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.
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
Toronto shot attempts: 27
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.
– 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.
– 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
– 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 AvalancheToronto Maple Leafs vs Colorado Avalanche - Game sheet, Oct. 8th, 2013
|Jonathan Bernier (2-1-0)||L||33||31||0.939||59:24:00|
|James van Riemsdyk||0||0||23:13||0||2||0||0||0||5||1||0||2|
|Semyon Varlamov (3-0-0)||W||28||27||0.964||59:57:00|
So 4 goals for Tomas Hertl last night and the last one was a beaut
Leafs forwards were dominated, end of story. They didn't skate nor compete, and the kids from Colorado made them look old and tired. And, frankly, I think Carlykle was outcoached. And maybe I missed it, but down by a goal with minutes to play, I say throw out a line with kadri and Kessel, and pair up Gardiner and Rielly. Its early in the season - see if these guys put out together are a good (albeit risky) come back combo.
Morning Gents....We're 3-1 to start the season.....and it's a long season. Not gonna worry too much about a loss, just gotta turn things around quickly and not get into a funk......Rielly, Rielly , Rielly....man this kid impresses me...maturity beyond his years. If he continues to play the way he has, he will stick with the team...and I think he should.
Odd game..lots to get excited about and much to worry about as well
Colorado is no slouch..they have speed and skill up front to make any team look bad...and their tender looked solid on any chances we created. Had too many passengers last night and it showed.
Not going to hand wring too much but rather focus on the positives...like Reilly,Bernier and even Ashton.
Morgan Reilly played a dynamic game...if he can remain consistent, then the kid stays no question.
That in itself would be an enormous step forward for a club that lacks a true #2 man
Maybe not this year..but soon :)
Morning everyone. I wont use the injuries as an excise for the loss. Its reality in todays league.
Team goal should be 6-4 by the 10 game mark.
Rielly, if hes able to play a sound, defensive game will be the Leafs best D. in the not distant future.
Crappy game last night, but it could have went either way....Sarich got lucky, he will never score one like that again in his lifetime...and the other off a skate....shit happens...the Leafs need to pick up the intensity level though....but with four regulars out in Fraser, Kulemin, McClemmet and Clarkson hopefully that will change.
the talk of trading Gardiner has to stop. While Jake does make mistakes, you also have Phaneuf, the original "not sure whats going to happen next" guy. Along side Dion, you have the totally average Gunnarson, who routinely gets outmuscled by guys smaller than him. And the Lone Ranger may become a decent top four guy, but right now, it looks to me like he is still trying to adjust to the speed of the NHL, and is often forced into giveaways. Franson and Rielly need to be given more responsibility. They can handle it. I doubt the slow footed Mark Fraser would have been much help last night, because Carlyle would simply cut back Gardiner or Riellys ice time. This team will sink or swim on how well Rielly, Gardiner and Franson perform. I would also include the pshizoprenic Phanuef in that group. The other guys ?? Totally forgettable and replaceable.
I was hoping Bozak would show improvement this year as he'd seemingly done so every year...Hate to say it but i think he's plateau'd...not even an impressive plateau lolll. Fack...
@Burtonboy Now thats what ya call an exclamation point. WOW!
@MaxwellHowe Morning Max, I am not overly worried, our Forwards are missing Clarkson, Kulemin, MCL. and MClaren. We just have to get through some injury concerns is all
@MaxwellHowe No. Colton Orr will save us.
@Mind Bomb Morning MB :)
@wendelsway1 Morning WW, another great game by Rielly. I did not realize how Physical he can be, he can seriously muscle people off the puck. All we heard and seen was he is a great Puck moving Defenseman, From what I see he will be our Best in short order
At the start of the season,on paper,there was no way this kid makes the team.
Then a funny thing happened...they started playing games for real!
Reilly has stood out,both with speed,skill and determination...no shrinking violet this kid.
That's the thing about paper...it can burn you.
Ask the Jays ;)
@TuckerForPunishment I hear ya. It just seems like there's one too many nights with a lack of team effort. My guess is if we watched all teams as much as we watch the Leafs we'd see it with many of them from time to time but the Leafs certainly have room for improvement in this area.
Yeah, the Rockies got some young team. That Don Cherry should get the boys rollin', and I think Hardy Astrom is an underrated goalie - he'll have a long career in the NHL.
Sorry, had to rib you a little.
@Zep2 Rielly's defense right now is a lot better then advertised . If I was Gunnar I would be looking over my shoulder because this kid is going to bump him down the depth chart real soon.
@HeatherRickAkin I'm not so sure the "talk" of trading Gardiner is driven by mistakes he makes, most players make mistakes, I think it's driven by the fact he's a significant asset and people are looking to trade for a different significant asset.
@Savo43 If Komisarek and Liles are Burke contract mistakes with Liles being an albatross at this point, I think Bozak may turn out to be a Nonis contract mistake/albatross. Four more years after this one at 4.2 million per. Holy crap.
@LeafsForLife man i always like thomas hertl coming out of junior. 4 goals today. Dam SJ getting some late round gems.
@LeafsForLife Who was it picked the Rags to win it all this year? Must have been someone who never leaves Manhattan.
@Burtonboy @Zep2 As I said last year and over the summer (a number of others did as well), Rielly/Dion seems inevitable at some point. They will be a 25+ minute per night pairing. And Gunnar should be looking way over his shoulder cause he ought to be dropping to the 3rd pairing or a pairing on another team...
Must admit I was scratching my head too...although that line had it's moments mainly b/c of Ashton's hustle and Kadri's movement
Hopefully the coach took note.
@Uncle Otis I know, I just love Carlyle's decisions.
The kid's body is no normal 19yr olds(think Oiler's scrawnies)
Top notch fitness and stocky...and will only get stronger as he gains man strength
I too worried about him being injured and it's still a risk.
But the way he dominates at times on the rush is sooo damn hard to overlook
That in of itself might be the greatest compliment the kid could get so early in his career
@Burtonboy @Wilbur @Zep2 By the time he's done playing the number of games he'll play while Fraser is out I don't see how they'll send him back. The tough part will be in December. If he really is playing that well and has effectively inserted himself as one of our better D it will be harder to send him to the WJCs. Nonetheless, I think they'll send him no matter what.
@Burtonboy @Wilbur @Zep2 I said last week I want Rielly to stay with the team this year. I actually believe playing at this level this year is the best thing for his development, like one long training camp. He has the physical skill set and the right stuff between the ears to do it. Watch him at the end of 2014/2015 :)
@Wilbur @Burtonboy @Zep2 Totally agree Wilbur . I'm not really surprised by Rielly's performance either . I watched him a lot last yr with the Marlies and every chance I got to see a game online from Moosejaw. You could see the skill just oozing out of him. He's a force to be reckoned with offensively but I believe he will be excellent defensively as well. Can't wait to see what his game will be like in 2-3 yrs