Morning Mashup: Titillating Tandem

1103
Photo: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

After back-to-back wins against Montreal and Philadephia, the Leafs find themselves off to a good start, record-wise, and will be looking forward to two days of much-needed rest before returning to the ACC for the home-opener on Saturday against the Senators.

Goaltending Off to an Excellent Start

With the back to back to kick off the season, it didn’t take long to get a taste of what life would be like with two really good goaltenders.  On Monday, we saw Reimer’s characteristic ability to battle in the crease – something we should already be accustomed do, as that’s all the guy does, night-in night-out – as well as own the Habs in their building. Last night, Bernier displayed his much-lauded positional soundness, economy of movement and poise, as he gobbled up shots with good rebound control and an impressive nonchalance in the face of 32 shots. The meaningless early stat line: 69 shots against through two games with a 0.942 combined save percentage.

It’s only two games, but you cannot deny the potential this tandem is putting on display right now. The Leafs, as whole, haven’t been particularly sharp, but both goalies have given the team a chance to win each night despite the tough scheduling circumstance.  Honestly, if Leafs had a mere serviceable backup, I don’t think they would be coming out of Philadelphia with a win and a 2-0 record in hand.  As the boys continue to find their legs and chemistry, knowing that either goalie is going to give you their best should provide a jolt of early confidence. Much of the Leafs continued success – because they give up so many shots – depends on above-average to great performances, and we’re getting it from the start.

Secondary Scoring

Again, it’s way too early to jump to conclusions, but the Leafs benefited from some balanced scoring in the past two games, with the likes of Bolland (2G) and Raymond (1G) chipping in. Carlyle recognized the two-way play Bolland was bringing to the table last night and moved him up to center Lupul and Kulemin on the second line for a period of time. When Nonis first acquired Bolland at the draft, he was pretty adamant that the new acquisition had more to give, offensively. If nothing else, hopefully the Leafs have got more center depth than some have given them credit for.

Hopefully this 2-0 start indicates the Leafs are on their way to a decent first 10 games, because the pressure to help dig the team out of losing record would add to the mountain of probably-unrealistic expectations facing David Clarkson this season. Rather, I’ll be looking at Clarkson as that one missing piece needed to fill out a formidable top 9.

Rielly in for Fraser on Saturday?

Mark Fraser reportedly left the rink on crutches due to a banged up knee resulting from the hit he sustained from Jay Rosehill. Rosehill charged in with a pretty late check after he felt Fraser dirtied Zac Rinaldo in the corner during the third period last night. Colton Orr then pounced on Rosehill, which had Rosehill flipping out and throwing stuff because he felt Orr cross checked him in the neck region.

In any event, if Fraser’s injury is anything at all, it will open that door for Rielly to debut in the home opener. Should the injury be something serious, you wonder if the Leafs would recall a guy like Andrew MacWilliam; in terms of role, Fraser fills a certain black-and-blue function on the bottom pair of Carlyle’s defence core.


Thursday morning links…


Game in 6
| Bolland’s first as a Leaf | Carlyle Post Game | Bolland Post Game | Bernier Post Game

Bernier shines as Leafs win 3-1 over Flyers
Recap from PPP.

Sweet Fantasy Hockey Contest
$500 cash pool, no signup fee.

Incredible Breaking Bad-themed graphical depiction of the Leafs goaltending battle
With a combined save percentage as pure as Walt’s meth, both are gunning for the blue crease.

Penalty killing shines again in Leafs win over Flyers
5 for 6 last night after going 4 for 4 on Tuesday.

Division Preview: Detroit Red Wings
TLN continues its rundown of the Leafs’ divisional opponents.

  • maximus_asinus

    Good article, liking what I see in net, but as you said it has only been 2 games. I am interested to see who gets the next start.
    Wondering how many games Ranger gets to play if he continues these subpar performances. Who dresses to replace him in the bottom pairing?

  • JWasted

    With a combined save percentage as pure as Walt’s meth.
    No way you would have said that before Sunday. Heisenbergs is at .991 , bitch. Don’t touch his ego, ask Mike 😉

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

    I see the egomaniac in Colorado is at it already, where’s the round-table discussions and hand-wringing about violence with coaches?

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

    -Keon-https://twitter.com/michaelgrangehttps://twitter.com/michaelgrange/status/385729369354031105
    I guess the good thing about Patrick Roy’s return to the NHL is he’s no longer influencing minors.

  • Jon5200

    Agree on Pat Roy……this Saturday vs the cens is it gonna be ‘Reim Time’ or ‘Weekend at Bernier’s’…..good problem to have and it’s a great start………..still lots to work on though.

  • Cameron19

    -Keon- Avs looked great though, minus some spotty defense.  But Varlamov had a fantastic game. Almost as good as Bernier’s.

  • dlb eh

    ingy56 -Keon- 
    good comment by Grange.  Roy is a jerk of a human.  money and fame gives him a pass, though.  he’s just another one of society’s shit stains.

  • dlb eh

    who starts Saturday?

  • Airfreshener

    maximus_asinus Thought Ranger was AWEFUL in the first half and good in the second.

  • Cameron19

    dlb eh Reimer, because he owns the Sens.  And we’ll want Bernier for 2 of the next 3 games against Western teams.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Roy is an asshole, but the Avalanche might have hit the jackpot with MacKinnon.

  • Cameron19

    MaxwellHowe Funny, he didn’t register a point in the pre-season, but raised his game last night.  O’Reilly was their best forward though.  I don’t think they’ll be trading him anytime soon. Stastny will be traded or released.

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

    -Keon- I always had a solution for coaches who yapped at players, high hard one over the bench right at his head.

  • dlb eh

    Cameron19 MaxwellHowe 
    did other teams like FLA draft so poorly or did COL just get lucky to hit the jackpot 4 times?  and i’m only talking about their centres.  consider the other picks they’ve assembled.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Cameron19 MaxwellHowe 
    They should leverage someone to improve the D.  What ifs are pointless, but could Colborne and Gunnar landed Stasney during the offseason?  Might have meant letting Bozie go but, you know, whatevs

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

    Hearing rumours that Carlyle will hire Wendel Clark as his new assistant coach just before Tuesday’s game with Colorado.

  • MaxwellHowe

    dlb eh Cameron19 MaxwellHowe all 29 other teams would have taken MacKinnon.  Otherwise, you’re right, they have assembled some great talent.  At some points results are required tho, or you’re just the American version of the Oilers

  • reenergized

    CanuckUKinToronto I think the message should come before he has a chance to try anything again … not after

  • B_Leaf

    Cameron19 MaxwellHowe 
    O’Reilly was outstanding for Colorado last night. I would love him in blue and white.

  • MaxwellHowe

    CanuckUKinToronto 
    It was instant retribution.  Orr seemed to be following Rosehill around the ice waiting for him to fuck around

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

    MaxwellHowe dlb eh https://twitter.com/chrismpetershttps://twitter.com/chrismpeters/status/385617109264261120
    This Colorado Avalanche roster was largely built by the hands of Greg Sherman. Those same hands are now twiddling their thumbs.

  • Uncle Otis

    -Keon- 
    I thought he caught him in the chin/face
    Either way Rosie was pissed,but that’s what you get for a blindside hit on our team
    Message sent courtesy of the Sheriff

  • MaxwellHowe

    ingy56 
    What penalty do assistant coaches get for leaving the bench to negage in a fight?  I assume Wendal is there to keep his protege from any more suspensions.
    That is fantastic news!

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

    MaxwellHowe ingy56 One game contract, Chris Osgood wasn’t available…   :)

  • Uncle Otis

    ingy56 
    You’re kidding…right?
    Wendel always said he wanted to get into coaching

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

    Uncle Otis ingy56 Just want him there to tune up the egomaniac should he decide to get yappy.

  • supercilious

    Gilbey93 Thats pretty subjective
    I wouldnt say Landeskog or Duchene will be better than Nuge & Hall

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Best tandem in the League.

  • Uncle Otis

    CanuckUKinToronto 
    Rosie is a killer on the boards and unlikely to change his ways.
    Consistent beatdowns will be only way to curb his enthusiasm.

  • Uncle Otis

    ingy56 
    Damn,you had me for a sec.
    Wouldn’t it be nice for Wendel to get his name on the cup :)

  • Mind Bomb

    Airfreshener maximus_asinus Morning Air Fresh, RE our conversation yesterday. This is what I am talking about. And the Guy doing it is more dangerous with out it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3dFbF002YQ
    We practice stuff like this

  • Uncle Otis

    Gilbey93 
    Different system,teammates and style of play…Grabbo will rack up points but it should be of little concern to us.
    Good guy,wish him well,but THIS team looks better with Bolland in his place.

  • Airfreshener

    Mind Bomb Airfreshener maximus_asinus 😛 I told you! There is no place for logic on the internet!

    …Seriously though cool!

  • Mind Bomb

    Airfreshener Mind Bomb maximus_asinus hahhaha

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Uncle Otis ingy56 If that’s the case, replace our assistant coaches with Clark and Gilmour.

  • Uncle Otis

    MaxwellHowe 
    Rosie looked like a little Peewee throwing a tantrum of “that’s not faaaaair” after he just delivered his own dirty hit.
    Cold hearted Sherriff just smiled knowingly as if to say…”there’s more where that came from, kid.”

  • MaxwellHowe

    Gilbey93 Sure he’s racking up points, but is he really happy?  Really?

  • Airfreshener

    TSN 1050 posed an interesting question: Most impressive leaf so far is? _________

  • Uncle Otis

    Gilbey93 
    Just that we have had mucho hand wringing over Grabo of late…kinda getting tired of hearing his name and firing up the same debate.
    Time to move on.

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

    Airfreshener Cody Franson

  • WendelGilmour

    Airfreshener Franson.

  • Dink

    Airfreshener phaneuf

  • Airfreshener

    WendelGilmour Airfreshener I think its either gotta be Franson or JVR. REALLY liking their games thus far.

  • Airfreshener

    Does Rielly draw in for Fraser on Saturday?

  • WendelGilmour

    Airfreshener WendelGilmour Yeah, JVR looks really good. Phaneuf also.

  • dlb eh

    MaxwellHowe
    no i didn’t mean that. i meant that FLA and COL and a lot of other teams have been awful for years, but not all teams draft equally, and not all teams seem to get lucky the same.
    like PIT getting Malkin with 2nd overall pick. COL has a lot of centres, was that simply good drafting or great fortune of when and where they finished so poorly?

  • Uncle Otis

    Airfreshener 
    April Reimer

  • Knights2Leafs

    This from PPP:
    “…but were fortunate that the Flyers went 1/7 on the PP.”
    How about the Flyers were fortunate to get one PP goal against an elite PK.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Airfreshener Franson  and Bolland. Would be very nice if Bolland plays like a #2 center.

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

    WendelGilmour Airfreshener Yep, both good but for Franson to miss most of camp and the exhibition games and then pick right up where he left off last season is pretty impressive.