Home Leafs Prospects Leafs Rookie Tournament: Game 2 Live Blog – Leafs vs. Penguins

Leafs Rookie Tournament: Game 2 Live Blog – Leafs vs. Penguins

Here we go again.

With Brian Burke back in the news, it’s fitting that his greatest contribution to the Maple Leafs – a rebuilt farm system — take center stage in the days leading up to actual meaningful hockey.  The Baby Leafs have a gold-plated defense group and a forward contingent that breaks down fairly nicely into scoring lines and checking lines; the lines should pretty much roll themselves.

With players like Morgan Rielly trying to make an impact prior to the start of Leafs camp, and guys like Leivo, Biggs, and Percy looking to solidify key roles with the Marlies, the stakes are a lot higher for these kids than they may seem to fans on the surface.  These aren’t your typical pre-season games and they’ll provide a great glimpse at what the future has in store for the big club.

Live Updates:

Period #1
Very physical period for both team, even if you don’t count the two fights.

Pittsburgh scored first on the PP when Harrington’s shot beat Gibson, unscreened.  It was tough to tell from my vantage point whether the Penguin at the side of the net was a factor but Finn definitely lost body positioning on him, giving him the inside lane to the net.  Finn was otherwise reasonably solid.

Toronto responded first with the pair of fights and after winning those, supplied anecdotal evidence that fighting impacts momentum, taking it to the Pens for the rest of the period.  Both Ruperts got on the board as the Leafs scored a powerplay goal at the side of the net.  It was a bit of a greasy one with Biggs floating around the net as well but the shot was a pretty tight angle and Rupert did well to hit it.

Standouts: Percy’s defensive play was very strong that period — something he’ll hope to carry into Leafs training camp, I’m sure.  Also, Ross’ physicality was noteworthy and borderline dirty, which is exactly where we want him to live.

(Matt) Rupert goal (1-1):

Broll fight:

Devane fight:

Period #2
Things calmed down a little bit in the 2nd after a very eventful 1st period.

Pittsburgh struck first again, on the PP, after Gibson left a rebound on a point shot sit 8 feet in front of his crease.  He made a pair of nice saves on rebounds but the defense was caught napping and the Penguins were able to put it away.

As with the 1st period, the Leafs answered shortly thereafter with Ross and Verhaeghe doing the yeoman’s work and Fabrice Herzog reaping the rewards in front of the net.  Nothing has been particularly pretty for the Leafs so far tonight but they’ve been rewarded when they’ve worked hard.

Standouts:  Granberg’s transition game was really slick that period;  he gets the puck to the forwards in stride and at the right time.  Ross had an even better period in the 2nd.  He was creating and his aggressiveness led to a few turnovers.

Herzog goal (2-2):

Period #3
The third was a pretty uneventful period but it did provide Toronto’s nicest goal of the game.  Andrew Crescenzi made the game 3-2 Leafs, flipping a one timer over the goalie in transition after he and Devane made a couple passes down ice.

The Penguins weren’t content to let me go and warm up though and scored to tie the game with seconds left (you can keep your playoff collapse jokes to yourself, thanks).

In the shootout, both Percy and Ross scored (Ross in the extra shooter portion) and with that, the Baby Buds have started the rookie tourney 2-0.

Crescenzi’s goal:

272 comments
Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Part of the comments after the Leafs Rookie Tournament four years ago:

2010-2011 European Breakout Candidate: Sondre Olden

Was it really even possible to consider any other name here? This is the kid whom was heavily scouted by the Red Wings’ Swedish Super Scout Hakkan Andersson (Hello Zetterberg and Franzen!) prior to the 2010 NHL Draft, and one whom intrigued the Leafs’ scouts so much that they traded into the 3rd round (leapfrogging Detroit in the process) to take him. Can you blame them? Even based on a very tiny sample size from the Leafs’ rookie tournament, where he was 3-4 years younger (he just barely turned 18) than most of the other players, Olden flashed significant potential in the speed, size, creativity and skill departments. He’s done a heckuva representing his home nation of Norway internationally so far with a ridiculous 22 points in 5 games at the WJC-18 D1 en route to a gold medal and then another one at the WJC-20 D1.

rustynail
rustynail

Ross was the best player on the ice IMO

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

Flyers just signed Hall Gill to a try out!  Tough pickings for signings right now.. Franson and Kadri will sort out this week.

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

How'd we do?  I missed the game entirely....seems I got poison ivy a week or so ago.  Grrr so spent the evening at the hospital instead of the arena.  Anyways looking forward to going again tomorrow night!

Bruce Gamble
Bruce Gamble

Geese, I can see Ross stepping right in to where Komarov left off. I was very impressed with Ross's overall game, he plays as advertised. A very nice goal to win it in the shootout too.

BleedBlue
BleedBlue

good night guys....thanks for the updates :)

Alec Brownscombe
Alec Brownscombe moderator

Sounds like Ross had the type of game you would hope for from a guy who has had a season with the Marlies... Nice.  Percy good, too.

wiski
wiski


Bruno Mars to sing at Super Bowl half-time show, manager says 

BleedBlue
BleedBlue

right on!!! and that's a sexy pic costanza......LMFAO

mcloki
mcloki

Leafs win. 4-3 nice

Jay31
Jay31

Fuck yeah Ross

BleedBlue
BleedBlue

are they still going in the shootout?

Jay31
Jay31

Percy's been great for the whole game

GreekGod
GreekGod

Would like to see more of this Yuen... thoughts?

wiski
wiski

Funny link from last thread to this one worked when Alec posted it, yet mine to the next one didn't? could be a poster problem. ;)

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@wiski Have to wonder if his body will be able to withstand the grind of the NHL. 

wiski
wiski

@GreekGodZach Yuen, theWinnipeg Jets' 4th-round selection in 2011 (119th overall), was not signed to an entry-level contract by yesterday's 4:00 PM CST deadline and will now re-enter the NHL Entry Draft this summer in New Jersey. And while the details have yet to be given (in fact, it's been eerily quiet around town from both TNSE and the local media), this is a disaster for a team that is supposed to be "building through the draft".

But how can it be a disaster if we don't know the details? Well, in my opinion it's simple. This isn't just a case of a player and an organization parting ways. The Jets traded two draft picks on the draft floor to the San Jose Sharks (Carolina's 5th-round pick, 133rd overall, and Calgary's 7th-round pick, 194th overall, both in 2011 draft) to move up to the 119th spot to get the guy they wanted. This means that Yuen obviously interviewed really well with either Chevy or his staff or the interview process was done poorly, because the end result is that the Jets burned two draft picks, not just one, to pick a guy who they really wanted two years ago but who walked away yesterday. Great.

So what did happen here? I doubt that we'll get a full and transparent explanation and will likely hear about how the two sides just couldn't come to an agreement, but you cannot deny that the optics of this situation are awful. A young left-handed d-man who led his WHL team's blueline in points this season is surely somebody that the Jets would want around, no? And yes, his +/- dropped from 45 to -1 this year, but the Tri-City Americans went from a record of 50-18-0-4 to 40-27-0-5 this past season which could help partially explain it. Do the Jets as an organization have such tremendous depth that they can allow their own talented youngsters to walk? It's not like the Jets are anywhere close to the 50-contract limit and I don't see a ton of talent down on the blue-line in St. John's...

No matter what you choose to believe about why this relationship between organization and player was broken before it even started, the end result is that the Jets literally wasted two picks on a guy who they thought would want to play here. And while Yuen may have changed his mind, this is not something that a team like the Jets can afford to allow to happen, especially when Kevin Cheveldayoff talks about how important his draft picks are. Winnipeg is likely to struggle to attract UFA's already, but if their own draft picks don't want to play here? I really hope that this is not the case, but until we hear definitively all we can do is speculate but none of the reasons that I can come up with are good ones.

wiski
wiski

@MaxwellHowe @wiski Missed the game but he has had bad luck health wise, big heart for the game though.

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@GeorgeCastanza @Alec Brownscombe  Ross was awesome and pounding.  Liked what Ruperts brought too.. Percy has been very good both games. What if Reilly and Percy are standouts in real camp?  and Franson not signed?  Then what?