Thursday Mashup: Road Warriors

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PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

It used to be one would say the Leafs are becoming accustomed to skating on tilted ice as the start of a joke at their expense. But a month into the season, it’s beginning to appear as though the joke is on the jester. Despite being outshot for the 11th straight game – and 12th out of 14 – the team improved to 10-4-0 (and 5-2-0 on the road), claiming sole possession of first place in the East and tied for 2nd overall in the league.  Once again, timely shooting and stellar goaltending were the recipe for success.

The question, as we all know, which has been and will continue to be asked, is how long until the seeming imbalance in their play catches up to this group, with an eye toward the schedule becoming much tighter post-Olympics. Certainly, it goes without saying that any points they can continue to bank now will contribute to a more comfortable cushion should things begin to even out – which the numerical evidence suggests is likely – come the season’s second half.

The Leafs will look to continue their road success Saturday in Vancouver before enjoying a 6-day break (yes, you read that right) which, for banged-up players such as Lupul, Kulemin, Fraser and Bozak, couldn’t arrive at a better time.

Onto the links:

Bernier pulls another one out of the hat as Leafs beat Flames
Game recap from the Globe.

John-Michael Liles still has hope for an NHL job
A few quotes from the classy veteran about adversity and the importance of setting an example.

NHL players show off a wide range of Halloween costumes
I nominate “Danger Zone” for the Wild’s new goal song.

Pascal Dupuis casually pulls out two teeth at the bench after a high stick
Continuing with the Halloween theme (well, sort of) …

Semyon Varlamov arrested on domestic violence charges
Further details out of Denver on last night’s late-breaking news.

Maple Leafs fan vows to marry girlfriend after Cup win
Cue the 50-year engagement jokes. When you think about it, this could be the basis of a great sitcom, complete with Kerry Fraser as a bumbling wedding planner.

 

  • Mind Bomb

    A victorious good morning to All,
    First Place !!!!

  • darthNihilus

    horrible game, beautiful win! Good teams find ways to win even when they suck. Go Leafs Go!!!!

  • Spayde_D

    Sometimes to punish/amuse myself I scroll through PPP’s “game day thread” comments from start to finish. Every game is the same thing: high hopes, happiness when we score, then complaints about lack of shots, yelling at Carlyle for his line matchups, his playing Orr, his tie choice, Then comes the doom and gloom – “the other team is going to score/win/dominate/kill us”, then surprise that won, then pretend that they never doubted us in the first place. 
    I just dont understand how you watch a game and a calculator at the same time.

  • Spayde_D

    darthNihilus Difference between a good goalie and bad goalie. Also, rebound control by the team and goalie vs. none.

  • Mind Bomb

    -Keon-  Morning Keon, Phily sucks and can wallow in perpetual misery, Buffaloss is irrelevant to me lol

  • Spayde_D

    -Keon- but on here you know the people are fans, just feeling the pressure and getting down. On PPP I can count on one hand how many actual fans there are. Toronto Maple Leaf games are watched out of convenience more than passion.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Spayde_D
    Agree with Keon – our board has similar bipolar comments.
    Last night I heard a fair
    amount of bitching on this site about the play Kadri, Mason and Ranger.
    Kadri gets an assist and now
    has 5 points in 3 games as the 1C.Ship
    him out.
    Mason over the last 2 nights
    has had some difficulty controlling the puck but has been excellent on the
    defensive side of the puck.Oh, and he
    scored the game winning goal.
    Ranger.Great game against Edmonton.Has 1 or 2 miscues last night but is stellar
    in a defensive effort and at crunch time uses his strength and smarts to strip
    the puck on the PK to get the empty netter to put the game away.
    Geeze – you’d think we were 4
    – 10.

  • Mind Bomb

    hoolihan  Me, I hate to say I told you so, but yes I told all you guys so P

    lol

  • Knights2Leafs

    Mind Bomb -Keon- 
    I’m wrong about as often as I’m right but I knew the second that Philly traded away Richards and Carter that they were taking a huge step back.  Just didn’t realize how far back.

  • Spayde_D

    Knights2Leafs Spayde_D Meh, Calgary’s team reminds me of us when we were shit sticks. Lot of effort, always outworking the other team/outshooting them, but have no top end talent to score. They needed 3 deflections off of body parts to score their second. 
    All guys in the NHL can skate, every team can sustain pressure. We work off the rush and transition. We are going to be outshot. Every time a team pinches, we get a chance to go the other way with speed. Keep the shots to the outside and clear rebounds and, for the most part, we should be able to keep this type of game going–especially against the likes of Calgary and EDM.

  • Mind Bomb

    Knights2Leafs Mind Bomb -Keon-  Aye man, but then if the rumors were true, I prolly would have traded them as well. But I would have gone for established stars instead of draft picks and kids. Still I hate Philly the most, so ya they can suck it

  • conebone69

    Spayde_D -Keon- Good comment. I’m new here, and scrolled around PPP for some time, thinking it was the best option available. You get really sick of the doom and gloom sometimes – Nonis and Carlyle are huge villains over there. Gets old real quick.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Spayde_D Knights2Leafs 
    Calgary’s second goal was a direct result of Gunnar’s feet being pulled out from under him resulting in the turnover with a goal inside of 5 seconds.
    Haven’t seen any numbers but I must say we do seem to be getting the short end of the stick on minor penaltes this year.

  • Cameron19

    Knights2Leafs Mind Bomb -Keon- The way that Simmonds and Couturier played the first year after the trade I thought they would eventually look very strong for that risky play.  Voracek and Simmonds actually outscored Richards and Carter the year after the trade, and Couturier had a fantastic rookie campaign, and Schenn was waiting in the wings.  They didn’t win anything, but that was largely because Pronger went down and never came back.  I’m still pretty shocked how poorly it has all turned out for them.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Mind Bomb
    They would have grown out of it though.  Lupul was that way when he was younger.

  • Knights2Leafs

    TheCanucksnaphook 
    We’re lucky damn it – just lucky!
    I might change my signature line to that now that Naz is playing 1C.

  • Spayde_D

    Knights2Leafs Spayde_D Second overall with 65 minor penalties against (1st-LA with 67 vs 30th-NJ with 34). 
    Most penalties in the 1st period.
    Second worst overall in PP time minus PK time – Tor (-13.42) vs. 1st overall SJS +27.38

  • dlb eh

    Knights2Leafs 
    i was happy to see them leave our conference

  • wendelsfist

    Spayde_D When the leafs were losing, had a good shot differential and had horrid goaltending they were crying for winning team.  Now that the teams is winning, has a poor shot differential and good goaltending they are crying for the team to lose.  Bizarre world these advanced stats.   For me it is time to enjoy the good times and hope the team corrects (and is aware of) the weak parts of their game.

  • Mind Bomb

    Cameron19 Knights2Leafs Mind Bomb -Keon-  Hmm ok I will buy that, they did get High end prospect talent, Its very strange, I had thought it was goaltending in Philly, but Mason is playing well this year and they are still losing. I am Baffled and pleased at the same time lol

  • dlb eh

    so.  do we miss Colborne?  he played us hard last night and we saw the good and the bad from the youngster.  he’s big.
    i still say we’re good letting players go like that as long as we’re able to fill their position with a better fit.  for instance: Grabovski-Bolland

  • Mind Bomb

    Knights2Leafs Mind Bomb  Doing Coke and sleeping with other teammates wives ?

  • Mind Bomb

    TheCanucksnaphook  There is, watching Ranger play AHL hockey in your spot lol

  • wendelsfist

    Knights2Leafs Spayde_D True the fanbase is bipolar.  Though if I come out and say I like Orr or that shot differential is not indicative of the leafs play, people won’t gang up on and ram all the math reasons I’m wrong down my throat.

  • Spayde_D

    Just a look around the league at shots:
    Toronto 8-4 when outshot. 
    Colorado 6-0 (4-1 with more shots)
    Montreal 5-3 (2-1 with more shots)
    Detroit 4-2-2 (3-1 with more shots)
    Phoenix 4-1-1 (3-1-1 with more shots)
    Tampa 4-2 (4-2 with more shots)

  • Cameron19

    Mind Bomb Knights2Leafs Yea, the unfortunate part of the equation for Philly is that they of course went and won a Cup together after the trade, but they were complimentary pieces to that Cup run, not core pieces. They won on the back of stellar defense, amazing goaltending, and the Kopitar line.  Richards and Carter were just excellent support, and that continues to this day, with their offensive numbers in a bit of decline (Carter less so than Richards).

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Was he sent back down or something?

  • wendelsway1

    Good Morning Gents…..a great day to be a Leafer! Rope a dope is working like a charm…lol  :)

  • Mind Bomb

    Cameron19 Mind Bomb Knights2Leafs  Aye man I have Richards in two Keeper leagues, one your in, I wont bring up your record :))) 
     Richards is a Big dis-appointment Stat wise, but like you said, he helped them win a Cup, and he has a Ring to prove it lol

  • Cameron19

    dlb eh I think we should stop coming up with rhetoric for why he had to go and just start admitting that he would be nice depth to have, and that Nonis probably shouldn’t have dumped him.

  • Cameron19

    Mind Bomb Cameron19 Knights2Leafs Which one is that? Yahoo?

  • Mind Bomb

    Cameron19 Mind Bomb Knights2Leafs ESPN, JVR’s :) We are in the Yahoo one as well though

  • Spayde_D

    Cameron19 dlb eh Did he not have to pass waivers? Therefore, he would have to play on our team? Who does he slot in for?

  • Mind Bomb

    wendelsway1  Morning WW 20 points in October, thats the only stat that matters :)))))

  • Cameron19

    Mind Bomb Cameron19 Knights2Leafs Oh Christ, I’m getting hammered in that league.  Mind you, the first two weeks I just drew unlucky competition, because I would have beaten like 18 of 20 managers, but happened to be facing like the only guys with more points than me those weeks (exaggerating somewhat here, but you get my point).  Then I got mad and traded Toews in a huff, lol.

  • Cameron19

    So any word how long Varlamov is going to be away from the Avs?  I have Giguere in numerous pools, and it looks like he’ll be the starter now.

  • Mind Bomb

    Cameron19 Mind Bomb Knights2Leafs  Yep its wierd this year the lowest point producer on my team is Claude Giroux lol. seriously my Defensman have more points than him 

    Yikes

  • Cameron19

    Mind Bomb Cameron19 Knights2Leafs Yep, and all you can do with a guy like that is wait and hope he comes out of it.

  • Burtonboy

    wendelsway1 Its not really rope a dope WW. At least I don’t think so.  With how our PP,PK and goaltending are working ,some of the best numbers in the league,  it should really come as no surprise to anyone that we have the record we do .

  • Marlies Man

    TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 Appearing before a judge in about an hour, I do believe.

  • Biltmore

    Cameron19 Court date this morning to see about bail. Lawyer for girl will be on Denver radio this afternoon, the girl apparently on radio tomorrow.

  • wendelsway1

    Burtonboy wendelsway1 Ya true….more their 5 on 5 play when talking rope a dope…..whatever works….two points is two points.  :)

  • dlb eh

    Cameron19 
    you sound like a poor loser when you talk like that.  he’s just a player.  if he’s not going to be a start then i really won’t feel anything.  depth is always nice, but it’s even better when you have a void and you fill it with something better than depth.  if we want to get to the next level, we need better.

  • dlb eh

    TheCanucksnaphook 
    and we all know you’re just a big baby

  • dlb eh

    TheCanucksnaphook 
    i was just poking the bear.  i like you.  you like tough guys.

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

    Spayde_D Plus get to bed before 10, brush your teeth and wash behind your ears. Also, they have to remember to turn the lights out downstairs or Mom gets real mad.

  • Cameron19

    dlb eh Cameron19 A poor loser?  I didn’t lose anything.

  • dlb eh

    Cameron19 
    exactly.  we only lost Colborne.  he looked good in that Calgary sweater.  I hope he does well there.
    i really just wanted to know if anyone saw anything from him last night that really made them wish we still had him, for more than depth reasons.

  • Dan39

    TSN spent 10 minutes going over the Team Canada roster, complete with an interview with Babcokc, a discussion on guys who are a lock for a spot (Weber, Keith, Bouw), guys in the mix (Doughty, Seabrook, Boyle), and potential outsiders (Letang, Subban, Vlasic).
    Phaneuf’s name did not even come up – he was not even mentioned, at all – despite the acknowledged lack of LD by Babcock and the panel. In a 10 minutes segment.
    Just illustrates how wide the gap in appreciation this board is versus the hockey community on Phaneuf.

  • Dan39

    Biltmore Cameron19 Is she hot?