Preseason Post Game: Leafs 4 vs. Flyers 3

622

The Leafs kicked off preseason with a 4-3 win over the Flyers.

Of course, you shouldn’t read too far into game one of the preseason with only three or four regulars playing for the Leafs, but it is fun to get a look at the likes of Gauthier, Rielly, Leivo and other youth playing all situations hockey at a higher level.

This was more of a rookie tournament lineup than it was an NHL lineup. Among the clear cut NHLers, Kadri (who always wants to put on a show, especially in his hometown), Raymond and Ranger were motivated to make an impression and did so. Bolland looked like he was taking it easy. Liles was ‘meh.’

The Leafs built a 3-0 lead when Steve Mason was in net, but coughed up the three goal lead in the second period. I’m not going to make the Game 7 joke. We have had a strange number of coughed-up leads in meaningless exhibition games since May 13, however. The important thing is the Leafs found a way to regain the lead and secure a 4-3 win in the preseason opener.

A quick rundown of the goals:

– The Leafs opened the scoring off the stick of the $2.9 million man. Mason Raymond made a nice play on the half wall to chip it to Kadri, who broke into open ice and bore down on Hall Gill, a partial one-on-one which ended exactly how you would imagine it would. Gill went all human zamboni into the corner, while Kadri patiently toe dragged around him before shelving it on Mason. 1-0 Leafs.

– Shortly thereafter, Fred Gauthier and Jamie Devane got the puck deep and mucked it up down low behind the net. Gauthier pounced on a loose puck that squirted out to the side of the net and found Troy Bodie out front, who made Tim Lieweke proud and buried to make it 2-0 Leafs.

– Raymond’s speed was evident from puck drop, and he was out to make an impression early tonight. It didn’t take long for him to get on the scoresheet. Following up the assist on the Kadri goal, Raymond scored on a breakway of his own after he picked off the point man on the PK. He showed off his wheels to gain separation before finishing glove hand high.

– The Leafs conceded late in the first on a penalty kill after a point shot from Nik Grossman took a deflection off of David Clarkson’s brother Doug. The larger, ECHL version of David. Reimer looked like he never saw it. 3-1.

– Bolland and his line had a poor shift leading up to the 3-2 goal. Bolland’s lazy windup saw his shot blocked at the blueline and his line wound up stranded up the ice. Holzer lost positioning on his man in front, who finished off a rebound to make it 3-2.

– Shortly after, Rielly kind of skated himself into a dead end and ended up crossed up in his own zone. A Flyer point shot took a weird bounce off the end boards and popped out to the far side of the net, where Rielly was late arriving. A member of the Flyers (I don’t remember) dispatched the bounce off the end boards, which Reimer didn’t recognize until too late, into the empty net.

– Broll, Leivo and Ranger combined to regain the lead for the Leafs half way through the 2nd. A good chip around the pinching Flyer by Kadri sent Broll on his way up the board, who dropped to Leivo in support. Ranger had identified a chance to join the rush and was johnny on the spot to finish off Broll’s rebound at the back door. 4-3 Leafs, this goal stood up as the winner.

A few quick player notes (other than what was mentioned above). Keep in mind my Leafs TV feed was cutting in and out throughout and all the new numbers left me squinting at nameplates.

– If Franson watched Rielly and Ranger and didn’t get a little anxious tonight, he probably should be. Ranger in particular was so solid. Consistently on the mark with his first pass, heady decisions throughout, strong on the board, positionally sound, and a goal to boot.

– Rielly has probably never played a hockey game where he hasn’t stood out given how smooth of an operator he is on the ice. I didn’t think he was unbelievable by any means, but he moved the puck quickly and well, made a number of crisp passes, and jumpstarted a couple of rushes. He broke the zone nicely on the powerplay a few times. We’ll see how he performs as more and more NHLers factor into the games.

– Biggs really struggled to assert himself in this game. I didn’t notice much in the way of a physical presence and he mishandled the puck on a few occasions. Game to forget for Biggs.

– When it comes to the youngest member on the ice in Frederik Gauthier, you have to be happy if he doesn’t look out of place. Nothing flashy, but the talk of Gauthier being well-rounded and polished beyond his years is not without merit.

– Andrew MacWilliam impressed me. He didn’t play a perfect game, but I like the mobility he possesses to go along with the size. He isn’t without poise on the puck, either. MacWilliam was punishing players on the boards, and set the tone early with a hard finished check on Scott Laughton on the end board.

– Josh Leivo acquitted himself well and found himself with a couple of good scoring opportunities.

– Those eager to anoint Bernier as the starter prematurely will probably be happy to pin one or two of the goals on James Reimer. I didn’t think there was much worth noting in either direction. It was his first game action in months, he only played 30 minutes, and he was playing in a pretty disorganized game of hockey.

– Christopher Gibson was solid in the second half, posting a shutout in his half-game performance.

  • http://joshholliday.com/ unfunny

    Joe Colborne not really doing much to impress. Improved skating, but lacking in grit and passion to go with his size.

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    So…if we do sign Raymond…how much do we give him considering our cap situation (and Franson still unsigned)??

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    CanuckUKinToronto Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
    Can he still field offers from other clubs while on a tryout with us but unsigned??

  • Jmessih

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan CanuckUKinToronto Believe so

  • Optimustic

    I believe it was Cousins who scored the 3rd Philly goal.  The one with the bad rebound.

  • mr_hanie

    Shift_Disturber1 According to Dallas Eakins—- Holzer is better than Blacker

  • Jmessih

    CanuckUKinToronto Shift_Disturber1 Macwilliam, Ranger, Blacker, Rielly, Granberg (maybe), Brennan have all moved past him on the depth chart. And all those gays are behind. Dion, gunner, Gards, Franson, Liles and Fraser. Well Ranger has moved up ahead of Liles and Fraser but did start with the other group. 
    D is looking good

  • Jmessih

    -Keon- That is pretty low for a player would would prob put in 15 goals in a full season. He has 10 last year. Just because we don’t have the cap space doesn’t mean he is not worth the money.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Haven’t read the postgame yet but I’m just back from the Bud Gardens and my initial impressions are these:
    Paul Ranger is without any doubt a top 4 dman in the NHL. Best defenseman on the ice tonight on either team He has size, he skates well and he positions himself well in taking out his man.  No thunderous hits, but he plays the man tough.
    The good news is Gauthier did not look out of place and has decent speed and hands. The better news is Colborne right now is bigger and faster and just as skilled.  Welcome to the Maple Leafs Joe.
    I have always had concerns about K. Holzer’s game.  Watching him tonight, I was very impressed.  He is relatively mobile, big and he really played well positionally and was quite physical.

  • Optimustic

    Shift_Disturber1 I agree, Holzer hasn’t impressed me yet,  I think when he was on the Marlies, that Fraser made him look more NHL ready than he really was.   I haven’t written him off yet because he’s still young and may have a longer development curve.

  • mr_hanie

    Shift_Disturber1 mr_hanie For some reason Holzer played OK on the road but was terrible at home at the ACC. Eakins probably wouldn’t mind Holzer as a 6 D-man with the Oilers

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    So they delay an NFL game for “fan safety” when there is no place for 90,000 fans to go but stand outside and drink beer while the players and officials are under the stands. This lightning warning brought to you by Budweiser.

  • dlb eh

    Alec.  i agree.  like, totally, dude.

  • dlb eh

    Knights2Leafs
    i replied on the other to you, here’s the same reply since i liked what you had to say
    i’m happy to hear you say that about Korbinian. i wanted him to do more to stand out because it felt like i was the only one seeing him look pretty good overall.
    also glad to hear the vote of confidence for Colbourne. he showed well in the playoffs and can only lose his spot, so when he doesn’t stand out i’m not sure that’s a bad thing. big and fast and steady should do it for him.

  • dlb eh

    -Keon- 
    at first i thought that was a muscle joke…but….

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    -Keon- Haha…I knew there was more to it, not to mention the gold chains, ear rings and gold teeth.

  • Knights2Leafs

    -Keon- 
    I did already and I get the Holzer thing.  While he didn’t stand out I could see him playing RD in the bottom pairing.  I guess I just thought Holzer was so out of place playing with Dion that it was nice to see him be decent in the proper role.
    I didn’t think Liles was bad at all and he’s quite physical for a little guy, but holy mackerel, he is he ever little. The only plays shorter were Rupert and Abbott.  I was quite surprised.
    I was worried about Rielly’s size but he’s considerably bigger than Liles.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    -Keon- That’s the pressbox.

  • Jmessih

    If McLern is has a broken finger he is out 4-6 weeks and that reduces our number of boxes to 1 (like most teams) and opens up $ 770,000 to sign Raymond.
    Raymond – Bolland – Kulemin
    Colborne – McClement – Orr
    With someone like Ashton as the 13th forward, used when Orr doesn’t need to fight someone. 
    Then we can sign Franson with the left over money and trade Liles in time.

  • Knights2Leafs

    -Keon-
    Premature post – edited version:
    I was worried about Rielly’s size but he’s considerably bigger than Liles. He looked alright out there and I can see him hanging with the big boys as long as he’s brought along slowly.

  • Jmessih

    -Keon- LOL – true fan

  • Jmessih

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/379416790834487297
    Kadri on wearing A: ‘That was a bit of surprise. Guys were heckling me a little bit about that. Hopefully in the future it can be permanent’

  • Jmessih

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/379417327697014785
    Paul Ranger on what his goal was tonight: ‘Get my feet wet. Get used to the speed. I had personal goals & I met them. It was a great start.’

  • Jmessih

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/379416381906632704
    Rielly on 1st NHL pre-season game: ‘I took a period or two to adjust a little bit, but I’m overall pretty happy with how it went’

  • Jmessih

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/379415592320520193
    Carlyle asked about Rielly: ‘Rielly who? You guys don’t know any other players on our team. I’ve answered 100 ?s today about Morgan Rielly’

  • Jordan29

    We need some highlights of the goals happening

  • Jmessih

    Masters often has great sound bites, worth a follow for Leafs’ fans. Carlye was not happy with Rielly questions after the game….

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Refresh for some game recap boys.

  • MikeGartner11

    Jordan29 It’s all on mapleleafs.com

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    -Keon- 
    Wuss!!

  • dlb eh

    Jmessih 
    nah, i watched him on Leafs TV answer that question.  he kinda rolled his eyes as if to say (just what he said) “like come on guys ask me something else”
    i wouldn’t say “not happy” that gives the wrong impression

  • newkb

    Must have heard Millen’s blunder too…lol

  • DJBrianBurke

    Jmessih He’s sick and tired of them already. He won’t to worry to much about answering those when Reilly is sent back. Of course if there are major injuries to the D, then he’ll have to answer them again.

  • Jmessih

    Was hoping the game in 6 would have Blacker’s hit :( 
    I missed it, heard it was good

  • dlb eh

    DJBrianBurke Jmessih 
    he probably wishes some of the people asking questions would work a little harder to ask better questions.  what more can be said about the Rielly situation at this time?
    i swear whoever asked probably wasn’t watching the game and was hoping for a little help figuring out what happened out there.

  • Jordan29

    Jmessih best part was it was that little runt ranoldo

  • Jmessih

    Jordan29 Jmessih Exactly, that is why I want to see it lol

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    nice win boys, kids are showing well!

  • Jordan29

    Jmessih Jordan29 well it wasnt TOO massive, but it was nice to see it from him. I had no clue what so ever he was capable of it

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Jordan29 Jmessih huge solid clean hit put Ronaldo on his rat ass

  • DJBrianBurke

    dlb eh DJBrianBurke Jmessih It’s brutal. Yes, he was drafted high, so MSM will always be on the case, but it’s beyond crazy. Just let him play and figure it all out. He will be on the Leafs at some point. I love Reilly, just leave it it alone.
    If he plays tomorrow and they ask about him, I hope Randy just goes on the the next question.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Nice game in 6 Declan.  Watching it back, it’s nice to watch the TO dmen knock down some Flyers on the scrums in front of the net.

  • dlb eh

    DJBrianBurke dlb eh Jmessih 
    thing that sperates Henny and a few others is they ask smart questions that haven’t necessarily been asked yet.  they do their homework it seems, paying attention.
    anyone who heard the last 99 Rielly answers only has to watch the games now to figure out what to write.  there is literally nothing more to ask the coach on the topic.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    -Keon- *doorbell rings – Phil? What are you doing here??

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/brolldozer1993https://twitter.com/brolldozer1993/status/379417594664464384
    Fired up with https://twitter.com/43_Kadri https://twitter.com/search?q=%23firstshowgame&src=hash http://t.co/1EJxN5fILr

  • rustynail

    Dangle_My_Berries Jordan29 Jmessih and out of the game

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    so Joe Colborne is noticeably faster eh!

  • DJBrianBurke

    dlb eh DJBrianBurke Jmessih I like Henny too. You’re right, good questions from him. Always enjoy his bits and parts in the scrum.

  • dlb eh

    that was some great work by Gauthier on the Bodie goal

  • dlb eh

    Dangle_My_Berries 
    was that one of the drinking games quotes?  we’d all be passed out by now haha