker team, weakened weaker team, team in lousy form, team getting used to the new coach and new systems and a home game. Good that we won. I love you fragile Tim!