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.
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.
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.
Whatever our expectations at the start of the season, if the hockey gods keep subtracting pieces from the board at this rate (Clarkson, Fraser, Kulemin), we're not going to go nearly as far as we hoped. I know injuries, suspensions, etc., are part of the game, but this is a pretty onerous attrition rate. No-one had better go down tonight.
There's early trade talk with Anaheim?
Dreger - Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray is looking for a defenceman and its believed Toronto, Pittsburgh and maybe Philadelphia are involved. They want a young defenceman and may give up a young forward in return.
So long Percy.
Love this fight from Colton Orr absolutely destroying Lucic and the commentators after trying to defend lucic and Don Cherry tells it like it is. What a beauty!!
Seems people think there will be a controversy having two starting goaltenders. You only have to delve into Leafs history to see the advantage of having two starters. See: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1955&dat=19650329&id=rA0rAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kpoFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2644,7458529
Toronto Maple Leafs
For the first time in NHL history, two names were engraved on an NHL trophy for the same year after JOHNNY BOWER and TERRY SAWCHUK shared the goaltending duties that season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, playing 34 and 36 games respectively. Allowing a combined league-low 173 goals against, SAWCHUK earned his fourth career VEZINA TROPHY and BOWER his second.
If Reimer and Bernier are smart, they both will want to remain Leafs.
Am I imagining things, or are the Canucks noticeably turning their backs and on Luongo and looking skyward - almost shaking their heads - after a goal against? Feels like there's not a lot of love there.
Am I the only one that doesnt understand the over-the-top Grabo and Fratts love? They are no longer with Toronto, I wish them the best...but I'm not gonna follow them and wish we still had them.
Seems oddly jealous ex-bf ish ...sheesh
GO LEAFS GOOOOOO
You know, I think that Vancouver actually made the right choice to stick with Luongo over Schneider from a pure hockey perspective. It's just that, they should have made that choice a year earlier, before they ruined their relationship with him.
Kudos to you guys who actually watched an entire Flames game. I cannot watch that team for 5 minutes.
Was/CAL game the perfect example of why the shoot out is a joke and mockery of the great game of hockey. Calgary, a low skilled team that will have to win by playing as a team and working hard works their asses off against a team far superior in skill (yes CAL blew some leads) and then own WAS in overtime. Then the gimmick starts and WAS can throw out 6 highly skilled scorers while CAL can throw out none and bingo bango it's over. Fucking ridiculous.
Of course, teams like WAS are the type of team you bet against in the first round of the playoffs (if they make it). Give up 10 goals in their first two games and gain their only win on a gimmick. There ain't no shoot out in the playoffs and defense wins.
Can't pay two guys starter money. This will work great this year but in the long run we will have to choose one over the other.
@Cameron19 luongo should screw them over with the way the organization and now the players treat him
@wiski what she said
@Conis I don't think many here are wishing we still had them. I wish Carlyle hadn't driven Grabovski's value into the ground and forced Nonis to use a compliance buy out on him. I think the points thing is just because Carlyle basically refused to give this guy top six minutes, and then he had an 8 point pre-season and has 5 points in 2 games in the regular season.
With Frattin, well, he's a good player who we had to trade to get another good player. I don't sit around pining for him to be a Leaf, but I do wish him well, and am excited that he's getting to play top six for the Kings.
The whole "see he got another point tonight" rubbing it in the face kinda thing is what prompted that....just saying
@Cameron19 Yup. Absolutely. Thats exactly it. They ruined their relationship with Lu the year before lolll. The media and fans out here (i live in Van) are clueless though and have thrown the guy that has pulled that franchise on his back for years under the bus since their rivalry with Chicago began. The Sedins somehow get off scot free because they make cute plays all season and then disappear when it matters. Then it becomes Lu's fault lol.
@Zep2 I think Bob ran the numbers last year, but more often than not, the winning team gets out shot. It's true that we have a bigger problem with it than some of the big time contenders, but in general, when you're winning games, you go into collapse mode, and allow all kinds of perimeter shots.
@WendelGilmour I caught the OT and Shootout at McDonalds on my way home from the Funeral Home. My Brother- in-law's father passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Sounds like it wasn't much of a game.
@rustynail wedding crash motha fu*#$
@Jay_Berg Well, we could realistically have them both at less than what Lundqvist alone would cost for the next 3 seasons, I'm guessing.
@Cameron19 Your hate for Carlyle colours your view; there are only so many spots on a hockey team and Kadri stole Grabo's spot...simple as that. Grabo lippin' off on the way out the door tells me all I need to know.
Yea I get your points. AH well, so far I like what I see for the most part. Lets hope Saturday continues in our favor
@Conis For a lot of us, Grabbo was our favourite player on the Leafs for a few years and losing him was kind of gutting. Time will heal all wounds, but if he was a player you enjoyed for whatever reason, why not follow him for the near-future until a current Leaf takes that place?
Funny thing is, the way Washington is playing right now reminds me of the way the Leafs use to play under Ron Wilson.
Yup. Reimer deserves a raise this summer so I don't see the Leafs being able to keep both
Still not a good use of cap space even if possible. And if both guys keep playing like this they won't want to split forever.
Yup... honestly, I think Washington should just blow it up. I really don't see them going anywhere this year. And being in the same division as Tampa and Florida the past number of years I think has actually hidden there problems.
Never really thought about it that way but your right haha... but they have enough players to prevent the 18-wheeler.
yuk i made that reference...told myself i'd never say it but here i am
anyway im out...always a pleasure folks even though i'm primarily a lurker!
@GreekGod Which is strange, because they moved so far in the other direction under Boudreau (second half of his tenure), and Hunter. They were downright boring for a year or two there.
@Murph2417 Thanks, no, never fun, though it seems to be weddings and funerals are the only time entire families get together.