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?
Leafs at Canucks Game Sheet - November 2, 2013Canucks 4 vs. Leafs 0.
|NO.||PLAYER||POS||G||A||P||+/-||PIM||S||HITS||BKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||PP TOI||SH TOI||TOI|
|21||J. van Riemsdyk||L||0||0||0||0||2||1||4||0||0||2||60%||4:05:00||4:23:00||18:45:00|
@Wilbur Don't care really . He's not a Leaf anymore
@Wilbur It's all Leafs all the time......he can suck it
Good Morning Gents......guess we're gonna find out just what our Boys are made of......full blown adversity.....could be worse, at least we've managed to bank points....and we aren't Sens or Oilers fans....lol :)
@hoolihan Raymond I could see . Has played center at the NHL level. JVR hasn't and we risk fucking up the chemistry on the 1st line
@hoolihan i wish Nonis would just waive mcLaren and get Broll in there in his place.
While living in St. John's sucks in terms of weather and the costs of seeing the Leafs (and in terms of the AHL team being the Winnepeg Jets farm team - ugh), at least i don't have to see any Canucks fans around.
@MaxwellHowe Love St John's. Lots of charm and history but the weather is soooooooooooooo bad. lol
FWIW, a little update on Biggs;
@WendelGilmour If we are ever to going to play that tough fore checking cycle game players like Biggs,Broll and Ashton are a necessity in the bottom 6. Its taken Ashton a while to develop ( big body ) but he's starting to get the knack for playing that style of game at the NHL level. Biggs and Broll are both 2 yrs younger then Ashton . Patience is required to bring these guys along
@Burtonboy @WendelGilmour Yeah, I agree Bboy. No need to rush these guys. Let them learn and grow with the Marlies until they can come up and take a spot. I would include McKegg in this group too, I see a lot of folks here criticize him, yet Spott has said he's the best two way player on the team. There's much more to a good team than just point producing players.
@CanuckUKinToronto @Burtonboy @WendelGilmour Our team seem to have problems sticking to a system .To me that's disturbing. I don't expect perfection because that's impossible but surely to god they can manage to play to a system the majority of time. Is it because the players are dense or the system is wrong ? Is it commitment ,laziness ? I have no idea but its really frustrating for sure
Agreed. You watch Chicago or Vancouver or the Wild, etc, you see teams following a plan and executing. Its not a complicated plan, but the players have bought in and they stick to the plan. But for years the Leafs have been incapable of consistently executing anything resembling a team game. The closest they came was last years playoffs - but do things need to be so dire for the guys to come together?
I think the cost of acquiring Couturier would be huge. Holmgren has been offered some pretty good pieces ( ie: Bernier ) for him and so far has balked at all offers. They are asking a lot.
@Burtonboy After the JVR/Schenn trade I don't see Homer dealing him to us unless he gets a deal that looks like an over-payment by the Leafs. I'm not sure Nonis would be willing to do that. I'm guessing he'll want player + 1st round pick + prospect.
@Burtonboy Well, he supposedly only missed Bernier because he didn't have a back-up goalie to offer though.
@Burtonboy @Cameron19 Ha, and then, why would they trade him? I look at it this way - first of all, i would give up my 1st round pick for him without question as part of the package. No one we are likely to draft is going to be as ready to help us, and the top prospects list doesn't even have a center of his size on it, so to me, I'd rather have a 2011 draft pick now than a 2014. So what it takes beyond that is really the question, and contrary to some here, I wouldn't mind overpaying to get it done now - when we are a bit desperate - than wait for a more favorable opening
@Burtonboy @Cameron19 @Wilbur I don't think they're crying over that deal in Philly as much as we think they are. The problem isn't that they don't have JVR, it's that Giroux is playing like shit. Their offense has elite capabilities with or without him. And even if Schenn has been playing poorly this year, he was good last year and was on their top pair. Although, it does suck for them that he showed up to camp out of shape. Schenn has always struggled with the fitness part of the game.
Anyways, I think the teams get along even if we did win a deal. We keep dealing with Anaheim long after the Gardiner/Lupul trade, so that kind of thing doesn't worry me. We also kept dealing with Boston after the Kessel trade that everyone thought we lost.
went to the game on Saturday...still freaking steamed about a few things and got I hate canuck fans..
@Gilbey93 long time.
@-Keon- He got traded.
@-Keon- Moose Jaw.
@-Keon- No idea, but I doubt he was/can be called up. He's not ripping it up, maybe he just was scratched.
@-Keon- No but maybe he coasted the last few games or took dumb penalties. Never seen him play only know his stats.
Well, after thinking on it some more, I'm still feeling like targeting Couturier would be a best bet for us right now. He's affordable for two more years and really under-performing right now (18 pts in his last 60 games). He's young enough that we could feel okay about moving a high pick for him though. And he has the kind of upside where you could imagine him taking off between Lupul and Clarkson while our team is banged up.
And having another center man in the fold isn't a bad thing either. Look at Colorado. Let's say Stastny gets injured, well they still have ROR and Talbot to fill in.
what changed your mind? ive been saying for awhile he has potential and is a big centre.......
i think a 1st plus blacker is a good start.
@Cameron19 What's your proposal to get Couturier though?
Yup. Was thinking the same thing. But they may want something a little more just because of Couturier's potential and our first has the possibility of being low... it's tricky
@whalz Ah, I don't think I ever disagreed. I just wouldn't trade Gardiner for him. He's a bit of a project now. Kind of like Turris was when Ottawa acquired him. I said earlier a 1st plus Gunnarsson for Couturier and a 2nd. I would look at Finn + 1st though, if necessary.
JVR was also a second overall pick. Everyone expected him to be the next Lindros coming out of the draft. His injuries and lack of grit and going to the net is what had people labelling him as a bust.
This is why Carlyle was really hard on him once he landed in Toronto. He said it to him and in front of the media that he wants JVR to go hard to the net and dig deep into the corners. He wants him to use that big body of his.
I think Philly would be looking for a package that could help them out now no? With Holgrem's job on thin ice (rumoured)
@GreekGod @Cameron19 Who would give them that though? Honestly, their defense is in such shambles, they should be looking to repair it over the long term. Realistically if Edmonton hasn't been able to fix their D in 5 years, is Holmgren going to be able to fix it with one or two trades? I doubt it. Not without moving Giroux +.
I just think with the contracts that they have and expectations going into this season it wouldn't be wise for them to throw in the towel already. I think they need to give it a push especially when you consider how bad there division is. Pittsburgh is the only clear cut winner I think in that division
Not at all but I think if they trade players for draft picks and prospects that it'll send the rebuild message. When they need to bring in players to help there current roster as they are still very much in the mix.
Plus, I don't want us trading Percy nor Finn at this point in time. Really have high hopes for these two prospects :)
I think Couturier should be the target for the Leafs even with a full lineup. He's stuck behind Giroux and Vinny now.