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

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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:

  • Jmessih

    At least switch around Biggs and Carrick, Spott
    Hopefully all these players dress tho, it is a good group

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Nice to see Leivo back in there.  That kid could be something special.  Looking forward to seeing him again.

  • B_Leaf

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
    If the Leafs get the cap problem sorted (Liles trade) I actually think Leivo has a shot at making the team out of camp. Knowing Carlyle, he’s gotta be loving this guy.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Sorry those are just the same lines from last game. No word on the lineup yet.

  • B_Leaf

    Leivo reminds me a little of Corey Perry. He has that strong slender frame with good hands, an edge, and a high compete level.

  • B_Leaf

    If the Leafs could move Liles then…
    JVR Bozak Kessel
    Lupul Kadri Leivo  (Sorry coach Spott)
    Clarkson Bolland Kulemin
    McLaren McClement Orr
    (Colborne)
    Gunnarson Phaneuf
    Gardiner Ranger
    Fraser Franson
    (Holzer)
    Reimer
    Bernier
    Leivo adds more scoring depth, he is highly responsible defensively, strong on the wall, and adds more size to our top nine. Everyone excels beside Kadri. Geez, that line could have some serious fire in it. Lets see how camp goes but just sayin…

  • mcloki

    Evening gents. Looking for a good game tonight. Should see better from Granberg

  • Burtonboy

    mcloki Yeah I’d like to see a better Petter

  • maple1967leafs

    Burtonboy mcloki  my wifes mentioned that to me a few times

  • GeorgeCastanza

    when do get to see the chinese guy?

  • Doorman

    GeorgeCastanza WTF is that ???  lol

  • Ensign

    evening folks

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    B_Leaf i can’t see ranger being on the second unit, and Gardiner and Franson have played so well together I’m hoping that pairing continues

  • Doorman

    Ensign Hi daddy!!!  Lol

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Doorman GeorgeCastanza You know….Zachary Yuen

  • Ensign

    Doorman Ensign Not yet.. a month and a half to go. All set for the pool?

  • Doorman

    Ensign Doorman Enjoy the Birht!!! Never got to see it my self!  Whish i did Now!!!

  • Ensign

    Doorman Ensign ya.. it’ll be a hoot :S

  • mcloki

    Hey long time Ensign.

  • Ensign

    mcloki getting near the season..i’ll be around more in the evenings.

  • mcloki

    Excellent. We miss you. See you around game time I’ve got to make dinne r.

  • ConnorCrisp

    Leaf brass was comparing him to Lupul too

  • .JVR.

    Sucks that I gotta wait till 10PM to watch the Rookie Game, but atleast I get to watch it 😉

  • Burtonboy

    scratches are Morgan Rielly, Andrew MacWilliam, Josh Leivo, Greg McKegg and Garret Sparks

  • Burtonboy

    starting lineup tonight vs rookies: G: Gibson, D: Percy, Finn, F: Biggs, R. Rupert, M. Rupert.

  • .JVR.

    Burtonboy 
    No Rielly?  That’s fucked!

  • Waiting4LSC

    BB. Has McWiliam played yet? I was out of touch with the first game. As an aside, MR being a scratch is disrespectful in my vocab. He is being rested to give other players a chance. :)

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Burtonboy aww man, I missed the last game and was looking forward to watching Leivo and Rielly tonight

  • .JVR.

    Burtonboy 
    Love the Rupert Twins and Biggs line.
    (believe I was hoping for this a couple of days ago)

  • Burtonboy

    Waiting4LSC Yes and yes

  • MaxwellHowe

    .JVR. Burtonboy Probably a sign they have all proven themselves worthy, now its time to give the other guys more of a look.

  • Burtonboy

    MaxwellHowe .JVR. Burtonboy yep

  • Doorman

    The_Polish_Cannon Burtonboy I guess they figure Morgan will get his chance to show during training camp!!!  Time to let the other guys show case!!!

  • skiingallday

    zzzz

  • Cameron19

    .JVR. Burtonboy Rielly will get a long look at real camp.

  • The Toronto Maple Leaf

    Doorman The_Polish_Cannon Burtonboy Same camp! Just bought hockeystreams so I could watch those two specifically. Looking forward to seeing Finn, Biggs, Gauthier and Granberg though,

  • Waiting4LSC

    I want to see Crescenzi blossom this year. He can be a beast. Only seen a few flashes, but he is physically a beast and can be a real mother of a power forward if he can acclimate.

  • Burtonboy

    Expected rookies lines: Herzog-Verhaeghe-Ross/Devane-Crescenzi-Carrick/M.Rupert-R.Rupert-Biggs/Broll-Gauthier-Brown up front#TMLtalk

  • Cameron19

    Burtonboy Trying to get Biggs to be a little bit more aggressive.  Hopefully Verhaeghe won’t be so ridiculously nervous tonight.  We could have won the last game 6-2 on his chances alone.

  • Burtonboy

    Cameron19 Burtonboy I’m hoping for a better game out of Brown as well . Small guy but he’s got talent

  • Optimustic

    Go Leafs,  too bad some of us have to wait until 10:00 to see the replay on Leafs TV.  Looking forward to see what the Ruperts can do together.

  • Burtonboy

    On back end Granberg-Yuen/Finn-Percy/Murphy-Raine and Gibson in goal vs Pitt 7pm Rogers TV/ follows on

  • DWCMLHS

    No Rielly, no fun :(
    Oh well. Now we’ll get to see what Finn looks like on the PP without Rielly. 
    I wonder if Granberg plays LD in Europe… He shoots right, but they keep listing him as the LD on his pairing. Did he actually play on the left side when he was with Percy last game? Looked like it in the Game in Six.

  • Cameron19

    Burtonboy Cameron19 Yea, he wasn’t very noticeable.  Happy I paid my 13 bucks to hockeystreams.

  • Burtonboy

    -Keon- Burtonboy He played the last game

  • Burtonboy

    -Keon- Burtonboy I never said he did

  • Doorman

    TheCanucksnaphook You Forgot 5-0 !!!  Smarten Up!!!  lol

  • Burtonboy

    Cameron19 Burtonboy Worth it . 13 bucks… no big deal

  • Loric76

    Gotta say, other than the pre-season Leafs coverage, this Rogers local channel as absolute garbage lol

  • mike_84

    looking at these rookies i see lots of 2 way talent.