The Leafs remain on an 82-0 pace after a thrilling home opener that had everything but a fight. The Leafs found a way to win despite a goalie pull and a 4-2 deficit, as their off-season additions shone bright en route to a 5-4 shootout victory.
1 – Troy Bodie was instrumental in opening the scoring five minutes into the opening frame. With his long strides and deceptive speed, he broke the blueline and threw a shot on net, before overpowering Jared Cowen and retrieving the puck. He found Bolland in front of the net, who made an instinctive backhand pass over to Mason Raymond at the right side of the net. Raymond buried into the empty cage, as the first home goal of the 2013-14 season goes to the found wallet. 1-0 Leafs.
Mason Raymond Scores
2 – After the bright start, turnovers, turnovers and more turnovers became the story for the Leafs in the 1st period. A continuing theme in the early season, Paul Ranger is consistently making bad reads or fumbling pucks leading to scoring opportunities against. The first was a simple case of forgetting the puck that led to a scoring chance right in the middle of the slot, which Reimer met with a glove save. The second was a bad pinch that led to a crossbar save off the stick of Kyle Turris. Ranger is clearly going through an adjustment period getting up to NHL speed, but got better as the game wore on.
Cody Franson also struggled at points, having had a hand in both goals against in the first period. His pairing alongside Morgan Rielly got dinged with the dash-2, but it was an unfair reflection on the debuting Rielly. In the build up to the Senators first goal, Rielly initially bailed out Franson’s giveaway with a nice shot block. The Senators gained the zone, however, and Turris slipped in between a bunch of collapsed Leafs down low and trickled one through Reimer to tie it at 1s.
Franson was at the center of another goal against later in first period. He couldn’t get the puck out of his feet right in front of the net, and the giveaway wound up on Conacher’s stick right in the slot. MacArthur did his best to celebrate like it was his goal, but don’t be fooled, Conacher snuck it through Reimer’s legs and it trickled over the goalline. Nice try, MacArthur.
3 – Another Franson turnover at the blueline led to a good thing; a slashing penalty against Zack Smith in the defensive zone. Raymond, Lupul and Kadri took the ice on powerplay unit #2. Raymond picked the pick up in the circle, and had the Sens PK unit thinking he was going back to the point before pivoting and threading a beautiful pass to Kadri. Kadri finished from the back post to make it 2-2, his first of the new season. The Leafs, considering the sloppiness of their play, were pretty fortunate to escape the first tied at 2s.
4 – Rielly made his impact known in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd period. With the Leafs defence core struggling to move the puck safely, Rielly was a breath of fresh air with heads-up, smooth-as-you-like puck movement off the backend.
5 – Things went off the rails pretty quick half way through the second period, and the result was Reimer getting pulled after 4 goals on 19 shots. With 9 minutes left in the 2nd, MacArthur was afforded quite a bit of space off the rush by Franson. MacArthur threw a soft shot at the net, which Reimer made a real mess of. He dove at the puck trying to grab his own rebound, ran into Rielly, and was down and out by the time the puck made its way back to Cowen on the point. Cowen finished into the empty net to make it 3-2 Senators. The very next shift, a massive rebound kicked out by Reimer off a routine point shot wound up in Bozak and Gunnarsson’s feet, before Spezza jumped on the loose puck and hammered it through Reimer’s legs.
6 – You could see Joffrey Lupul step his game up and start to take charge once the Leafs went down 4-2 and needed the bost. He drove the net hard twice for near goals, before his PP unit alongside Kadri and Raymond struck for the second time tonight. Lupul has fantastic instincts for finding little seams in the slot. This time he took it from stick to skate and back to the stick before a lightning quick release beat Anderson between the legs.
Lupul Scores to bring it to 4-3
7 – Phil Kessel continues to eat the Senators for breakfast. Early in the third period, he chipped the puck along the wall, and after Bozak tied up his man, Kessel covered about 50 feet of ice in three seconds to turn it into a 2 on 1 with JvR in front. JvR finished his second of the season on the beautiful cross crease pass from Kessel to make it 4-4.
JVR Scores from Kessel to tie it up
8 – Just when you thought both teams were going to batten down the hatches and ensure the point… it seemed neither were capable of doing such a thing. The game went into full-on pond hockey mode in a thrilling final few minutes. Ranger nearly ended it by cutting out a play and rushing the puck up ice and releasing a huge clap that nearly broke the cross bar. It turned around into a 2 on 1 the other way, which Phaneuf cut out expertly. The Leafs did well to earn a point, all things considered.
9 – A wild OT, which the Leafs had the better of, gave way to a shootout. Bozak did as Bozak does in the shootout, scoring again. Only there was a new shootout scorer in town. Raymond has already earned his million dollars as far as I’m concerned, and we’re three games into the season. He was fantastic all game, and pulled off the old Jason Blake spinorama in the shootout, which both helped the Leafs win the game and pissed off the Senators – a veritable double win.
10 – The Leafs are rarely ever out of games with the way they can generate offence in a moment’s notice. For a lot of teams, the bang-bang goals in the second would’ve been lights out. Without Clarkson and Kulemin in the lineup, this team still looks dangerously productive and what a testament that is to their offensive repertoire. New additions Bolland and Raymond, Lupul, Kessel, JvR are all off to hot starts, and it’s a beautiful thing.
The Leafs’ turnovers and defensive coverage breakdowns (of which the Sens were equally guilty) were a sore spot, but the whole “two good young goaltenders” thing seems to be working out pretty damn well, too. While the concept of healthy competition has some merit, one of the consequences, as far as Reimer is concerned, is that he won’t get the benefit of the doubt to play through his poor outings. Bernier was awesome in the third period for the Leafs. He was absorbing pucks, challenging shooters aggressively, covering for more Leafs defensive breakdowns, and survived an attempt on his life via the falling net. Unfortunately for Reimer, I’ve always thought James plays best when he’s given a run of starts, but there’s zero doubt Carlyle will and should go back to Bernier on Tuesday.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa Senators – Full Game (60mins)
did bozak get a star last night? still have images of the great passing kessel to jvr to bozak ( open net miss)
Mornin' folks. Here's the report I promised from yesterday's Marlies game, a 4-3 win in OT!
Toronto Marlies vs Grand Rapid Griffins – Oct 5
So pre-game, guys in my section talking about Star article saying supposed to be a non-contending year. First game vs the Griffins, defending Calder Cup champs, blew out the Marlies in first round of playoffs with a similar lineup so not expecting to win.
(1) Brennan – by far the best player for the Marlies even though Liles probably more ice
-Played majority of PP with Liles and they looked great together
-Brennan takes more risks to better effect than Liles (Liles moves puck too quick)
-Brennan great shot from the point and moves lateral to get off, goes upstairs
-Scored first goal, beauty from point, nearly gets number two same way
-Brennan gets second goal for Marlies, beauty slapper upstairs on PP
-Brennan shares third goal with Broll, slapshot designed for tip and Broll converts
(2) McIntyre – Looks as good as Scrivens, another great game.
-Puck handling is not great, more confident than Reimer
(3) Liles – Probably led team in ice and looked very good, needed to skate puck more
-When he did rush the puck, normally dishes too soon but is very good on rush
(1) Holzer – He and MacWilliam got a lot of ice (PK1), Holzer much more assertive (Mac stays back)
-Holzer gets himself out of position going for hits
-Holzer and MacWilliam pairing get their coverage crossed up couple times
-One play, Holzer goes for hit in corner, leaves open man in front for goal
-MacWilliam on this pairing was great
-Mac chased down, broke up a breakaway w/ no penalty, great hits, altho one major boarding
(2) Grandberg – Don’t understand how the reports on him match so little with what I saw
-Grandberg’s dumps are bad, gets caught for icing, doesn’t get in deep other times
-Grandberg’s passing is not great, some passes into skates
-Stupid plays – lobbed it in front of the net twice on the PK, went thru McIntyre once – WHY??
-He is strong in one-on-one battles and can hit
(3) Biggs – Very anonymous night for Biggs
-Basically no offensive contribution at all, no threatening, no nice plays, no rushes…
-The one thing I will give him is that he is good on the PK
-Good positioning in defensive end
-Percy is a smart player, seems to move away from danger and be in clear all the time
-Percy did get taken advantage of on occasion (maybe not strong enough yet?)
-Example play – Griffin rushes it around the outside of him behind the net, McKegg pitches to bail him
-McKegg did some stupid stuff, like high sticking on the PP to waste time, didn’t have good game
-McKegg had some good chances in close, couldn’t finish
-Ross beauty of a backhand in close, didn’t go, guy has great hands
-Broll challenged two Griffins (separate incidents), no takers
-Grant would have went with Broll and whipped his ass
-Don’t think Broll has the experience to go with the top guys in A but only one way to learn…
I see nothing wrong with keeping Reilly up, but he was a -3. I could see him playing best with Fraser.
On another note, I never seen a team play so bad...and win.
Say what you want about Raymond. But I've always liked his game, even in Vancouver. he was overshadowed by the Sedin sisters and Kessler. Overall, I think he is very smart with the puck, and seems to fit well with his new role in TO.
When he has the puck he finds ways to create space for himself. The pass from down low to Phanuef last night was a laser tape to tape. When Clarkson returns he will have even more opportunities, if they are line mates.
Funny how 1 and a half games in and now Bernier is the anointed one.....Nonis is the best GM we have ever had. Way too early
Schedule wise we look good!
Earlier post has Minny even with us....I live in Minnesota (biggest Leafs Fan in the State of Hockey mind you), Minny has no identity what so ever.
Minny has 10 guys under 6' and 200lbs..they are a small dump and chase team. Very thin on the blue line, and Backstrom looks horrible so far.
Go Leafs Go!!!
@Savo43 Yup, guess he will share time with McLaren when everybody is back
@mORRganRielly I'm a lot less open minded about stats with all the stat guys talking regression and, well, 3-0 so far. Call me backward but I think non-stat Nonis might have the right approach.
@mr_hanie So did Reimer...
@mr_hanie don't read the MSN home page. They have the Sens as top 10 contenders LOL
@mike_84 Florida reeks too
@mike_84 I think they're trying for a bad season though, don't you think?
@ShotgunCharlie Someone needs to start an EXMAPLELEAFSHOTSTOVE LOUNGE! It would be more popular than this place!
Frattin already has 2A so far for the Kings.
@Beleafer29 Lets hope the "found wallet" has more money in it lol
That's the scary part. They are doing this without Clarkson. And I think in a sense this 10-game sit out will be good for him. When he returns he will realize he doesnt need to play like a maniac to be effective.
@-Keon- My pleasure, be down at Ricoh again today.
@TuckerForPunishment I hope we don't play that way at home all season
And if he plays lights out on Tues...there is also the other elephant in the room. Playing for Team CANADA!
@-Keon- yeah I heard that...all the guys were like OH!
I dont remember what exactly he said, it was mild though
@Dink @TuckerForPunishment It was a crazy game to say the least. Still a lot of rust.
@-Keon- Sexual harassment lawsuit, here we come. Always imagined it would be Cherry to do this sort of thing