Home Game Reviews Game in 10: Game #13, Maple Leafs 4 at Oilers 0

Game in 10: Game #13, Maple Leafs 4 at Oilers 0

Phil Kessel

The Maple Leafs started their western road trip on the right note, putting away the Oilers 4-0. It was an impeccable road game, and possibly Toronto’s best work over sixty minutes this season. James Reimer tightened his grip on the starter’s role with a shutout and Phil Kessel moved into a tie for second in league scoring with four points.

1. One minute into the game, Raymond chips it up along the boards to Kadri, who almost immediately sends it to Kessel streaking down the middle of the ice. As the Edmonton defender falls to the ice behind him, Kessel calmly dekes Bachman and deposits his first goal of the night. To be fair, since Kadri’s role in this play was rapid deference of the puck to Kessel, we can’t snidely claim that Bozak would have done it differently. Regardless, if the two continue to make plays at this rate, you would think (and hope) that Carlyle will have a tough decision on his hands when Bozak returns.

2. One defender who has not had the greatest start to the season: Jake Gardiner. But Gardiner’s been coming along lately as he is clearly working very hard to cater his offensive inclinations to Randy Carlyle’s wishes. He’s been getting solid minutes – an indication that the coaching staff is liking his efforts in this respect. The two sides of Gardiner’s game were on display very early: he rushed the zone and made a play from behind the net to Lupul early in the first for a high-quality scoring chance. Later in the same period, he made a defensive stop directly in front of his net by tying up the opposition’s stick. Then, he flashed some snarl as he got upset with Nail Yakupov’s run on Reimer. Gardiner’s faults are nothing more than a highly-skilled defender learning the ropes of playing a two-way game from one of the best.

3. It seems some in Leafsland moved on rather quickly to the newest shiny young blueliner in Morgan Rielly, but the fact is that Rielly could experience very similar growing pains in the coming years. He’s continued to look strong and at the moment seems to have more poise with the puck and better decision making than Gardiner. But remember – Gardiner was an all-rookie defender in his first go around with the Leafs. Both of these players are extremely young at a position that typically sees maturity achieved at a later age. Patience and opportunity should be the mantra with these two blue chippers who even saw some time together at even strength in the third.

4. Yes, Mason Raymond is not going to light it up all season along. But there’s a reason that he will continue to be featured alongside Bolland on Carlyle’s shutdown line – he brings an underrated defensive presence. Obviously, his is not the bruising genre of defense. Rather, Raymond’s defense relies on speed, stickwork, and attentive effort, as evidenced by a stick-play he made in the first in front of James Reimer that could very well have stopped a goal.

5. Kessel and JVR sped down the ice early in the second to strike again, with JVR playing the role of scorer this time around. With JVR’s recent improvement in skating, both of these wingers are legitimate speedsters and will continue to devastate other teams for the rest of this season and beyond. Either player has the ability to pass or shoot with the best of them, making them a rare and lethal combination in this league.

6. There was a slight injury scare for Nazem Kadri in the second, alleviated when the feisty center came back to be part of yet another Kessel goal. Kadri hit Kessel in the neutral zone to gain entrance into the zone, retrieved it along the halfboards and then got a shot on net that was tipped off the boards by Phaneuf. The puck came to Kessel at the other side of the net who performed some quick magic with his hands to pot his second of the night, sending Joe Bowen into hysterics. Just another night at the office for one of the league’s very best.

7. Another defender that has been maligned in the early goings? Paul Ranger. Ranger deserves the same type of patience and opportunity that Gardiner and Rielly do – for different reasons. His game has also come along recently, apparent tonight as he took the body of a rushing Oiler late in the second period, retrieved the puck and decisively turned the play back around. We may be seeing the readjustment of Ranger’s game to the NHL level, likely helped along by the implied pressure of recalling John-Michael Liles.

8. David Clarkson is obviously still getting his game legs under him. This hasn’t stopped him from throwing his body with reckless abandon, but has been exemplified in his decision making offensively. He had two chances early in this game to just get puck on net (which is a trademark of his game) but chose other options instead. Then, late in the second, he willed it towards the Oilers crease and the Leafs almost scored as a result. As we’ve said all along – the goals will come for Clarkson, but he’s a welcome presence with a positive impact regardless.

9. Rielly almost got his first NHL goal tonight. Assisted by – who else – Kessel and Van Riemsdyk, it was a solid wrister to the top corner. Unfortunately, later review of the tally indicated that it deflected in off Nazem Kadri. Either way, with the quality of players surrounding him, Rielly will get his chances offensively this year and it will be a treat to watch him develop at the NHL level.

10. James Reimer isn’t making life any easier for Jonathan Bernier. The ball will be back in Bernier’s court tomorrow tonight but short of pitching a shutout and scoring a goal a la Mike Smith, there’s not much Bernier can do to take away the Vancouver start from Optimus Reim. Yes, these two are only making each other better and it will be a boon to the Leafs all season long.

One of the youngest teams in the league took it to another young squad tonight. Both teams have suffered through years without much success, but only one subscribed to a “true” rebuild in the “Pittsburgh or Chicago model” that many pundits decree as the only way to rebuild. The Leafs are an embodiment of the strong argument that there is no “one way” to do something in a sport as multifaceted and at-times unpredictable as hockey. Tomorrow, they’ll get a chance to continue to prove themselves against the Calgary Flames, who are now under the watch of the very man that was the architect of much of their own unconventional rejuvenation: Brian Burke.

VIDEO: Game in 6 Highlights | Randy Carlyle Post Game Presser

Leafs vs Oilers

Leafs / Oilers Shot Data Photo: ESPN

Maple Leafs vs. Oilers Boxscore - October 29, 2013

Leafs 4 vs. Oilers 0.
1:08:00TORP. Kessel (8) Wrist shot - ASST: N. Kadri (6), M. Raymond (6)1 - 0 TOR
1:41:00TORJ. van Riemsdyk (6) Wrist shot - ASST: P. Kessel (8)2 - 0 TOR
8:42:00TORP. Kessel (9) Wrist shot - ASST: D. Phaneuf (5), N. Kadri (7)3 - 0 TOR
6:14:00TORN. Kadri (5) Deflected shot - ASST: M. Rielly (5), P. Kessel (9)4 - 0 TOR

Maple Leafs vs. Oilers Game Sheet - October 29, 2013

Maple Leafs 4 vs. Oilers 0.
3D. PhaneufD0113001612-1:05:001:31:0019:11:00
4C. FransonD0001220112-0:55:000:00:0019:38:00
11J. McClementC000000221041%0:00:001:31:0016:45:00
12M. RaymondL0111020000-0:55:001:00:0019:23:00
15P. RangerD0000014002-0:00:000:29:0022:15:00
19J. LupulR0000040000-0:55:000:00:0016:24:00
21J. van RiemsdykL1013022000-1:05:000:59:0014:27:00
23T. SmithC000001430162%0:00:000:00:0010:33:00
28C. OrrR00001002000-0:00:000:00:008:00:00
36C. GunnarssonD0002010200-0:00:001:31:0018:59:00
37C. AshtonR0000011000-0:00:000:00:0015:08:00
38F. McLarenL0000003000-0:00:000:00:009:32:00
43N. KadriC123404010042%0:55:000:01:0016:31:00
44M. RiellyD0112002400-0:55:000:00:0020:12:00
51J. GardinerD0000211130-1:05:000:29:0020:01:00
63D. BollandC000002210128%1:05:000:28:0016:18:00
71D. ClarksonR0000024011-0:00:000:01:0017:36:00
81P. KesselC22440300210%1:05:000:00:0015:17:00
34J. Reimer (W) 4-0-038 - 385 - 50 - 043/431059:50:00



Great article, Wonderful analysis. Really enjoy all the writing/journalism on this site. 

Breath of fresh air !!

Bruce Gamble
Bruce Gamble

I'm going to the game in Calgary tonight, I have my Leafs sweater cleaned and ready to go

Leafs rule
Leafs rule

Kessel now has 18pts in 13 games  ,thank-you Baaaaston


Does anyone think that Liles was suppose to get in tonight but based on yesterday's game/efforts, he will not now??  tough to sit Ranger or Reilly based on yesterday's game so no real reason unless someone is slightly banged up


My concern for tonight is that Calgary has been scoring.. Leafs will not play the same d as yesterday and Bernier will get shelled and have to stand on his head to keep us in it to win.   Raymond comes from Cochrane Alberta.. expect him to bring his a Game tonight.. 


Name Phil the Captain of the All-Star team.....then he picks OV as his FIRST pick.  Shows pure class.


Patience and opportunity should be the mantra with these two blue chippers who even saw some time together at even strength in the third.

First time I saw them together on even strenght was against Minesota or Edmonton(home), and it was the most fun shift both had together to watch. They were like a cyclone out there. Since then they had some shifts together, most times after a succesful penalty kill.


I seriously could not be more proud of Phil Kessel.  He's become an Elite team-first type of player, and you can hear that through the words of his teammates.  Phil Kessel is exactly what Doug Maclean referred to yesterday - a cornerstone player you build your team around.


And saying....?


@Leafs rule  and thanks Philly for JVR.. and LA for Bernier... and Ducks for Lupul and Gards... and Calgary for Dion


@CanuckUKinToronto  I think they brought Liles up for insurance and to reward him for his play and help on the Marlies


@.Kong. The same Doug Maclean who said he wasn't just last season. 


@newkb  not someone to build championships.. Mr October.. only talking because on a run now.. 

not proven as an athlete.. etc  

all bs


@Mind Bomb @CanuckUKinToronto  not too worried about that one.. lol

Calgary have 2 of their top 4 in scoring out now with injuries but Camallieri back so.. cover Monahan, Hudler and Camalliari--  we have Bolland, McClement and Dion to do that.. put Kadri on Colborne.. he should know how to handle him from Marlie days


@ingy56 @.Kong. Although it wasn't clear in my comment above, I was referring to the suggestion by Doug Maclean that you don't pay Dion $7M per year unless you feel he's a cornerstone player.

I just thought that comment made a lot of sense.  When you bit that hard into your cap, you have to make damn sure he's a guy you're going to build your team around.

With respect to Dion...  I'm not fullu convinced, but I don't think we're going to land Chara anytime soon, so Dion might have to be our cornerstone.

Bruce Gamble
Bruce Gamble

@CanuckUKinToronto @Bruce Gamble  A friend of mine was the video goal judge at the Saddledome and took me down to outside the dressing rooms after the game. I got to meet Tie Domi and Curtis Joeseph  

Bruce Gamble
Bruce Gamble

@CanuckUKinToronto @Bruce Gamble  That'd be gr8 to see him do that. I'll get there an hour before the game and go down to the glass and watch the warm up. I'll get some pics with my iPhone. If I can figure out how to do it, I'll post some later


@supercilious @CanuckUKinToronto @newkb  exactly.. he is a dumb fuck.. just said not winning Stanley cup in October.. The reality is he is an idiot trying to defend why he thought Leafs should have traded Kessel etc etc .. can not produce and logic so just says shit now


@LightmyLeaf @CanuckUKinToronto @Mind Bomb  I hope so.. would love to see a similar result from last night.. ie. 4-0 

Only Dion has a goal from our back end so far this year (Reilly so close last night).. I am guessing that has to change with Franson, Gards, Reilly, Ranger..  picking tonight as the night


@Biltmore @ingy56 @.Kong. True (Re: Chara), although as of this moment in time Chara >> Phaneuf.  Next year, or the year after....  Maybe Phaneuf > Chara, maybe.

Anyway, I'm not happy with $7M for Phaneuf, but I could swallow it with less term.  Having said that, unless a better option pops up (not bloody likely), he's going to get both.


@ingy56 @.Kong. 

And Chara's almost done in this league. Phaneuf gets $7 x 7 years easily from Toronto.


@.Kong. @ingy56 Yes, I saw his ramblings on that, but he has to realize that $7 million is not necessarily a "cornerstone" type of salary any more.