The Leafs dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Philadelphia Flyers in a sloppy second game of preseason. Remarkably, Phil Kessel took 6 minutes worth of aggressive stick infractions.
Becoming known for eating up his former team, James van Riemsdyk opened the scoring after cutting off a pass on the left board in the neutral zone. He got in behind the Flyer defenceman and roofed it far side on a goaltender named “Heeter.”
Answering for the other side of the transaction, Luke Schenn tied the game at 1s with seconds remaining in the first frame. Mark Fraser awkwardly tried to block a point shot (that was going wide) and it wound up bounding off his foot and splitting Jonathan Bernier between the wickets. Bernier was yelling at Fraser to get out of the lane, apparently.
Jamie Devane restored the Toronto lead in the second period by accomplishing something I expect he’ll do rarely if ever again in a Leaf uniform, which is score a goal. Coming off the bench as Trevor Smith battled for the puck, the disc sprung loose before Devane skated onto it and threw a slapshot on net. Brad Ross’ presence around the goalmouth seemed to distract Heeter as he got beat cleanly on the short side from 50+ feet.
Bruno Gervais tied the game at 2s in the third period, stepping over the blueline and beating Drew MacIntyre clean over the glove. After some heroic bail outs in the second half of the second period, MacIntyre had a good look at the shot and probably should have had it.
The game needed a shootout, which took many rounds to complete. JvR, Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson scored for the Leafs in the losing effort.
A few thoughts:
– Pretty garbage game to watch. It’s hard to make judgments and will be until teams start icing something closer to their real lineups plus one or two bubble players.
– Clarkson wasted no time making an impact in this one as his renowned intensity was apparent from puck drop. He had a nice chance in the slot on his first shift as his line alongside Carter Ashton and Greg McKegg applied some early pressure. Clarkson provided another good shift to start the 2nd. After chirping at Rosehill off the faceoff, he got in on the forecheck and outbattled the 6’6 Oliver Lauridsen for the puck. He threw a hit, separated the man, retrieved the puck, and sent it back to the point. The Leafs did not have enough forwards who could do those things consistently last season. The shift-to-shift intensity, his work rate and pure fury when he competes down low is a breath of fresh air. Clarkson also dropped the gloves with Nicklas Grossman after sustaining a big hit from Grossman earlier in the shift.
– Jonathan Bernier put on a solid 16-save performance in his 30 minute half. He made his biggest save on Nick Cousins in the second period. Cousins pulled it around the sprawling defenceman and Bernier rather calmly closed down the angle to make the save. Bernier also got some praise from the broadcast crew for leaving his crease to make a smart play on a loose puck that got in behind a Leafs defenceman in the first period. In the second period, Bernier made a sharp reactionary poke check to negate a fast-developing scoring chance right in his goalmouth. Just the one goal against for Bernier, which he was handcuffed on.
– Petter Granberg seems like he needs a good chunk of AHL time to adjust. He had a better third period, but he looked a little lost to me in the first 40, whether it’s the pace, style of play, size of the rink, or all the above.
– T.J. Brennan moved the puck well, and showed off a nice point shot on a few occasions.
– I saw two nice scramble plays around the net by Andrew MacWilliam where he might have saved a goal. He moves pretty efficiently for a big man. He also caught a Flyer with a nice hit at the offensive blueline that drew a bit of a crowd. Two good showings in a row from MacWilliam, who is ahead of Granberg if I am arranging my depth chart based on these past two games (he’s also two years older). Granberg needs some time.
– Tough game to make a call on any of the bubble players at forward.
– Rielly had a tough second period. First he got beat outside by Luke Schenn, of all people, leading to a chance in the slot that MacIntyre snuffed out with a great glove save. Anthony has mentioned this before, but for a great skater Rielly seems to get walked on to the outside on occasion. This was Luke Schenn, to boot. Rielly also went on a little fishing expedition later on in the period and got caught up ice, leading to a breakway which McIntyre also bailed him out on. It’s tough, because ideally Rielly could work on a few of these things playing against men in the AHL. It’s tough to send a kid with those skills and that type of poise beyond his years back to junior, but I think I’m for it. Rielly will have plenty more preseason appearances to try to change that impression.
– Jake Gardiner was his high-event self, pulling off some pond hockey stunts. Flying forward with reckless abandon, flying back to cover his butt.
Game in Six
Eh just noticed, where did D'Amigo's profile on mapleleafs.com go?
interesting news that the NHL is going to enforce strict rules on the way players wear their uniforms. Ovi upset that he cant do his half/full tuck...
@Jmessih so Sparks doesn't even get to play in preseason. bummer
@Jmessih EVeryone needs to relax about Granberg. He's clearly not ready. He missed a lot of last season and now he's got to learn how to play on different ice. He must read and react much faster over here, give him at least half a season to work it out over here. It's not like we have a roster spot for him anyway. He needs to be with the Marlies, learn their systems and teammates, it's there that he'll learn how to play over here.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan If he filed for arbitration the Leafs could have chosen 2 years.
@Jmessih @Dangle_My_Berries A great way to generate revenue would be to have active adds on the boards. Have the inner layer of the boards protective of a fibre optic panel and display adverts that change, like they have on the sidelines in soccer.
Also have a laser in the sky that projects adds onto the ice during stoppages in play.
@JWasted .....catchin' waves on the shark infested coastline.....:)
@JWasted How's the hockey there?
@Jmessih @theacs1966 For what purpose, he's gotta go to the farm anyway, there are no spots open for him. One game with Ranger isn't going to do anything. The more games we play the closer we get to the starting lineup, I want to see Ranger trying D pairs, that he'll actually play with. I'm tired of the Grandberg hype, it's rare a European D Rookie makes it to an NHL team. HIs team were the champs but he missed most of the season, then he was good in a tourney. None of those things are bad, they're just not enough to warrant a longer look at this level. Most players play in the minors first anyway, and I'll say it again, there is no spot for him at the Leaf level. And anyway, he's gone, you won't see him this year unless we have a bunch of injuries to the blue line.
@DWCMLHS Get with it man, we've been waiting patiently for seconds!
@CanuckUKinToronto @Marlies Man @Dangle_My_Berries @Jmessih Yeah, except we have a salary cap so we wouldn't benefit that much. I suppose it would drive up the revenue and the cap significantly with the deals the bigger teams could potentially strike up, though I'm not sure North American fans would like such a big change.
@Greg Fenton @MaxwellHowe ...put in another way....so a GM intentionally puts Nonis into this position with an offer sheet....Nonis has 10 days to do something with Liles, and to send another down or trade, to match...why?.....If someone wanted "Liles" that bad, to pluck from waivers, to go thru all this, why not deal face to face in a friendly matter...to do an offer sheet that Nonis would match....no sense for a GM "not to care" ......?
@Greg Fenton @LightmyLeaf @MaxwellHowe even if they sent JML down, that's likely not enough to match yet.....someone else would have to go as well...but I think Nonis would find a way to match if its at that range...so it might be pointless for another team to go thru the process, .....although Cody would get a better offer for 2 yrs and stay....
@MaxwellHowe @Greg Fenton @LightmyLeaf I know Greg said he wouldn't give up a first...but if someone was really considering going over the top for him, they would pay more than a first on offer sheet....so perhaps the deal is not out of the question...Cody gets full minutes...if they do OK, it might compute to say a 15th overall....I'd rather have him playing though....
@Greg Fenton @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Ah, the big question. Who wants to take that risk? The Leafs that they'll play well and put Franson on the back burner, or vice versa. i would say the bigger risk is with the Leafs, because some team will suck enough to get desperate and try an offer sheet.
They're playing quite a game of poker.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan going back to the "agent issue", the ball may have been dropped way back then, just before Gunner/Frazer signings....and Nonis knew he was RFA'd....some on here have mentioned Frazer attributed to his success...and he previously was defensively deficient...all I know is it clicked, he can score.....and he's a big dude....and RD
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan its been a rough ride for him, I am pretty sure he wanted to play here too....I'd pitch an asset(player) just to keep him....
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan what a tough spot..the guy's been through this what 3 times, missed out on UFA by 15 days by date of birth, (I believe)....a dream come true would be Nonis pulling off a cap friendly trade, and bucking up for a decent contract for him....which could be longer than 2 yrs....we need him on RD