Game in 10: Game #18, Wild 2 vs. Leafs 1 (SO)

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Game in 6 Highlights | Randy Carlyle Post Game | Kadri’s Controversial Hits

The Leafs move to 11-6-1 with a 2-1 shootout loss after giving up the lead late in Minnesota. The Leafs have only scored three goals in their last four games, only one of which has been at even strength. Let’s hope a back-to-back home and home with the lowly Sabres is the tonic to the offensive woes, but the Sabres will have good first impressions to play for with new head coach Ted Nolan behind the bench.

  1. It was a pretty boring start to this road game, but a relatively safe one from the Leafs perspective. Toronto was doing their their best to force Minnesota wide and was was sending short dumps into the neutral zone and forcing Minnesota to transition.
  2. While focused on tipping a shot on goal, Kadri gave Backstrom a forearm shiver that was avoidable but not pre-meditated. Backstrom was laying motionless on the ice, a sight no one wants to see. The resulting powerplay generated nothing much in the way of opportunities. After Josh Harding took over from Backstrom, Kadri drew a hooking penalty and TO went to the PP. The first shift saw PP#1 with great movement, nice D-to-D passes, and 3-4 shot attempts. PP#2 brought more quick puck movement and chances. Gardiner took a great charge in from the point and got a shot off just before the period ended. Shots were 7-6 Toronto after 20 minutes.
  3. The Leafs had only 11 forwards and were rotating their bottom six lines, but Ashton-McClement-Orr offered a great cycle and were able to eat up zone time in the first. If this team were healthy, this line should be the fourth.
  4. Kadri was at the centre of just about every refereeing decision in this one. In the early second, Cooke drew one by squeezing his legs together for a hook that was really more of a hold on Kadri’s stick. The Leafs killed it off with great work from McClement and Kulemin, especially.
  5. After who else but Kadri got hooked by Charlie Coyle, PP#1 had some trouble getting into a rhythm and another PP chance looked to be waning. PP#2 came to the rescue: Gardiner made a great baseball play to keep the puck in, Rielly walked in off the point and ripped a great rist shot off a quick release, and Harding kicked out a rebound to  Raymond, who made it 1-0 Leafs. This seemed to inject some life into a boring first half of the game.
  6. After the Leafs carried momentum and looked to take over play for a short while, Minnesota came back just as hard and controlled the pace of play. Perhaps it’s Toronto’s injuries or just the makeup of the team, but they are simply not hard enough on pucks and still turning the puck over in dangerous areas of the ice to put their mighty offense to work. It’s a wait-and-see proposition, but you would like to see better battles along the boards and to see players first to pucks more consistently than what the Leafs have been displaying in the last 5 games.
  7. The 3rd period from the Leaf standpoint was drastically hindered by three separate penalties: Jay McClement (Tripping), Jerred Smithson: (Interference), and Nazem Kadri’s 10 Minute Match Penalty for Deliberate injury (Served by Phil Kessel). The Kadri penalty will get a look from the NHL Head Office, but I’m not sure it’s cut and dry; he didn’t leave his feet, his arms were down, but the principal point of his shoulder contact was either the head or just below it. We’ll wait and see on that one. It seemed to look and sound worse in real time than it was on the slow motion replay;  Granlund’s head was down as he fished for the puck, and Kadri seemed to land a tough but clean hit. Kadri’s stick also smacked the boards,  making it sound worse than it was.
  8. Almost half of the 3rd period was spent on the penalty kill. Despite being a “bad Corsi player,” Jay McClement (and Nikolai Kulemin) are absolute machines on the PK.  Active sticks and consistent clearings from both players. Not sure we can emphasize enough how important McClement is as one of the more subtle core pieces on this Leafs team. The Leafs sustained only two shots on a 5 minute penalty kill, and only once allowed Minnesota to set up for sustained zone time.
  9. The Leafs were holding on for dear life in the final ten, and were edging closer to stealing this game. That’s until Kessel capped off a game of whiffing on the puck and struggling to find openings by floating a soft pass in the middle of the slot, intended for Raymond, that was intercepted and left Rielly and Ranger scrambling. A pass out front connected with Parise’s skate and would’ve bounced out of danger, but Kessel was scrambling back and it bounced off of his skate, as well, and went in the empty net. A combination of both a horrible giveaway at a crucial time in the game and poor luck.
  10. 4-on-4 OT didn’t produce anything, but the Leafs outshot the Wild 3-0 during that shortened frame. The shootout saw Parise and Pominville beat Bernier while Kessel did his best Lee Stempniak impression, sort of summing up his night.

The Leafs don’t get a point without Jonathan Bernier’s unshakable play in net, but we’ve almost come to expect it of our goaltenders. Also worth noting on the positive side of the ledger is that the Leafs’ D, 1-7, played well in their own zone. Best defenceman tonight? Paul Ranger. He broke up more than a handful of plays with a strong stick and delivered consistently on his first pass. The game seems to have slowed down for him now that he’s had 15+ to adjust to NHL speed.

The Leafs special teams got back on track after costing the Leafs in Boston on Saturday, going 1 for 3 on the powerplay and 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, which understates their penalty killing excellence on the night given one was a five minute major.

We’ll await word from the league office on any supplemental discipline for Kadri. The one thing this team cannot afford is another lost centre for any length of time.

You be the judge:

Collision with Backstrom:

If Gionta didn’t get suspended….

Hit on Granlund:

You wonder if Kadri throwing any big hit, clean or dirty, was going to get him in trouble after his run in with Backstrom.

Maple Leafs at Wild - November 13th

Leafs 1 at Wild 2.
PLAYERGAP+/-PIMSHITSBKSGVATKAFO%PPTOISHTOITOI
Fraser0000204101-0:00:005:59:0014:26:00
Phaneuf0000006102-3:34:006:04:0027:53:00
Franson0000033300-3:06:000:57:0019:28:00
McClement000021420060%0:00:007:29:0023:37:00
Raymond101-1020020-2:16:003:23:0017:57:00
Ranger000-1000101-0:00:006:37:0018:37:00
Lupul0000513110100%2:27:000:00:0018:19:00
JVR000-104010029%3:07:002:49:0018:44:00
Smithson000021220153%0:00:005:19:0017:26:00
Orr0000002000-0:00:000:00:003:19:00
Gunnarsson0000001311-0:00:006:02:0023:22:00
Ashton0000010000-0:00:000:00:005:38:00
Kulemin0000002100-0:34:007:00:0020:24:00
Kadri0110141111057%2:33:000:00:0016:33:00
Rielly011-1020000-2:23:000:00:0011:07:00
Gardiner0000021031-2:34:000:21:0015:48:00
Clarkson00000131000%3:33:000:00:0016:31:00
Kessel000-1041001-2:13:000:00:0016:07:00
Boxscore   
NONE
2ND PERIOD
7:32:00TOR PPG - Mason Raymond (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Morgan Rielly (6), Nazem Kadri (9)1 - 0 TOR
3RD PERIOD
15:43:00MINZach Parise (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Charlie Coyle (2), Mikko Koivu (11)1 - 1 Tie
OT PERIOD
NONE
SHOOTOUT
PariseScored
RaymondStopped
KoivuStopped
KesselMissed
PominvilleScored
  • http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/ DylanJ

    Declan I agree that Jay McClement is an integral piece
    Mark Fraser is another piece in my humble opinion, the way that guy hits and commands his space consistently is unreal

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Post script – Paul Ranger is playing great.

  • Burtonboy

    DeclanK Is he ever . Best dman on the ice tonight

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Burtonboy DeclanK 
    I’ve been saying it since August; I’d love to see Ranger paired with Dion for a couple of games to see if there is something there as the shut down pair. Way to early in Ranger’s comeback to consider it, perhaps, but I’d like to see it attempted.

  • Uncle Otis

    DylanJ 
    I love Fraser,but he had a few gaffs tonight picking his man up in front on wraparounds/drives.
    Still,he too is easing back into game form
    Need him on his game vs  the big crease crashing teams

  • hometeem

    wats everyones take on nazs extended leave

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    FYI – Granlund is about 5’8/5’9

  • http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/ DylanJ

    hometeem couple games

  • Robbies

    Should pay here in Montreal…he was pissed his hair was mussed

  • Robbies

    No way…

  • Alec Brownscombe

    -Keon- He was fine. Leafs D was pretty good overall.

  • Uncle Otis

    -Keon- 
    Thought Franson played better overall and was VERY physical…he needs to keep that up

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Rielly needed to drain that one. Felt bad for the guy. Can’t buy one at the moment.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Having said that, it’s the NHL – you can’t score along the ice often anymore. That has to go upstairs.

  • Robbies

    Mike Johnston is a completely spineless talent free hack…
    I have worked in media for 30 years and he is a diagrace

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Robbies Someone has to replace Desharnais’ size

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Robbies   Fuck TSN.  Fuck Bell/Rogers !!!!

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    -Keon- You can organize by column heading above. Says none, though that data isn’t 100% accurate, obvs.

  • Robbies

    How about our new mayor…he has some ballast or sure !!

  • Uncle Otis

    Robbies 
    Better still,he somehow schmoozed his way onto the Alumni team
    What a disgrace..I’m pulling for Chelios to take him out with real head shot first shift.

  • Robbies

    Watch my hair….weiner

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    hometeem Both are close, but there was no intent on either, I thought. Took his hit on Granlund who just happened to be the world’s tallest midget. What are you doing to do? 
    As Naz said himself, he was following the puck. He just tipped it off a shot and it hit the post and Backstrom was out of the paint going in Naz’ direction. As said above, there was no pre-meditation to it.

  • DJBrianBurke

    Shift_Disturber1 Abut time McClement started to get his faceoff game back. He was horrible at the start of the season.

  • Uncle Otis

    Robbies 
    Followed by Wendel destroying Chelios…again

  • DJBrianBurke

    DeclanK hometeem If Naz gets suspended for his hit on Granlund how does the NHL explain away most, if not all of Chara’s antics?

  • DJBrianBurke

    DeclanK I’m fine with people hating on Ranger, they are free to do so. But they have to remember 4 years away from a gamae that has changed big time since he last played is not something you overcome in 10 games. Especially for a dman.

  • Uncle Otis

    DJBrianBurke 
    Time for someone to make a highlight reel of suspendable non Bruin calls and embarrass the league

  • DJBrianBurke

    Uncle Otis DJBrianBurke For years I wanted to make “tapes” of call vs noncalls, but I have to work for a living lol

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    DJBrianBurke DeclanK He’s playing like a top 4 D to me right now.

  • DJBrianBurke

    DeclanK DJBrianBurke Then we should be excited to see him in midseason form when it all comes back to him :)

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    DJBrianBurke DeclanK I’ve been pretty stoked on the guy all season, to be honest.

  • DJBrianBurke

    DeclanK DJBrianBurke He’s a pretty polarizing player on this site, but he’s starting to put it together, none too soon I might add.

  • DJBrianBurke

    To add, for the 1000th time, that crosscheck to the shark players jaw at the beginning of the season would be right up there. I would also send it to Walkom/Gregson and the rest of the Dir. of Officiating to get that ref fired.

  • DJBrianBurke

    Shift_Disturber1 Wow both teams sucked in their own zone.

  • Pepe

    Anyone else starting to think, Kadri may be expendable?

  • Kouba

    That match penalty was a joke…
    …however, Kadri should be suspended for the Backstrom incident.

  • Uncle Otis

    If Gunner thinks we “deserved” to lose LAST night’s game,I wonder where he thinks we belong in the standings?
    Behind Buffalo?
    Leafs played an excellent road game and limited The Christmas Elves chances by playing them hard on the wall all night, and taking care of the crease. Ranger’s best game yet as a Leaf and led the D.
    Just really getting tired of brutal officiating..both calls and non-calls.
    That “penalty” to Smithson was a joke,and the Slapshot double hit to Dion from behind was a classic even up chance..as the was highstick in Kessel’s mouth.
    Nope,the song remains the same…especially when  the Leafs travel south of the 49th.

  • Robbies

    We should clone him…..it would be catastrophic to let go
    A fighter like that …Dougie 2.0

  • phaneufoundlander

    Uncle Otis Christmas Elves…My God that’s golden lol Worse jerseys in the league….

  • Knights2Leafs

    @Pepe 
    Yeah, the first time we’ve had anything close to a 1C since Sundin.  Time to get rid of him.
    I hear Tim Connolly might still be available.

  • phaneufoundlander

    @Pepe of course, cuz he’s a Leaf…that fucking runt Gionta in Montreal didn’t get suspended thought when he hit Reimer

  • MaxwellHowe

    I’ve tried to figure out why the Leafs are so often outshot, so often pinned in their zone, and last nite made it very clear:  the forwards are not contributing to the defensive zone clearing nor battling sufficiently for the pucks in the dzone (or the ozone for that matter).
    Last night clarified the issue for me because each Leaf dman came to play and played to their strengths. 
    Now the Leafs are down two centres but, lets face it, the same problems existed when all the Cs were healthy.  This IMO is Carlyle’s greatest challenge – getting the forwards to buy into a system that actually helps create a transition game – of course, getting them to put more effort into it wouldn’t hurt.
    Kadri was playing real well last nite, though his recklessness may cost him a game or 2.  Man, the Leafs need to get those 4 points out of the Sabres this weekend.  McClemment may be the number 2 centre, just behind JVR.  Can we call up Verhaeghe???  Gauthier???

  • Knights2Leafs

    CanuckUKinToronto
    Ask Youknowwhat.  He thinks it’s hilarious that people worry about our center situation.  According to him we have lots of options.

  • phaneufoundlander

    another collapse late in the game….a bush league play by Kessel….man, these leafs will send me to an early grave

  • Great Dane

    It is going to interesting if Bozak, Bolland and Kadri are missing at the same time.

  • Uncle Otis

    phaneufoundlander Uncle Otis 
    Gotta give my wife props for that one Lander
    Walks through the living room and puts on the brakes .. “what the hell…are those their Christmas jerseys?”
    Beer out nose. :)

  • MaxwellHowe

    He’s been stirring the pot lately.  Since Alex went loco with Fenton, MLHS has been down an agent provacatuer, an agitator.  Youknowwhat has stepped in and filled in nicely.  Fenton might be expendable now.  Trade him for one of the ahole Penguin posters.

  • Uncle Otis

    MaxwellHowe 
    I missed the deal with Fenton
    Did Alec bust out the ban hammer?

  • MaxwellHowe

    Uncle Otis MaxwellHowe I don’t think he banned him, but he went postal on Fenton after one of those useless arguments about Kessel’s consistency. But Fenton made it clear he hadn’t intended to rile everyone and said hewanted to avoid those old arguments.  And apprently he has by avoiding the site alotgehter.

  • Uncle Otis

    MaxwellHowe 
    Thanx Max..missed the fun.
    He’s probably chomping at the bit after last night.