Post Game: Game #4, Leafs 1 vs. Avalanche 2

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This was a pretty awful game after the first period. The Leafs stopped skating, started playing on the perimeter, and between 17:15 of the second period to 8:13 of the third period, did not place a single shot on net until Franson unleashed one from the point. The fact is, not putting a puck on the net for ten minutes is inexcusable. That they stopped playing in the dirty areas after Lupul’s goal in front of the net is also damning of their unmotivated play.
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Overall, the Leafs were badly outplayed – they were outshot, outhit, beaten badly in the circle, and struggled to maintain zone play for the greater part of the game. Credit to the Avalanche, as it seems Patrick Roy has his team whipped into shape in the early season. They really closed down the Leafs’ space and disrupted their flow with heaps of backside pressure throughout the night.

The Leafs could have used Nik Kulemin and David Clarkson tonight; somebody who could maybe grind out a goal in a tight game where the Leafs’ most skilled forwards were struggling to create. They also missed them in the sense that Colton Orr played over 9 minutes on the right wing tonight, skating a number of shifts alongside Nazem Kadri. Kadri only received 13 minutes of ice, and while Carlyle was probably tired of seeing the Leafs lose draws, that seems awfully low in a game where the Leafs were struggling for offence.

Individually, the bright spots were Jonathan Bernier’s excellent outing in stopping 31 of 33 shots. The second was Morgan Rielly, who played a fantastic two-way game with flashes of offensive dominance and some great defensive reads.

Team-wise, another ‘bright’ spot was the Leafs defense. Aside from the usual mistakes you see just about every NHL team make, the defense was very calm, facilitated their breakouts, and generally made excellent defensive reads.

Another bright spot is that the Leafs have 78 games left to bring together their potential to do special things.

***

1st Period Summary

– Broadly speaking, the Leafs breakout play was good in the first period. I’m not watching the individuals, but the team move out of their own end together. Their breakout is something that is going to have to improve if the Leafs want to gain a high seeding and go deep into the playoffs this season.

– This was a period of goaltenders showing off. Varlamov wasn’t flashy, but calm, poised, and gave up no rebounds. Across the ice, Bernier was superb, showing off an elite glove hand and excellent technical play.

Colorado shot attempts: 18
Shots: 10
Missed: 5
Blocked: 3

Toronto shot attempts: 27
Shots: 12
Missed: 5
Blocked: 10

***

2nd Period Summary

– Two periods in and it’s hard not to notice how quickly Rielly is adapting to the NHL. In the first period, he was pretty quiet, but quick to make a strong pass, cut off lanes, and jump into the rush when he could. Second period, he’s basically dominating – dominating is a bit of a strong word, but he’s noticeably better than every defenseman on the ice right now. Great passing, quick to his spots on the ice, defensively sound.

LEAFS GOAL!
– Really ugly goal from the Leafs about 13 minutes into the second period. The Leafs throw the puck onto the net as the Avalanche defense tries to hurry back on a botched breakout. Lupul grabs the rebound, throws it on the net, and then starts digging into the scrum to push the puck over the line. It’s a goal, and it’s 1-0 for our Toronto Maple Leafs. Assisting on the play was Carter Ashton – his first NHL point.

Colorado scores
– Tough goal to give up. The Leafs were struggling a bit to clear the puck, and Sarich swooped down on the left side of the boards and shot a laser beam over the shoulder of Bernier, who was cheating a bit to the right.

Colorado shot attempts: 22 (40)
Shots: 15 (25)
Missed: 4 (9)
Blocked: 3 (6)

Toronto shot attempts: 14 (41)
Shots: 7 (19)
Missed: 5 (10)
Blocked: 2 (12)

***

3rd Period Summary

Colorado scores
– Yuck. Looks like Ranger got caught a little too far up the neutral zone. McGinn took the neutral zone turnover, transitioned quickly, and blew by Ranger. Took it to the net, passed it off to Parenteau, and the puck went off the skate – no kicking motion. After a brief review, the goal stands.

– Rielly can really skate, control the puck at top speed, and create scoring chances. This is now a recording. He looks really good. He does not look like a 19 year old defenseman playing his second NHL game. At one point, he was defending a three on two and forced the Avalanche winger into an offside.

– This has been a tough game to watch starting around the mid-way part of the second period. The Leafs are getting brutally outshot, beaten in the circle, and outhit. At some point, this kind of unwillingness to shoot is going to catch up to the team. Going almost ten minutes without a shot is inexcusable. Both on a chance and possession level – argue all you want about systems and having shooters, but what good is having shooters if your shooters don’t shoot? Being overly fine about the spots you pick isn’t always appropriate – especially when you’re trailing by one and you need a goal.

Colorado shot attempts: 15 (55)
Shots: 8 (33)
Missed: 4 (13)
Blocked: 3 (9)

Toronto shot attempts: 22 (63)
Shots: 9 (28)
Missed: 7 (17)
Blocked: 6 (18)

***

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Colorado Avalanche

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Colorado Avalanche - Game sheet, Oct. 8th, 2013
TORONTO STATISTICS            
Jonathan Bernier (2-1-0)L33310.93959:24:00
PLAYERGATOI+/-SOGPIMFWFLHITSBSTAKEGIVE
Carter Ashton019:28110001100
Troy Bodie005:03005000000
Dave Bolland0019:21-1107115100
Tyler Bozak0023:3502011170000
Jamie Devane004:51-100001000
Cody Franson0024:00:00120004210
Jake Gardiner0020:03-122003001
Carl Gunnarsson0017:42-104001101
Nazem Kadri0013:00010871011
Phil Kessel0020:59070011102
Joffrey Lupul1018:38050002011
Colton Orr009:13-100002001
Dion Phaneuf0025:02:00010003421
Paul Ranger0018:14-100002211
Mason Raymond0020:43-110010003
Morgan Rielly0016:15030001032
Trevor Smith005:16000141000
James van Riemsdyk0023:13020005102
COLORADO STATISTICS
Semyon Varlamov (3-0-0)W28270.96459:57:00
PLAYERGATOI+/-SOGPIMFWFLHITSBSTAKEGIVE
Tyson Barrie0015:21030002000
Andre Benoit0021:18110001101
Patrick Bordeleau005:32000001000
Steve Downie0120:35020002220
Matt Duchene0119:391401873000
Nate Guenin0016:20020003101
Jan Hejda0023:11010002402
Erik Johnson0023:13-130005301
Gabriel Landeskog0019:07040013210
Nathan MacKinnon0110:28010293012
Jamie McGinn0113:25000002200
Cody McLeod008:36005003000
John Mitchell0011:51020925010
Ryan O'Reilly0018:52120001000
P.A. Parenteau1014:41130001102
Cory Sarich1018:13212002000
Paul Stastny0018:040121284200
Alex Tanguay0017:37030001000
  • mORRganRielly

    Sorry about the formatting, but I’m sure Alec can fix it later.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Hey mORRganRielly, let me simplify your Game in 10 in 10 Words:
    Carlyle played Colton Orr as Kadri’s RWer and against
    Mackinnon.

  • mORRganRielly

    Knights2Leafs Yea, he played way too much.  I was going to write that in, but Alec beat me to it in the comments.
    However, let me point out that he played too much overall — the fact that he played 22 seconds to spell Kessel being double shifted in the last five minutes of the game is immaterial.

  • Pent_House

    Let me post this again.  No offensive zone face-off wins. No physical play. Chasing in the d zone. forwards blowing the zone on the break-out. No cycle besides bolland line. No chip n chase. terrible PP. Way to slow making decisions with the puck, Avs got their sticks in the lane on everything. This was a pathetic game. Looks like an R Willie team out there to start the season. Rush all game, give the puck away, and get hemmed in our own zone.

  • Pent_House

    -Keon- Ranger was pretty decent tonight. On that goal he just got caught out tired as did Gardiner. This was just a pathetic effort on a team-scale.

  • mORRganRielly

    -Keon- Gardiner had his man tied up.  He was fighting against the leverage of momentum when Ranger got caught up ice — he tied the man up, but couldn’t skate him from going to the net that quickly.  Not his fault at all.

  • Burtonboy

    With all that’s being said about how badly we played and we did we only lost by a goal deflected in off a skate

  • whalz

    a loss is a loss BB….we should have came out guns a blazin at home,,,,,but we shit the bed

  • mORRganRielly

    Colorado deserves some credit though — they were fucking next to impossible to get a shot through for most of the game.  18 shots were blocked.  Yuck.  I’d like to see the scoring chances too — I think Colorado shoved it down our throats until the Leafs started getting desperate in the last five minutes.

  • Waiting4LSC

    MORRgan: great post. Thank you much.

  • Zep2

    Didnt see the game other than a few minutes of the 1st . 
    So we beat them on Corsi , but loss 2-1.

  • mORRganRielly

    -Keon- Pretty sure that was Ranger.  If not, my bad.  I only got two brief looks.

  • Pent_House

    -Keon- I think Gardiner was so gassed he couldn’t stride any more hence the dive as a last resort.

  • wiski

    @whalz If you think that was shitting the bed you should’ve been around in the seventies lol

  • Burtonboy

    @whalz If you expect them to play a perfect game every night you need to pick a different sport . It just isn’t going to happen

  • GreekGod

    -Keon- 
    You’re right, Gardiner should have to cover for Ranger at all times properly… How dare he try and dive in between the two players

  • mORRganRielly

    Zep2 Leafs were getting soundly beaten until the last five minutes or so.

  • Pent_House

    Burtonboy Don’t need a perfect game every time BB but if we played at least a decent game we would have pulled out at least a point there. This was a very bad effort tonight. Tough schedule to start the season but can’t make those excuses.

  • whalz

    BB a 3 day rest, at home and they showed no emotion, no fight, nothing,,,Bernier and Reilly came to play,,,,,,,I blame RC for not having his team prepared…..
    the point im making is yeah i cant expect a perfect gm every nite, but when your at home and well rested you need to put in a better effort,,,,that was an embarrassment

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    5 bucks says jay was watching the game while holding his wife’s hand as she gave birth

  • Black_Hawk

    Too bad we lost

  • Wilbur

    PVRd the game. Just finished watching. Leafs were reaching for pucks while COL was skating into the pucks. Skill and hard work are hard to beat unless you’re willing to match it. Leafs, especially certain forwards, weren’t willing to tonight. Win some lose some.

  • Wilbur

    JVR doing his best imitation tonight of Mike Brown receiving passes :)

  • wiski

    Wilbur Randy had to stop practice due to lack of intensity

  • Pent_House

    Well I said my peace on this one. Terrible effort and we lost, now the important thing is to come back with a really good effort thursday in Cashville. With the terrible games in the last two, I expect the boys to come out hard on thursday. Hopefully these lines get shaken up. Have a good one fellas.

  • mORRganRielly

    -Keon- Bernier.

  • Burtonboy

    @whalz Obviously your definition of an embarrassment is totally different then mine . Losing 7-0 to the Bruins or 5-0 nothing to the Habs on home ice is an embarrassment not a 2-1 loss on a lucky goal

  • TuckerForPunishment

    -Keon- Oh god.  Here we go again.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/billmeltzerhttps://twitter.com/billmeltzer/status/387763448676757504
    Berube was asked if he “has any punishment” planned for Rosehill. The reply:” You want me to spank him? (Pause) Stupid question. Get lost!”

  • Wilbur

    mORRganRielly -Keon- Bernier was fucking awesome tonight. Got caught playing the percentages on the first goal which was a 1 in 100 goal.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/mirtlehttps://twitter.com/mirtle/status/387763882426523648
    Leafs had incredibly short bench again tonight, with five forwards playing 9:30 or less. And that’s with Kadri only getting 13 minutes

  • ConnorCrisp

    God I want Duchene and Statsny

  • mORRganRielly

    Wilbur mORRganRielly -Keon- Cory fuckin’ Sarich. Who knew he had a good wrist shot?

  • Pent_House

    Wilbur mORRganRielly -Keon- If anyone decided to check Sarich at all on the body there wouldn’t have even been a shot there.

  • Wilbur

    Pent_House Wilbur mORRganRielly -Keon- No kidding…

  • Black_Hawk

    Lol it’s going to be like this all year

  • ConnorCrisp

    I hope so.. Means both will be playing kinda well

  • Wilbur

    Re-sign Dion, throw in Franson, Rielly and Fraser. After that…I can live without the rest of the D.

  • Black_Hawk

    Duchene landeskog oreilly or makkinnon wud be awesom lol

  • Cameron19

    -Keon- Good ole’ Carlyle  Bobby Ryan 2.0, here we come.

  • Zep2

    rustynail The club will look a lot different when Kulie, Clarkson and McClement get back in the lineup
    Lets get to the 10 game mark at 6-4 without without any more injuries

  • Black_Hawk

    Fraser sure looks more important now when he’s out. Half pur d aren’t as good as him defensively

  • Komas Taberle

    The only guy who showed up tonight beside Bernier was Rielly.
    Ottawa and Montreal out west tomorrow, will be lucky to get points.

  • Wilbur

    Kessel was on his own tonight. JVR had his head up his ass most the night and COL forwards executed a game plan that showed Bozie isn’t a true 1st line centre.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Refresh for boxscore

  • Black_Hawk

    His line was arguably the leads best tonight

  • Wilbur

    Black_Hawk Plus he’s great on the penalty kill which helps rest others…

  • GreekGod

    rustynail 

    Carlyle sure knows how to shoot his team in the foot. He’s gotta get off his high horse some times. Don’t understand how he can bench Kadri or give him limited ice time with limited players and yet Ranger gets all the ice time that he needs to “hopefully” find himself…

  • Black_Hawk

    We need to re group big time for Thursday. Our guys didn’t look good at all today

  • wiski

    Black_Hawk Do you still put Reims back in net for Thursday?