Game in 10: Game #8, Canes 3 at Leafs 2

629

A bizarre loss for the Leafs in game eight of the regular season. The bigger concern may be who the Leafs lost.

1 – We were one shift into a low-key first period before next thing you know, Reimer is down hurt.

On a routine play, Reimer came out a few feet to his right to smother his own rebound, while Leivo was backchecking with his head down and was late to see the whole thing develop. He came crashing into Reimer and caught him with a knee in the worst place possible – jarring Reimer’s helmet loose.

What a horrible sight it was to see Reimer knelt down, doubled over for a few minutes before gingerly making his way to the dressing room.

This was just a nasty, unfortunate play. You have to feel bad for Leivo, who looked like he just saw a ghost, and even worse for Reimer, for whom the timing could not be worse. We all know the history here, and how a knock to the head derailed Reimer’s entire season in October of 2011-12. Let’s hope history isn’t repeating itself, because the Leafs had a very good thing going for themselves with the way Bernier and Reimer were trading off.

2 – Jonathan Bernier stepped into the net with a pretty easy transition, as the Leafs controlled play in the first 10 minutes and earned two powerplays for their efforts. Some okay puck movement did not lead to many good scoring chances with the man advantage. Cam Ward was looking very good early.

A penalty filled 1st, with some rinky-dink calls, did not produce a ton of quality scoring chances at either end. The Leafs had the best opportunity on the other team’s powerplay, off a shorthanded 2 on 1. After Jay McClement got called for interference off a faceoff in the offensive zone, the Leafs had an easy kill and should’ve scored at 4 on 5 if not for daylight robbery by Cam Ward on a cross-crease opportunity for Mason Raymond. Tyler Bozak started the play after picking off a pass high in the defensive zone.

The shot count was 12-10 Leafs after 20.

3 – Two whiffs on a breakaway and a 2-on-1 empty net opportunity by Eric Staal and Tuomo Ruutu respectively kept the Canes off the board in the early 2nd. The Leafs were getting caught for odd man opportunities against in the second, be it the result of a defenceman caught up the ice or poor support from the forwards. Kessel didn’t have his most productive game offensively, but he was one of the better forwards at covering for a defenceman. Bernier was equal to the task, again and again.

4 – Meanwhile, the Leafs were better capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes. The Leafs are at their best when transitioning with speed; they’re quite effective at generating scoring chances before the other team can set themselves up defensively. Their depth in speed and skill makes the whole thing work. It worked twice in this period, as the shots were 7-2 after 10 minutes, and both shots were Leaf goals.

Lupul and Kadri caught the Canes scrambling before Lupul eventually chipped the puck over a sprawled out Cam Ward for his sixth of the season.

Then came an always-special moment – a Leaf rookie scoring his first NHL goal. After his accident on the first shift, Leivo really had no other choice but to score. He fulfilled his obligation 7 minutes into the second period by scoring the goal he nearly scored in the third period against the Wild, if not for the cross bar. On the half board in the Leaf zone, he kind of just passed the puck ahead of himself and skated right by Andrej Sekera, creating a 2 on 1 rush. He patiently waited for Ward to go down and roofed his first NHL goal to make it 2-0 Leafs.

A goal for every game Reimer misses and it’s all good, Josh.

5 – Penalties 200 feet from your own net are never easy to swallow, and it cost the Leafs in the early third period. The Leafs PK unit may have gravitated a little too far toward the puck on the left side, but the goal was more about a vicious deflection on a Ryan Murphy point shot. The puck ricocheted off the shaft of Bolland’s stick and found the top corner. Bernier had no chance.

6 – The Leafs really sagged onto their heels after the goal, and a broken play was cashed in by who else but Eric Staal to tie the game at 2s. Raymond didn’t take a chance to get the puck out, and a point shot thrown at the net bounced off Gunnarsson and fell to Eric Staal in the slot. Staal made no mistake.

After mostly clean zone exits in the first 2 periods, turnovers and failed clearances started to plague the Leafs and pin them in their own end in the third period, as the Canes ramped up the pressure.

7 – The collapse was complete thanks to (hopefully) the most bizarre goal the Leafs will concede this season, one that might have been a product of confusion over the new hybrid icing rule. Ron Hainsey appeared to have iced the puck, although I’d need a new angle on the replay to tell if Radek Dvorak edged out Rielly in the race to the hashmarks. Bernier casually attempted to handle a bounce off the end boards as if he was anticipating a whistle. Bernier missed the puck, and it banked off his skate into the empty net. That’s not lady luck, by the way, it’s PDO working its natural course…

You be the judge on this one:

8 – The Leafs turned it on late, with Bozak nearly cashing in on a rebound in the slot and Kadri hitting a crossbar in the final minute. It was not to be; the Leafs waited until they were trailing to wake up.

9 – Which Leafs defenceman has been most consistently in position and making the right plays the past few games, you ask? Jake Gardiner, I say. The way Gardiner took care of Skinner on a defensive play in the first period, with a good hard shoulder before turning the puck up ice, reminded me of the Gardiner from the Bruins series. He was the last man back to break up some precarious situations in the third period, as well.

10 – The Leafs have fallen to 6-2-0. Shit happens. It wasn’t really a case of the Leafs giving a game away they deserved to win, though. Will it be a wake up call for the Leafs ahead of their trip to Chicago? Let us hope. In terms of what the Leafs could control, that third period wasn’t good enough.

On an up note, the Leafs are still in good shape at 6-2-0 and are now another game closer to the returns of JvR, Clarkson, Kulemin and Fraser.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Carolina Hurricanes Boxscore

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Carolina Hurricanes Boxscore October, 17th, 2013
Boxscore            
GOALIEDEC.SHOTSSAVESSV%MIN.
Jonathan Bernier(4-2-0)L37340.91958:23
James Reimer(2-0-0)1110:32
PLAYERGATOI+/-SOGPIMFWFLHITSBSTAKEGIVE
Carter Ashton005:10010002001
Dave Bolland0116:331105111000
Tyler Bozak0023:21-10013143100
David Broll0011:32110004012
Cody Franson0020:13030002230
Jake Gardiner0020:08100002221
Carl Gunnarsson0019:57-110003311
Nazem Kadri0020:090141381000
Phil Kessel0021:03-130001102
Josh Leivo1011:41120000000
Joffrey Lupul1020:15050011000
Jay McClement0014:01102022000
Colton Orr003:03000000100
Dion Phaneuf0024:58:00-120007021
Paul Ranger0117:31102004012
Mason Raymond0024:49:00-230200001
Morgan Rielly0117:38030004202
Trevor Smith003:20000410000
  • Black_Hawk

    well it sucks to lose the way we did but have to move on. I didnt see the hainsy goal but read it was shitty

  • PEIleafnation

    assumption it was gonna be Icing

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Carlyle : “Reimer has a headache.” Ya think?

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Carlyle says the feeling right now is that Reimer will be able to practice.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Refresh for boxscore

  • Black_Hawk

    morgan got another point so that was good

  • PEIleafnation

    ingy56 hope hes ok

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    PEIleafnation ingy56 He was “day -to-day” for about a month the last time. We’ll see, sounds optimistic though.

  • ConnorCrisp

    Helmets are too tight

  • Loric76

    lol…from Etobicoke Ernie:
    I think my wife is dead.  Sex is the same but the dishes are piling up.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Can we please (win or lose)  play a normal fucking hockey game??  Is that too much to ask??  Been a weird season so far.  Every game.  Tonight was the cherry on top.  Crazy shit.

  • ConnorCrisp

    You can definately youtube it, and it’s on the videocentre for leafs tv

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Booby Orr’s knee …yeesh
    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/10/16/bobby-orr-happy-to-report-that-his-famous-knees-feel-great-its-everything-else-that-hurts/

  • Burtonboy

    You could tell from the reaction of Carlyle he thinks the refs completely blew that call. One explanation he got from a ref  was that Berner came out to play the puck which wasn’t right because he was in the crease when it deflected . Oh well shit happens I guess . They needed a wake up call anyway

  • TuckerForPunishment

    ConnorCrisp I haven’t seen it yet.  Guess I’ll check it out.

  • Loric76

    ConnorCrisp lol

  • GreekGod

    PEIleafnation 
    hahaha… which one? The one where Morgan Rielly clearly won the race to the puck and so Bernier let it go or at the end of the game where Franson skates back to grab the puck and no official called it an icing. Even the announcers were puzzled. Fuck I hate refs. Made one cry once in a soccer game. Felt so good

  • rustynail

    Burtonboy linesman did wait a LONG time to waive it off

  • Zep2

    Didnt see the game. Tough way to lose. Hope Reimer is not concussed
    Looking at box score, the positives have to be Lievo , Rielly, Ranger  and Lupul

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    rustynail Burtonboy I wonder if he just waved it off or he called it out loud too?

  • Loric76

    rustynail Burtonboy he waited until the moment Bernier touched the puck and it went it…and then waived it off.

  • rustynail

    ingy56 rustynail Burtonboy  it was still way way late

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    the odd thing is that everyone is so quick to point out this loss in terms of our previously poor puck possession game, when in reality, we lost this game off a fluke tip and even more fluke botched icing that wouldn’t even have been considered a shot on goal. Not trying to justify our play, but I dont believe a lack of puck possession or a poor forecheck was the reason we lost tonight.

  • GreekGod

    Burtonboy 
    I don’t understand how these guys are professional refs. How is it that they are allowed to make shit up like this. Fucking terrible

  • Knights2Leafs

    Dangle_My_Berries 
    We lost the game because Carolina worked harder than we did over the last 2 periods. Very common theme this year.

  • Burtonboy

    Dangle_My_Berries Ye I agree we lost it on a fluke but you can’t say this team is playing anywhere close to what they are capable off . It finally caught up with us tonight when the bounces didn’t go our way

  • GreekGod

    Dangle_My_Berries 
    Completely agree. Leafs played well for the first two periods. But of course the refs try to even everything out in the end.

  • rustynail

    Loric76 rustynail Burtonboy yup and thats bullshit

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Burtonboy Dangle_My_Berries of course we arent cause we gotta remember we got Broll, Leivo, Rielly, Ashton all new to the team and most replacing our season regulars. I dont expect it to be perfect when we have so many regulars out

  • Knights2Leafs

    Burtonboy
    Agree.  It’s like we have all this skill but it only gets turned on when they fell like trying.  Not a 60 minute game all year long.  Maybe Nashville was closest.

  • rustynail

    Knights2Leafs Dangle_My_Berries last period, we were fine in the 2nd

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Drew Miller getting fed by Sarich…almost as good as Ryan getting it.

  • GreekGod

    Knights2Leafs Dangle_My_Berries 
    Not at all. Carolina got the calls they needed to get back in the game. Kadri’s first penalty was a terrible call. Yet Staal is allowed to slash our goalie after he catches the puck with no call? Give me a break. Had the refs called everything right tonight then Carolina never would of had any moment to come back. The Leafs were keeping them to the outside

  • TuckerForPunishment

    We have guys who can shift it to another level when needed. Tonight it was Luups and Naz.  They really turned it on in the end.   Lupul looked like a mad man on a mission with our goalie pulled.  I really felt we were gonna tie it.

  • Loric76

    Lupul: “Whatever, we voted ‘yes’ on hybrid icing & I won’t say my opinion, but you can tell what I voted” (chuckles)

  • Loric76

    Carl Gunnarsson on the third Carolina goal: “S*** like that happens sometimes.”

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    TuckerForPunishment almost did after Kadri made the bar sing late in the game

  • .Kong.

    TuckerForPunishment We were an inch away – Nazzy rung the bar with a beauty shot.

  • Loric76

    Leivo on first career goal: ‘It’s a great feeling. It’s a little bitter-sweet right now.’

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Loric76 I’m not a Dion hater at all but Lupul should wear the C.

  • LeafsManiac

    Burtonboy Dangle_My_Berries I just cant get over how bad our passing has been and this isn’t in light of the loss. For a team so skilled and especially with the offensive D we have, we can’t make a tape to tape pass. To me it seems like we just panic and fire up the center of the ice just hoping it makes it out across the blueline and then when we get it in their end we just whip in blindly at the net catch all the forwards deep. 
    Hopefully some of these things get ironed out when the new bodies join the llneup, I really think Clarkson is going to help that second line.

  • Loric76

    Leivo on Reimer collision: ‘James came out to cover the puck & I couldn’t turn. I tried jumping over him, but my knee caught his head.  It was a bad play & I wish it never happened’

  • wiski

    Loric76 Poor kid he should be over the moon

  • LeafsManiac

    Knights2Leafs Burtonboy we can score at will, our problem is defence and why the heck we can’t stop turning the puck over and get hemmed in our end so much.

  • wiski

    ingy56 last time Drew Miller got punched like that candy bars cost a nickel

  • LeafsManiac

    GreekGod Dangle_My_Berries you have to be kidding blaming that on the refs lol  are you 5? we straight up plain and simple got outplayed and handed them the

  • .Kong.

    That’s the most frustrated I have felt in a while watching a Leaf game.
    – Kessel had his worst game this season.  Where was he tonight?  We really needed him with this depleted lineup
    – Too many regulars out as well.  Tonight, it really felt like it
    – Bernier.  Ouch.
    – WTF was with that icing?  I don’t understand why the whistle wasn’t blown…?
    – Ah well, we had this game in the bag, but we got a little lazy, sat back, and to their credit they came at us.  We have no-one to blame but ourselves for this loss.
    – F, do I want to punch Staal in the face

  • TuckerForPunishment

    I hope Clarkson can be a spark.  We aren’t being out muscled but we’re not out muscling the opposition either….Yet!

  • LeafsManiac

    Zep2 Ranger was awful IMO but the other 3 were good forsure

  • PEIleafnation

    GreekGod PEIleafnation oh I text my bud here on the Island…immediately that its icing…I guess that’s what happened to Bernier? haven’t heard him speak at games end…this stinks LOL