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:

253 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.

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?

Alec Brownscombe
Alec Brownscombe moderator

The last three Leaf games have all involved the loss of late leads. None worse than tonights. #trollface

GeorgeCastanza
GeorgeCastanza

well huen is looking a bit like mat dumba out there

mcloki
mcloki

Granberg looking like Berg there.

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

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

Jay31
Jay31

@BleedBlue 3-3

Waiting4LSC
Waiting4LSC

Have no stream or audio ;( Can you explain please?

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?

BleedBlue
BleedBlue

@Jay31 no need to panic then....another shootout victory for the blue and white...LOL

Alec Brownscombe
Alec Brownscombe moderator

@Waiting4LSC Pens tied it up with a few seconds left. Curt has good coverage in the live tweet stream above