Game In 10: Game #15, Leafs 0 vs. Canucks 4

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Photo: Richard Lam/Getty Images

The Leafs visited the Vancouver on Pavel Bure night for the first of two seasonal meetings with the Canucks. In other news, Luke Schenn was a healthy scratch for the Flyers as Paul Holmgren saw fit to reward the former Leafs defenseman on his birthday. More importantly, but certainly less amusing, Liles, Bodie and Ashton were healthy scratches for the Leafs and Mason Raymond was in the lineup against his old team. Anyway, see how this one turned out… or don’t. Your choice. I’d prefer the latter.

1 – The Leafs are 10-5-0 and the Leafs still haven’t beaten the Canucks since November 24th, 2003. Now that sucks.

2 – Remarkably, this was James Reimer’s first NHL game in the month of November. I guess he was saving it all for the start of this one as he made a flurry of majestic, athletic saves on Mike Santorelli and Alexandre Burrows. The Burrows toe save on what seemed to be a wide open net was beyond belief. Still, the 11-0 shots on goal total favoring the Canucks around 8 minutes in was certainly worrisome.

3 – A jittery start from the Leafs with plenty of turnovers in the neutral zone saw Toronto spend most of the time fending off the Sedins in their own zone. One such period of pressure resulted in a powerplay goal for the home side. A faceoff win resulted in a tip pass to Henrik Sedin, who made no mistake on the shot, helped by a deflection off his brother’s jersey. A man advantage in the middle of the period relieved some of the pressure, but the Leafs couldn’t make it count.

4 – The angrier 2013-14 incarnation of Phil Kessel took on Alexandre Burrows in a fight that only resulted in taking the Buds’ best player off the ice for two minutes. Nobody appreciates enthusiasm more than yours truly, but this tradeoff was clearly won by the Canucks. The game was heating up towards the end of the first as Colton Orr and Tom Sestito were sent off the ice and Fraser McLaren was jawing at Zack Kassian. The shot count was evening out, as the added intensity from the Kessel fight seemed to energize the Leafs. An entertaining first period ended with a big kill by the visitors with 30 seconds remaining on the man advantage for the Canucks.

5 – The Sedin line once again put pressure on the Leafs at the start of the second. Zach Kassian ran Dave Bolland in the corner, before parking himself in front of the net with no Leaf coverage and banked the puck in off Cody Franson for a 2-0 Canucks lead. Bolland left the ice, heavily favoring one leg. If we were Ottawa we would bring Kassian before a judge. The center depth was certainly being put to the test. When it rains it pours.

6 – An odd man rush after a lost faceoff resulted in a goal for Chris Higgins, who fired a good wrist-shot beyond Reimer. Colton Orr and Tom Sestito finished what they started in the first period by getting their gloves off. Orr got a good shot to end an evenly matched fight. Also, among all the offensive zone pressure by the hosts, the pleasantries between McLaren and Kassian continued to fester. A high stick resulted in another powerplay for Vancouver, which was negated by James Reimer and a great stick check by our captain. Besides Reimer, Kessel seemed to be the only Leaf really going tonight, but his efforts were met by Luongo, who didn’t face many shots but stopped everything that came his way. McLaren put Edler headfirst into the boards and earned a boarding penalty with additional yapping earning the Leafs a 5-on-3 penalty kill. Reimer kept playing, his team didn’t.

7 – The first two periods saw the Leafs outshot 30-16. The frustration was evident on the faces of Leafs players and in their actions on the ice. Kadri opened the period by getting tangled with Kesler, and JVR wasn’t exactly a cool customer, either. You don’t want your players to accept losing, but you also want to give your team a chance to win games. Keeping the discipline in check is one way you can still come back, even with a 3:0 deficit starting the third. Taking penalties isn’t.

8 – Immediately after that kill, Ranger made a great play to get back and negate a chance for Chris Higgins before proceeding to shoot the puck over the glass. It was just one of those nights where every good play was followed by two bad ones. Leaf composure was lost, but even an objective observer might have left with the impression the the refs tilted the ice a little bit tonight.

9 – One major positive in this game was Reimer’s play even while letting in three goals. He seems more focused and a few goals against doesn’t seem to throw him off his game as much now as it did earlier in his career. Still, it’s a sad state of affairs when your goaltender is your best player and you lose the game 4-0. Credit to Reimer for battling start to finish; the 4-0 goal saw the top line basically quit on him.

10 – It’s tough to score goals and win games when you own so little of the puck. Turnovers were as bad as ever despite the emphasis in practice, the powerplay wasn’t working, and the sooner Leaf fans forget this one and move on the better. Mental health is important, kids. Carlyle called this the Leafs’ worst game of the season and a long week of practice awaits the Leafs back home. With Bolland’s injury looking serious, the question becomes: who’s coming up?

leafsnucksshotchart
Photo: ESPN

Leafs at Canucks Game Sheet - November 2, 2013

Canucks 4 vs. Leafs 0.
NO.PLAYERPOSGAP+/-PIMSHITSBKSGVATKAFO%PP TOISH TOITOI
3D. PhaneufD0000021000-4:53:008:42:0025:59:00
4C. FransonD000-2014301-4:27:006:00:0023:19:00
11J. McClementC000002110157%0:00:009:38:0021:31:00
12M. RaymondL000-1020010-3:53:004:38:0019:17:00
15P. RangerD0000410100-0:00:002:36:0017:31:00
19J. LupulR000-24230000%3:48:000:00:0016:26:00
21J. van RiemsdykL000021400260%4:05:004:23:0018:45:00
23T. SmithC000000100033%0:52:000:29:007:14:00
28C. OrrR00001503000-0:00:000:00:004:13:00
36C. GunnarssonD0000001111-0:00:008:03:0018:09:00
38F. McLarenL0000613000-0:00:000:00:006:23:00
41N. KuleminL000-1003100-0:52:006:02:0015:33:00
43N. KadriC000-220210125%3:17:000:00:0016:34:00
44M. RiellyD000-3000100-3:18:000:03:0014:14:00
51J. GardinerD000-1010100-3:06:002:52:0021:51:00
63D. BollandC000-100000040%0:37:000:50:006:18:00
71D. ClarksonR000-112321010%1:32:000:06:0011:30:00
81P. KesselC000-1750000100%4:40:000:00:0017:05:00
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Goaltending
85 %
Special Teams
60 %
Even Strength
20 %
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Hi there, I'm Mislav, a hockey writer from Croatia. My weird hockey journey includes the Maple Leafs Hot Stove, covering the Kontinental Hockey League as a Managing Editor at KHL.hr and doing a piece for the Hockey News that one time. This is me on hockey and stuff in between. Enjoy your stay!
  • Dangle_My_Berries

    well that was awful…..much needed loss, time for the boys to regroup and move forward

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Dejected by this Bolland news.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Alec Brownscombe whats the bad news doc?

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Dangle_My_Berries Alec Brownscombe Nothing confirmed, but wonder is he’s undergoing surgery tonight, deep cut, partial tendon tear.. Really bad

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Alec Brownscombe Dangle_My_Berries fuck : (

  • Cloud09

    Alec Brownscombe Dangle_My_Berries Two months minimum for a return. Nonis is going to have to make some kind of move to bring in some centre depth.

  • mcloki

    That’s brutal. No Teflon sock. Shut.

  • Cloud09

    Thanks for the Game in 10 Mislav, unfortunate you got stuck with this stinker. Hopefully you are able to stick around for a bit, always enjoyed your writing.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    mcloki 30-40 games friedman is saying for bolland injury…..brutal!!!!

  • Zep2

    Welcome back Mislav
    Game swung on point # 5
    Ranger had his best game as a Leaf in a losing cause.

  • Cloud09

    -Keon- They are pretty bad

  • whalz

    HNIC compared it to Karllson, looks like 40+ gms he will miss…

  • Cloud09

    Xterratu I’m sure everyone here will take what they can get.  Glad to hear you’re making it big in the K 😉

  • Zep2

    Alec Brownscombe Not good for sure. And Carlyle had Kadri in his doghouse in the 3rd.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Like Karlsson in Ottawa last year.

  • LeafsForLife

    WB Mislav. Great job as always!

  • wiski

    Mislav good stuff kurwa 😉

  • Xxxxxnew

    karlsson missed 31 games last year after tendon surgery.

  • LeafsForLife

    Who is that young centre on the Marlies? Is it McKegg? How bout giving
    him a shot. Regardless how hes playing hes a centre and worth atleast 1
    game.
    Just posted this on other blog.

  • DJBrianBurke

    Love that Phanuef was even.

  • rustynail

    LeafsForLife he is not close to ready IMO

  • LeafsForLife

    Xterratu GN Mislav

  • LeafsForLife

    rustynail LeafsForLife Maybe not but if we need a centre quickly then why not give him a couple games?

  • wiski

    Alec Brownscombe shouldn’t you be doing they dirty on you anniversary 😉

  • DJBrianBurke

    Alec Brownscombe Can’t replace what Bolland brings. Going to hurt big time. Let’s see if the Leafs can rally together around this news and come out the long break swing. It’s “us” against the world time.

  • wiski

    LeafsForLife rustynail He didn’t look to bad in the preseason to me me? we’ll find out soon enough

  • .JVR.

    Xxxxxnew 
    But that was his “Achilles” Tendon and I can only assume it takes longer for it to heal than whatever tendon Bolland has lacerated.

  • Cameron19

    What a horrible night.  We are screwed

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Cameron19 

    *sigh*

  • Cameron19

    .JVR. Xxxxxnew That’s the assumption, but remember, Karlsson also healed unbelievably quickly last year.  It was a big surprise he was able to return at all.

  • wiski

    Cameron19 You hack Cam’s account Fenton?

  • Cameron19

    wiski Cameron19 Sorry,, I’m just horribly dismayed by how little we have for options at center.  We have nothing.

  • Wilbur

    I have faith in this bunch. They will weather the storm. This is an opportunity for others to rise to the occasion…

  • GreekGod

    Cameron19 .JVR. Xxxxxnew 
    And even then people from Ottawa are saying he’s still not what he was before the injury. Still kind of recovering

  • LeafsForLife

    Wilbur Im a Be-Leafer too but time will tell what happens at centre. I just hope that if Nonis decides to deal for a centre he wont over-pay.

  • wiski

    Cameron19 wiski Take toews and sharp off the hawks wtf do they have? lol

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19 So fucking dejected

  • Zep2

    Cameron19 wiski No argument there

  • .JVR.

    So, from what I can see, it looks like Kassian’s blade cut right through the side of Bolland’s skate.
    If that’s that case, shouldn’t the skates have Kevlar in them and why wasn’t Bolland wearing the “mandatory” skate protectors?

  • rustynail

    Cameron19 no we aren’t

  • darthNihilus

    If it were up to me I’d try Jake Gardiner at center-where he played in junior. He has good vision, great skating and good passing. I’d insert Liles into his D spot. No one on the Marlies ready to come up and no centers available in the league (don’t want other people garbage and tim conolly’s)

  • wiski

    Wilbur Fuck the negative Nancys this is a team

  • Wilbur

    We’re going to find out over the next few weeks/months that JVR is a #1C and Kulemin is a shutdown C 😉

  • .JVR.

    wiski
    Who on the Leafs are you comparing to Toews and Sharp?

  • Reversethecurse67

    Wilbur Kulemin always wins the draw when his C gets thrown out

  • Cameron19

    .JVR. They’re only mandatory in practice, and Kevlar doesn’t prevent blades from slicing very much – more aimed at puck protection.

  • .JVR.

    darthNihilus 
    Or trade Gardiner for a top notch centre and put Liles in his spot on D?

  • Cameron19

    wiski Cameron19 Nothing, but they aren’t out of the line-up.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    .JVR. there is no way with the stiffness of the skates that a blade could cut right through them. Those pro stock skates are light and strong

  • wiski

    .JVR. wiski 1 and 2 centers