Game in 10: Game #20, Leafs 4 vs. Sabres 2

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TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 16: James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck as Tyler Myers #57 and Ville Leino #23 of the Buffalo Sabres defend during NHL game action November 16, 2013 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

Less convincing than it should have been thanks to an atrocious third period, the Leafs grabbed a much-needed two points and split their home and home with the lowly Sabres. It was the Leafs’ first multi-goal game since October 30th vs. Calgary. Let’s never speak of these two games again.

1 – The Leafs were in good shape from puck drop after a good couple of shifts by Trevor Smith, Joffrey Lupul and David Clarkson. Five minutes into the game, a faceoff win by new guy Peter Holland, his second consecutive in the offensive zone, drew the puck back to Kessel, who deferred to the point. Gardiner went D to D to Franson, who threw the puck on net for JvR to tip home. Enroth, fortunately, was playing instead of Miller and looked clueless on this goal. After five games without a goal or a point, four of which were spent at center, JvR was back on the board.

2 – On that line’s next shift, Leafs Nation smiled collectively as JvR and Kessel broke open on a trademark transitional odd man opportunity. With JvR back in his rightful place, the dynamic pairing would’ve been back in business if Kessel had converted on a gimme cross-crease, 2 on 1 chance. Kessel has just been off these last three or four games.

3 – A minute later, Lupul drew a penalty after jumping on a turnover and surging through the middle of the Buffalo defence. Lupul won the draw (on with Kessel and JvR) on the following PP, before pretty much the exact same goal played out for a second time as JvR tipped a Franson point shot past Enroth. Really smart placement on that point shot by Franson, putting it intentionally wide to the right into a tip-able area based on JvR’s positioning. That’s 12 assists on the season for Franson, 9 goals for JvR.

4 – 13 minutes into the game, the Leafs had scored more goals in a single game than their last five outings. The Leafs dominated the first territorially and on the scoreboard, cycling plenty and getting pucks to the net. Carlyle had to have been pleased with the Leafs getting shots to the net with traffic in front during the first period, generating some in-zone offense.

5 – The first ten minutes to the 2nd were low key, save for two Leafs PKs and Steve Ott starting a fight with David Clarkson. The Leafs should’ve put the game out of reach 12 minutes into the 2nd. Paul Ranger started the play off in the Leaf end, before Kulemin made a nice bounce pass to push the puck up the wall to Raymond. Raymond, following a smooth pivot and pass, found a trailing Kulemin for his first of the season. That’s the nice release we see too little of from Kulemin, who came into the game with 2 shots in his previous 7 games.

6 – The Sabres got themselves back into the game three minutes into the 3rd after a bad bounce in the defensive zone off Carl Gunnarsson’s skate sprung into McBain’s wheelhouse at the top of the right circle. A heavy slapshot beat Reimer glove hand high.

7 – The Leafs seemed to think this one was in the bag after 40 and came out dead flat in the third period. The Sabres, trailing by several, had nothing to lose, pressing and pinching aggressively down the walls. The Leafs almost always start turning pucks over in dangerous places when that happens.

8 – The Leafs ended up shorthanded after Phaneuf was felled by a charging neanderthal and a skirmished ensued. Phaneuf was angry and took a cross checking penalty on McCormick, which is obviously a double whammy as Dion is a penalty killing mainstay. The Leafs probably shouldn’t engage in that kind of stuff when trying to hold onto a lead. Neither McClement or Kulemin picked up Tyler Ennis in the slot on the ensuing PK, and James Reimer got caught deep in his net on a stoppable shot.

9 – Worth pointing out a huge shot block from Jake Gardiner on a point blank shot from Steve Ott in the slot after the game was 3-2. The Leafs were playing with fire in the final 10 minutes. There’s something disturbing about getting schooled (14-2 shots before the powerplay) all third period by the worst team in the league. The Leafs were bailed out by a stupid tripping penalty from Ville Leino with a little more than 2 minutes to go. Mason Raymond iced the game for the Leafs on the PP with a minute left in the game. Raymond jumped on a loose puck that caromed off the boards across the offensive zone, and got a friendly deflection off a Sabre stick blade that sent a flutter ball past Enroth (bar down). Two-point night for Raymond (7 goals, 15 points on the season).

10 – Holland was 7 for 11 on draws and put two shots on goal in a pretty safe 12 minutes of work in his Leaf debut. Holland handled himself well for a 22-year-old kid who thought he was a Norfolk Admiral at 10 a.m. this morning and wound up playing for the Leafs, centering Kessel and JvR, 14 hours later. He gets around the rink well for a tall kid. Carlyle kept this line’s minutes limited (12-13 minutes each). Smith, Clarkson and Lupul were leaned on most heavily among the forwards, lining up against the Hodgson-Moulson line throughout much of the night.

Leafs-Sabres-Shot-Location-Data

Sabres at Leafs - November 16

Leafs 4 vs. Sabres 2.
NO.PLAYERPOSGAP+/-PIMSHITSBKSGVATKAFO%PPTOISHTOITOI
2M. FraserD0000002010-0:00:000:00:003:54:00
3D. PhaneufD0110232310-1:49:003:01:0024:16:00
4C. FransonD0221013120-1:38:000:59:0021:24:00
11J. McClementC000120010169%0:00:002:30:0018:31:00
12M. RaymondL1121030000-0:12:000:24:0014:00:00
15P. RangerD0111022400-0:00:001:36:0021:00:00
19J. LupulR0000021001100%1:38:000:00:0020:44:00
21J. van RiemsdykL2020040011100%1:38:001:35:0016:25:00
22J. SmithsonC000000210047%0:00:001:53:009:24:00
23T. SmithC011001200056%0:12:000:00:0020:03:00
24P. HollandC000022110064%0:00:000:00:0011:43:00
28C. OrrR00001200000-0:00:000:00:006:16:00
36C. GunnarssonD000-1203500-0:01:003:38:0026:14:00
38F. McLarenL00001400000-0:00:000:00:006:09:00
41N. KuleminL1011015101-0:00:002:52:0018:00:00
51J. GardinerD0111010031-0:12:000:00:0023:19:00
71D. ClarksonR0110516001100%0:12:000:00:0017:25:00
81P. KesselC0000010001-1:38:000:00:0015:01:00
Goalie
NO.PLAYERSAVESSV%PIMTOI
34J. Reimer (W)33 - 350.943059:35:00
Scoring Summary   
1st Period
5:45:00TORJames van Riemsdyk (8) Slapshot - ASST: Cody Franson (11), Jake Gardiner (4)1 - 0 TOR
13:35:00TORPPG - James van Riemsdyk (9) Tip-in - ASST: Cody Franson (12), Dion Phaneuf (6)2 - 0 TOR
2nd Period
11:49:00TORNikolai Kulemin (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Mason Raymond (8), Paul Ranger (5)3 - 0 TOR
3rd Period
2:15:00BUFJamie McBain (2) Slapshot - ASST: Zemgus Girgensons (5), Marcus Foligno (5)3 - 1 TOR
6:11:00BUFPPG - Tyler Ennis (3) Snap shot - ASST: Matt Moulson (10), Cody Hodgson (9)3 - 2 TOR
18:56:00TORPPG - Mason Raymond (7) Slapshot - ASST: Trevor Smith (1), David Clarkson (3)4 - 2 TOR

  • Black_Hawk

    Anyone got a stream for UFC

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Pretty unreal to see that there was one shot from outside the dots for the Leafs.

  • dontcallmeshirley

    Lesson: You cannot take any opponent for granted.

  • Black_Hawk

    I knew buf would be trouble for us, always have been

  • LeamingtonLeafer

    Wow Stempniak just got shit kicked by Ference, pulled a tooth out afterwards lying on the ice

  • LeamingtonLeafer

    TheCanucksnaphook Yah Stempniak wanted nothing to do with it at all and I can see why.

  • loomx

    Detroit has lost 13 times yet they’re tied with us in the standings. What a joke.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/401920825546121217
    20:03 TOI tonight RT https://twitter.com/mattiaboni Trevor Smith played his 3rd game in three nights in three cities – Cleveland, Buffalo & Toronto

  • rustynail

    LeamingtonLeafer TheCanucksnaphook retaliation for a clean hit yet again

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/mirtlehttps://twitter.com/mirtle/status/401921972805709824
    Peter Holland: “There’s some great centre men here that are just out of the lineup. So every day’s a tryout.”

  • rustynail

    TheCanucksnaphook and all the suspensions

  • wiski

    rustynail Does he have to pass through waivers? If he does he may be gone imo.

  • Burtonboy

    rustynail Decision time for Carlyle . Where does he play when Bozie and Kadri come back.? They can’t put him on the 4th line I don’t think and its BS to put McClement there to play 5 minutes a night with Orr and McLaren. I would retool they 4th line with at least Ashton on one wing and Orr on the other but give them more minutes. Let Holland play 3rd line with Clarkson and Raymond on the wings

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/BrianWGRhttps://twitter.com/BrianWGR/status/401909983148638208
    John Scott – “All of a sudden I’m not allowed to hit him anymore. He’s Princess Phaneuf. It’s a joke” https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Sabres&src=hash

  • GreekGod

    wiski 
    How about you man up drop the gloves with our fighters you fucking pussy. All night he was talking shit but didn’t back it up… finally when shit hit the fan he hid behind the refs. Go figure.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy rustynail JvR – Bozak – Kessel
    Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson
    Raymond  – Holland – Kulemin
    Ashton – McClement – Orr
    Smith’s been good though. Tough. Maybe he goes in for Holland and Holland joins the Marlies.

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy rustynail Switch Kulie and Clarkson

  • wiski

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy rustynail Too many centers all of a sudden. lol

  • GreekGod

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe rustynail 
    Why? Raymond and Kulemin along with McClement played pretty well together as did Clarkson and Lupul.

  • Komas Taberle

    rustynail 
    Wether it’s a bus ride to Preoria or a cab ride to the ACC is up to you.

  • Burtonboy

    GreekGod Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe rustynail I just happen to like Kulie with Lupul and Kadri . They were excellent playing together last yr

  • wiski

    GreekGod wiski https://twitter.com/SeanFitz_Geraldhttps://twitter.com/SeanFitz_Gerald/status/401924448019677184
    53 mins on the bench and THAT’s his best jab? MT https://twitter.com/SNCaroline Tonight in his post game comments, John Scott called Dion Phaneuf a “princess.”

  • GreekGod

    Burtonboy GreekGod Alec Brownscombe rustynail 
    Clarkson needs to play with more offensive players though. Don’t forget with the media that we have here in Toronto… if he doesn’t score, they’ll eat him up. I think we need to give him Lupul and Kadri time.

  • Burtonboy

    GreekGod Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe rustynail Holland and Raymond are pretty dammed offensive

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    https://twitter.com/SeanFitz_Gerald/status/401924952686739457

  • http://www.marconeinvestigates.com/ Marcone9

    GreekGod Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe rustynail He’s also a streaky player, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he scored in bunches after finally getting the monkey off his back

  • Wilbur

    Burtonboy GreekGod Alec Brownscombe rustynail Yeah, I like the idea of spreading the wealth around. I think Holland between Raymond and Clarkson could be quite effective.

  • Komas Taberle

    wiski Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy rustynail 
    Easier to convert a centre to wing than it is a wing to centre

  • Tim Horton

    wiski I agree with him… Other than the princess phaneuf part obviously… Scott, Orr and Mclaren all got 10  minutes essential for what they might do later in the game… I get why the refs would want to control the situation but if anyone else on the ice got into  that skirmish nothing would come from it.

  • Komas Taberle

    URL for UFC fight tonight

    http://88.80.11.29/68065/watch-ufc-167-st-pierre-vs-hendricks

  • B_Leaf

    That game tonight was hard on the eyes.

  • Jmessih

    Komas Taberle The GSP fight is at midnight correct?

  • DJBrianBurke

    GreekGod wiski Only time I actually saw him talking and eyeing a guy was from behind the linesmen. Ohhh big, tough Scott. “If this guy wasn’t holding me back I would….” yeah run away.

  • DJBrianBurke

    Tim Horton wiski I think it was a mistake for the refs to do so. Now it’s just going to stew for even longer. All that would have happened was Maclaren would have fought McComrick (sp?) and maybe Orr would have pummeled Scott and it would have been over.

  • ConnorCrisp

    Or a stagecoach to Edmonton….

  • Burtonboy

    So Nolan told Scott he didn’t want anymore staged fights .

  • DJBrianBurke

    Burtonboy Not sure how any Leaf fighting Scott would be staged. They’re not happy with his shenanigans.

  • Tim Horton

    gsp is being overmatched… uhoh

  • Burtonboy

    DJBrianBurke Burtonboy What Nolan said he does not understand why to guys lined up at a faceoff just drop the gloves and fight . He told Scot the doesn’t want to see it any more. He’s not against fighting and believes it should be in the game but not fighting like that. Said it make no sense

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Tim Horton He needs a ko now.

  • DJBrianBurke

    Burtonboy DJBrianBurke Right, so that’s my point, any fight Scott would have tonight would not have been staged. It’s been weeks in the making.

  • Tim Horton

    TuckerForPunishment Tim Horton its hard for the challenger to win by decision. But GSP really didnt do anything great this fight.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Tim Horton TuckerForPunishment Split to Hendricks.  IMO.

  • Tim Horton

    TuckerForPunishment Tim Horton WOW gsp holds on.

  • LeamingtonLeafer

    TuckerForPunishment Tim Horton  Wow Definetly thought it was going to Hendricks too. Seems like bullshit

  • TuckerForPunishment

    LeamingtonLeafer TuckerForPunishment Tim Horton Fucking refs/judges always in favor of MTL.  lol

  • Komas Taberle

    GSP wins the refs are in the French Canadians corner not only in hockey.

  • Tim Horton

    LeamingtonLeafer TuckerForPunishment Tim Horton You pretty much have to knock out the champ in order to get the title.

  • Tim Horton

    GSP on hiatus.  good choice after tonight.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Tim Horton Movies?