Game in 10: Game #6, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Oilers 5 (OT)

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Toronto Maple Leafs‘ win, a 6-5 victory in OT, marks best start
for the franchise in 20 years (1993-1994 Toronto Maple Leafs).

Randy Carlyle and Dallas Eakins are probably going to want to forget this game; it was poorly played with more turnovers than we’ve seen in a while, complete 5-man defensive breakdowns, poor goaltending, no hitting, no commitment and/or sacrifice in the way of blocking shots or being hard on the puck.

On the other hand, it was river hockey at its stats-padding finest (or worse, in the case of Cody Franson & Morgan Rielly). They were on for a number of goals and were directly or partly responsible for them, though the forwards gave them no help and Bernier wasn’t at his sharpest. I can understand how this was a thrilling game for most fans as there were 11(!) goals scored in an era in the NHL when that isn’t seen very often, but there was more moaning on my side of things than cheering. Toronto has yet to play a complete game and that’s something that’s very encouraging considering their start to the season, but also frustrating to see no progress in playing the game properly. Early days, still.

    1. Leafs got off to a good start and controlled the play for the first 5 minutes of the game, but Ryan Smyth scored his 2nd of the year from Mark Arcobello at 5:21 with a nice deflection top-shelf on a shot/pass from the corner. A soft wrap by Rielly on the boards caused a juicy rebound that ended up in the back of the net.
    2. A  beautiful goal short side, top-shelf from Nazem Kadri (2nd of the year) from Mason Raymond and Dion Phaneuf at 9:47. Kadri beaver-tapped a call for a pass from Raymond who sent a crisp pass down low for Kadri to bury at very hard angle, through a very small gap.
    3. You knew this game was just getting started—a power play for Toronto resulted in James van Riemsdyk potting his 4th of the year off a Cody Franson blast from the point on a setup from Dion Phaneuf. A scramble with 3 penalty killing Oilers on the half wall, battling for a loose puck was never going to end well with a wide open Phaneuf and Franson on the points. Phaneuf, to Franson, and a tip by JVR brings T.O. ahead.
    4. ShotsToronto’s 3rd ranked penalty kill (94.4%) gets put to the test on an poorly called penalty on JVR for battling for body position that would have resulted in yet another 2-on-1. RNHs shot gets by Bernier with Hall providing net front presence. Clearly the pre-scout was to get traffic and get in the blue paint to get Bernier off his game—it worked. 2-2
    5. The 2nd period is a statistically very weak period dating back to last season for the Leafs and this game was no different. The Leafs arrive on the ice late and look unprepared.
    6. David Perron and Boyd Gordon started a rush in the neutral on a scrambled play and caught Bernier not knowing where the puck was and swimming in his crease. Easy tap in for Gordon. 3-2 Oilers.
    7. David Broll carries the puck through the neutral zone and gains the zone, stops up at the half-boards and kicks a back pass to Kadri who throws a no-look to Lupul for a beautiful and typically rush-attack goal, like Toronto is now known for. 3-3.
    8. This game has turned into a feast of turnovers and both teams are terrific in transition — a complete track meet of rush, shot, counter-attack for large spells in the 2nd period, mostly in Edmonton’s favour with the shots 17-4 (Edmonton with 4mins of PP time).
    9. Eberle scores. Rielly plays the 2-on-1 like a 2-on-2 and gives away the passing lane with no laydown and Eberle converts on a beautiful pass from Arcobello. The shot hit Bernier’s glove and I’m sure he’d want it back. 4-3 Edmonton
    10. JVR has kept his red-hot post-season play going into the early games of the 2013-2014 season and was a force all night. On a patient rush (surprise) started by Kessel, who got the puck deep to Bozak, Bozak passed to a wheeling JVR and he converted on a his wrap around that’s perfect with the shallower nets. 4-4 (Note: Bozak primary assist on a JVR goal. This is not a test.)
    11. Ryan Smyth gets another one on a play that was all Jordan Eberle, who played a great game. Arcobello hits a flat-out Eberle who sends in a perfect pass for a tap in for Smyth. 5-4 Edm.
    12. The game was nearly sealed for Edmonton on a Arcobello shot that Bernier absolutely ROBBED with a diving save.
    13. The game looked like it could be out of reach and, in fact, there was footage of platinum seat holders leaving. Enter: Joffrey Lupul. With 30 seconds left on the clock, and the extra attacker on the ice, Gardiner kept a clearing attempt in, got a quick shot off and Lupul picked it up and fired it under Dubynk’s pads to tie the game. The ACC’s roof blew off and it was a great sight to see.
    14. OT: RNH over handled the puck on in a 4 on 4 situation and Franson made him pay with a hard-but-fair shove from behind, picked up the loose puck and sent it away to Mason Raymond for a 3-on-1 with him, Franson and Bolland on a break. A 4-touch passing play with Raymond and Franson resulted in Bolland sinking the rebound for the OT winner. Meltdown complete.

 

Another point, somewhat off-topic: Don Cherry makes sure to feed fodder into the MSM’s manure spreader for articles to come about Morgan Rielly by calling him the best defenseman on the team. He got lit up badly this game and is far from the best defenseman, but his talent level is immense and his ceiling is high. I have no doubt, in due course, he will be the best defenseman on the team and easily one of the best in the league. Leave the kid develop and quit overselling his play on your HNIC soapbox. I think he’s being eased into the NHL perfectly and saying this sort of stuff does nothing but create huge distractions. He’ll be fielding questions from the media for the next week about that.

The Leafs are still looking to get a more complete game under their belt, but they are winning and putting points in the bank.

Game in 6

Torontot Maple Leafs vs. Edmonton Oilers Game Sheet (Oct. 12)

Boxscore            
GOALIEDEC.SHOTSSAVESSV %MIN.
Jonathan Bernier (4-1-0)W31260.83961:43
PLAYERGATOI+/-SOGPIMFWFLHITSBSTAKEGIVE
Carter Ashton005:21-100001000
Dave Bolland1016:14-1226112011
Tyler Bozak0124:0321013124011
David Broll016:53100001102
Cody Franson0220:29-220006312
Jake Gardiner0121:11300003001
Carl Gunnarsson0019:59000004200
Nazem Kadri1115:20140380001
Phil Kessel0121:36140001011
Josh Leivo0010:44-100000000
Joffrey Lupul2015:31240002003
Jay McClement0014:39-110240001
Colton Orr005:54-102001010
Dion Phaneuf0224:58220002413
Paul Ranger0021:59110003022
Mason Raymond0217:43-120010100
Morgan Rielly0015:53-202003222
James van Riemsdyk2022:54232005010
  • TuckerForPunishment

    Love the @DownGoesBrown tweet.  lol

  • wiski

    TuckerForPunishment Diddo LOL

  • Xxxxxnew

    Hae to admit I get nervous when I see three 4s on our defence in a game like this.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/HockeyBrophhttps://twitter.com/HockeyBroph/status/389246978179072001
    Torts could go all ‘Brooksie’ after this one

  • Xxxxxnew

    Lupes tied ford second in league scoring.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Hey Declan,
    Lets hope DSC’s hyping of Rielly becomes one of those “I told ya so” video clips he loves to pull out his ass later in the year.

  • DJBrianBurke

    The Don Cheery/Rielly point is bang on. I love the kid, but we don’t need to rush him. It’s not like there the players playing on the Mariles that can’t fill in an injury spot and we’re forced to use Rielly.

  • Pent_House

    I wish we put Raymond’s and Ranger’s dollars to Komarov. Really miss him in the line-up. We could really really use his physical play.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Pent_House Clarkson will bring more than just big hits.  He’ll be a huge spark for us on many nights.

  • Pent_House

    TuckerForPunishment Pent_House He will but I still want Komarov. We need those consistent body checks, it gets other guys hitting. Missing Fraser right now too.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Kuli’s solid defence is missed right now, too. Raymond actually has the same number of points as JVR and Kadri.

  • .Kong.

    I F’ING LOVE THIS TEAM!!!!!!
    (Just watched the game in Six, again!)

  • DJBrianBurke

    Boo hoo the Sens lose.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    TuckerForPunishment I would love that. Leave the kid alone, though. This is TO, not Carolina. They’ve been restricting media access and keeping him out of the spotlight as much as possible and then the guy pulls this stunt.

  • DJBrianBurke

    .Kong. Game is six means you missed the ugliness of it :)

  • Pent_House

    Xxxxxnew He’s doing well offensively no doubt about it but I still rather have Komarov. We have more than enough offense. Komarov – Bolland – Kule would have been a better defensive line. We’re lacking in the physical department a lot right now.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    TuckerForPunishment Pent_House We badly miss Kulemin.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Did anyone notice the HNIC crew were almost not annoying tonight?

  • Pent_House

    TuckerForPunishment Healey was horrendous as usual

  • wiski

    Loved the way everyone stood up on the 3 on 1 rush, like everyone knew it was going to be over.

  • .Kong.

    Pent_House Xxxxxnew Sorry man, but I would not deal Raymond for Komorov.  Komorov added NOTHING in terms of offence, and defensively, he wasn’t that great either.  He added hits, and even those weren’t the big open ice variety, they were the pesky variety.

  • .Kong.

    DeclanK TuckerForPunishment Pent_House We sure do…  Kuli is a horse… always first in on the forecheck, tenacious back-checker, decent penalty killer, under appreciated hitter.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Pent_House TuckerForPunishment 
    STFU Healy.  Jim and Sim actually acknowledging we’re making huge strides.

  • Pent_House

    .Kong. Pent_House Xxxxxnew Come on now. Komarov hit like a mac truck. He was on pace for 10 goals and half of that was playing on the 4th line. He was a solid checker too. Open ice hits are nice and all but they don’t happen that often, I rather have the guy who’s literally always finishing his checks

  • Xxxxxnew

    I like Komarov as well. I think we get our mojo back when Clarkson Kuli and Fraser are ready. McLaren gives us another option as well. We sort of got sucked into the Oilers game tonight.

  • .Kong.

    DJBrianBurke .Kong. No, watched the whole game.  It was ungly, but like the Oilers teams of the 80’s, the Leafs offence can bail them out of just about anything.

  • .Kong.

    Pent_House TuckerForPunishment Was he ever.  I cannot stand that guy.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Leafs iced the younger team tonight, by the way.

  • .Kong.

    Raymond is really great at creating open ice…  He’s an elite level skater, with excellent puck handling skills, reads the ice really well (head is always up), and he’s only 27!  He fits right in with the boys.  Love that pickup!

  • .Kong.

    Xxxxxnew How’s that for promising, huh?

  • TuckerForPunishment

    .Kong. Pent_House TuckerForPunishment He’s the Miley Cyrus of HNIC.  His negativity and idiosyncrasies put him in the spotlight.

  • Pent_House

    Broll had a big game tonight as well. I hope he keeps getting chances to play. Great hockey IQ and always makes the right decisions. On that note I’m out boys. Enjoy thanks giving.

  • Xxxxxnew

    RNH was a -3 tonight.

  • .Kong.

    I’m not worried about Rielly one bit… Experience is all he needs.  Once he learns to appreciate the opposition, he’ll be just fine.  His puck handling and speed are world class.  And to think, he’s only a teenager!  He’s going to be a gem.

  • sniperstar

    It’s fine. This is just the law of averages catching up with Bernier. He was bound to let in 3+ goals eventually. Now that that’s out of the way he can keep shutting down teams.

  • .Kong.

    Gardiner a couple bad giveaways tonight, but he was also in on the game tying goal, and finished the night, a +3

  • TuckerForPunishment

    .Kong. Xxxxxnew MLHS_Mike thinks we’ve climaxed already.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/GabeLandeskog92https://twitter.com/GabeLandeskog92/status/389220963537399808
    Who’s gonna get that puck? https://twitter.com/Mackinnon9 for his 1st goal or https://twitter.com/PaulyWalnuts26 for his 400th point? Battle it out https://twitter.com/search?q=%23rockpaperscissors&src=hash https://twitter.com/search?q=%23fight&src=hash

  • wiski

    TuckerForPunishment .Kong. Xxxxxnew I did on the game winner 😉

  • .Kong.

    Lupul proving once again that he’s one of the top power forwards in the game today.

  • .Kong.

    Bozie stormed back from early, and finished the night 52% of FO’s, including the face-off that led to the game tying goal.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    wiski TuckerForPunishment .Kong. Xxxxxnew I was premature on the Lupes goal to tie.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    .Kong.  He was competing hard tonight.

  • DJBrianBurke

    .Kong. He needs to pick it up, he’s been brutal. They all have been.

  • DJBrianBurke

    .Kong. If he can stay healthy, look out. Most teams can’t cover JVR and then Lups.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    DJBrianBurke .Kong. Bozie really gets picked on by the linesmen at the draw.

  • wiski

    DJBrianBurke .Kong. and they’re pretty much interchangeable.

  • DJBrianBurke

    TuckerForPunishment DJBrianBurke .Kong. Hazard of being a Leaf. Last year the amount of times the Leafs’ center got kicked out was comical.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    DJBrianBurke TuckerForPunishment .Kong. DROP THE FUCKING PUCK FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.

  • DJBrianBurke

    wiski DJBrianBurke .Kong. What a luxury to have. Lups is basically looking at JVR and saying “anything you can do…”