Game in 10: Game #22 – Predators 4 at Leafs 2

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Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images

A promising first period went badly astray as the Leafs had their five-game home winning streak snapped by four unanswered goals from the Nashville Predators. The Leafs move to 13-8-1 on the season.

1 – At least there were some things to like about the Leafs’ first period.

The Leafs needed some Bernier heroics on an early PK (Kadri offensive zone holding penalty) before they took control of the opening period. Forgettable game for Bernier aside, he has an amazing ability to make really tough saves look routine with sharp reads and good positional sense. He was two-steps ahead in his read on a really nice passing play by the Preds on their early PP before making a great pad save.

2 – A few shifts after the PK, a strong drive by David Clarkson, initiating a cycle with a strong one-armed board play, seemed to get the Leafs going. A few positive shifts later, a good play by Kulemin on the boards (this is a recording) to suck in and hold off the pinching defenceman in the neutral zone got the scoring play started. Kulemin chipped a Rielly stretch pass to Peter Holland, who had gathered speed through through the middle and hit the zone with speed before beating Marek Mazanec with a nice shot from the left circle. Great wheels on display there from the new guy, and a good shot caught Mazanec deep in his net.

Peter Holland’s first:

3 – One thing you’ll notice about all of the Leafs new additions is their ability to skate well. While not picturesque, Clarkson’s stride is quite efficient and he gets around the rink/covers ice well. Holland showed good top speed on that goal (also a previous Underhill understudy). Bolland is a pretty good skater, too. The identity on this club is that of a skating team. This strength can be utilized on a cycle, too, if the Leafs can ever figure out that part of their game consistently. This is a skating team that would love to trade chances if the opponent allows it. Unfortunately, at times the Leafs can be one-dimensional, or struggle to use their speed altogether.

4 – Speaking of which, the Leafs were skating well in the first, breezing through the neutral zone and hitting the Preds’ zone speed (starts with better breakouts). The Leafs enjoyed two consecutive powerplay opportunities after taking the 1-0 lead and generated a number of good chances in the goalmouth area (Clarkson hit a post). The Leafs should’ve been up by more than one after the first 20. They would soon regret it.

5 – An unfortunate high sticking double minor on Mason Raymond 1:25 into the period set the stage for a second-frame letdown as well as the tying goal in the early 2nd. Early in the powerplay, Seth Jones got a deflection off Jay McClement’s stick and the high-rising point shot beat Bernier.

The Leafs escaped the remainder of the four-minute penalty kill, but started to sag and became reactive after conceding the 1-1 goal. A few minutes later, the top line was caught flat footed and puck watching as Matt Cullen slipped into the slot unmarked and put the Preds ahead 2-1. No reason for that goal to happen when the Leafs had the numbers.

6 – The Predators were bogging the Leafs down through the neutral ice much more effectively in the second and found structure in their game. On a rare appearance for the Leafs in the offensive zone in this period, a suspect call on JvR for a hard play in the offensive zone led to another powerplay goal against. I hate pulling the ref card, but I thought this was a brutal call. The Leafs got unwound by penalties in this period and the PK was not up to the task tonight.

On the late penalty kill, Phaneuf and McClement lost the battle in the corner and got beat to the front after the puck went around back of the net. Craig Smith jumped on a pass out front to make it 3-1 Predators.

7 – You knew what to expect from the Predators in the third period as Barry Trotz’s team clogged up the neutral zone and shut the game down. The Leafs tried to get pucks in deep but struggled to retrieve. Attempts to carry over the blueline usually resulted in a turnover.

8 – The Predators put the game out of reach five minutes into the third. The Leafs won a defensive zone draw only to turn the puck over up the boards. Another turnover later, Craig Smith threw the puck on net from the sideboards and it caught Bernier in an awkward spot on the top of the shoulder as he squeezed the post. Bernier lost the rebound and it bounced in behind him, all but ending this game with 15 minutes to go. Pretty rare that we’ve seen a Leaf goalie get beat from there this season. The Ranger and Rielly pairing had a few rough shifts against Smith – Cullen – Spaling line, but more than anything Bernier needs to have that.

9 – Nazem Kadri threw a puck on net out of desperation and got a bounce to go in for him with 4 minutes left, making this game briefly interesting. Also rare to see the Leafs throw pucks on net from that area of the ice, but the Preds were giving them nothing in this period. At a certain point, getting pucks to the net with traffic has to be more of an impulse for this team when it’s all that is available. Peter Holland rang the iron with a really nice release shortly thereafter; a few inches lower and it would have made for a thrilling finish.

10 – Adjustments by the Predators, an inability for the Leafs to readjust, and penalty trouble sunk the Leafs in this one. Can’t rely on the goaltender every night (just most nights, apparently). The Predators had won only one game this season when trailing after the first before tonight’s win. Worth acknowledging that this is a Predators team that has been finding their stride as of late, with combined 9-2 wins over Detroit and Chicago coming into the game.

The Leafs welcome Alex Ovechkin and Mikhail Grabovski’s Washington Capitals to the ACC on Saturday. James Reimer should start or it’s a crime.

Leafs/Preds Shot Location Data
Leafs/Preds Shot Location Data

Predators at Leafs - November 21

Predators 4 at Leafs 2.
NO.PLAYERPOSGAP+/-PIMSHITSBKSGVATKAFO%PPTOISHTOITOI
3D. PhaneufD0001010111-2:28:003:54:0021:41:00
4C. FransonD0000013122-2:28:001:11:0021:29:00
11J. McClementC00000020120%0:00:004:41:0012:12:00
12M. RaymondL0112430001-1:00:000:00:0015:26:00
15P. RangerD000-1001020-0:07:001:48:0017:24:00
19J. LupulR000-1024020-2:53:000:00:0019:07:00
21J. van RiemsdykL000-12100000%3:00:001:58:0018:12:00
22J. SmithsonC000000300088%0:00:002:14:0010:05:00
23T. SmithC000-103221036%0:00:000:00:0015:12:00
24P. HollandC101101800033%0:00:000:00:0013:21:00
28C. OrrR0001002100-0:00:000:00:007:08:00
36C. GunnarssonD0001003410-0:00:003:54:0017:39:00
41N. KuleminL0111020000100%0:00:002:31:0016:11:00
43N. KadriC101022402145%1:07:000:00:0014:11:00
44M. RiellyD022-1024110-1:32:000:00:0018:04:00
51J. GardinerD0000012100-1:25:000:37:0021:29:00
71D. ClarksonR000-1033110-1:00:000:00:0016:56:00
81P. KesselC000-10400300%3:00:000:00:0014:20:00
Goalie
NO.PLAYERSAVES - SHOTSSV%PIMTOI
45J. Bernier24 - 280.857057:29:00
SCORING SUMMARY   
1ST PERIOD
5:48:00TORPeter Holland (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Nikolai Kulemin (3), Morgan Rielly (7)1 - 0 TOR
2ND PERIOD
2:01:00NSH PPG - Seth Jones (3) Slapshot - ASST: Matt Cullen (4), Colin Wilson (7)1 - 1 Tie
11:14:00NSHMatt Cullen (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Gabriel Bourque (4), Craig Smith (8)2 - 1 NSH
16:25:00NSH PPG - Craig Smith (5) Snap shot - ASST: Colin Wilson (8), Matt Cullen (5)3 - 1 NSH
3RD PERIOD
4:32:00NSHCraig Smith (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Cullen (6)4 - 1 NSH
15:28:00TORNazem Kadri (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Mason Raymond (9), Morgan Rielly (8)4 - 2 NSH
  • Burtonboy

    Carlyle presser live 
    http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/v2/ext/live/

  • Burtonboy

    Rask just blew a gasket lol

  • LeafsForLife

    Good job Alec. Ty for game in 10.
    Disappointing loss tonight.

  • Loric76

    Just watched Kadri’s post game interview, love that he’s as articulate and insightful as he is, and doesn’t just stick with the cliche answers like most players

  • Loric76

    Alec if you’re readying this, Livefyre is really shitting the bed atm…I have to refresh between each post, otherwise everytime I try to post it errors out with the red error box on the bottom right of the comment box (coincidentally with no error message, it’ just the error box)

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy lol again?

  • MaxwellHowe

    Everything was going fine Alex, until you suggested the Preds needed to start clogging up the neutral zone or the Leafs would burn them.  So this one is entirely on you my friend.  Save your insight for our team.

  • LeafsForLife

    Loric76 I get that but im refreshing just to see more comments.

  • LeafsForLife

    St. L. beats bruins 3-2 in SO.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/mirtlehttps://twitter.com/mirtle/status/403718306089009152
    Carlyle: “We were flat after the first period… The game turned and we couldn’t get it back.”

  • Burtonboy

    LeafsForLife Thats why Rask blew a gasket . Went ballistic lol

  • LeafsForLife

    Burtonboy LeafsForLife Oh didnt know about that. Was that in the shootout or something? lol

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 He also said some responsibility lies with the coaching staff for having a full practice on game day

  • Burtonboy

    LeafsForLife Burtonboy Yep . Slamming the stick over the cross bar and slamming it on the ice all the way back to the bench

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy Loric76 ya just watching it now, good on him for directing the blame onto himself and off the players.  I’m not sure I completely buy it but its what good coaches & leaders do

  • rustynail

    Loric76 Burtonboy  something his predecessor never said

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 Burtonboy Made some good points actually . No puck luck

  • Loric76

    TheCanucksnaphook lol that’s gotta be it.  Get the pitchforks

  • LeafsForLife

    Burtonboy LeafsForLife Thats the way he used to be and seemed to settle down. I still think if you get in his grill a bit he loses his cool. Its not good for him to be doing that though. Bad sportsmanship.

  • Loric76

    rustynail Loric76 Burtonboy nope.  Burke did it great tho

  • Burtonboy

    LeafsForLife Burtonboy Pretty immature display to be honest

  • BPsotka

    I thought JvR deserved that penalty. I don’t think its called enough, but it is contact that shouldn’t happen.
    Good writeup, I hadn’t noticed all of our new additions are good skaters, but I like it. 
    Clarkson looked great tonight.
    That being said, I thought a few calls against the Predators were missed.
    Holland looked terrific and dangerous through the night, and it would have been an entirely different game if that had been more than a post at the end. Reilly looked great as well, especially paired with Gardiner on the PP. Our PP alone deserved a couple goals in the first, what with effective cycling and movement through the zone. At the end of the day, it was a game where power plays were better than penalty kills, and Bozak really could have been the difference.
    Also if Kessel’s wrist really is bothering him, an out-of-conference game would have been a perfect one for him to miss- except I suspect RC wanted Phil to build on his strong two-goal effort on Tuesday.

  • Loric76

    TheCanucksnaphook Loric76 I blame the PPP guys.  Not sure why or how yet, but somehow they’re responsible.  I just know it

  • Jordan29

    The good – Clarkson
    The bad- ……..fuck this Im going to bed.

  • Burtonboy

    BPsotka Carlyle was asked in the presser if he was banged up and he said no more then any other player

  • Loric76

    Jordan29 The good – Holland too

  • MaxwellHowe

    Jordan29 no one was particularly bad (though Franson was really sucky at times).  Just little team effort and enthusiasm.  No hitting, no edge

  • Burtonboy

    BPsotka Besides if it was anything serious they would have sat him out

  • Jordan29

    TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29 wasnt a bad game really, they didnt play great but not as bad as people are saying. Just bad luck and not scoring when getting chances

  • Loric76

    TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29 if they weren’t so good in the 1st I don’t think most would have been so disappointed with the 2nd and 3rd.  They weren’t good, but they weren’t all that bad either.  But they were amazing in the 1st so the rest of the game was awful by comparison.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/MapleLeafshttps://twitter.com/MapleLeafs/status/403721982060945408
    Congrats to https://twitter.com/PeterHolland13 who scored his 1st goal as a Leaf tonight https://twitter.com/search?q=%23TMLtalk&src=hash https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash http://t.co/QscFrk5exu

  • LeafsForLife

    Just a question to make sure i understand how things are done. With regards to shootouts and OT, is it 1 point for losing either?

  • rustynail

    LeafsForLife yup

  • http://www.felixvandijk.com/ felixjvd

    Yes, the call on van Riemsdyk was indeed brutal.  They were down 2-1 still a close game and with the ref blowing that call the Leafs were down 3-1.  Another instance of a ref helping out the opposition against the Leafs.  I was watching the game at home in Brooklyn, NY on Center Ice and had the Predators feed.  The Predators announcer when seeing the replay on the penalty call said “That call was very suspect”.

  • LeafsForLife

    rustynail LeafsForLife thx rusty. that really sucks though. Det has 7 OT points. Just not right in my mind.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/Mish2626https://twitter.com/Mish2626/status/403724792928272384
    Next time you’re in a hotel… http://t.co/AC8rOq9imw

  • LeafsForLife

    Loric76 lol looks more like a jail cell than a motel room

  • Wilbur

    It’s a little early in the season still but I wonder if Nonis is getting prepared for the once per year Burkian visit to the dressing room to remind the players the coach is going nowhere and it might be wise they start to bring it every period and not just certain periods? Carlyle has also done a tremendous job with how he has handled his young troops to date. I remember him explaining in a presser last year that you can’t yell and scream at a young team. However, I wonder if it’s becoming time for him to turn the heat up somewhat. At some point the boys have to become men and understand that it’s not acceptable to put in a less than best effort on average throughout games. There’s been far too many periods the team as a whole has gone MIA throughout this early season.

  • Zep2

    Rielly 2 apples  but a minus 1.  A Karlson like performance.
    I didn’t see the game, anyone have  comments on his play

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Shot location data is there if you want it. Refresh page

  • LeafsForLife

    DeclanK ty sir

  • Burtonboy

    Zep2 Nothing at all like the swedish sieve in his own end

  • Wilbur

    Zep2 The team had an excellent first period and failed to bury their chances. At some point during the first intermission they dozed off and woke up late in the third period.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/jonasTSN1050https://twitter.com/jonasTSN1050/status/403726316836380672
    Asked whether Kessel was banged up, Carlyle said, “I think all our players have bumps and bruises. They all have their ailments.”

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/403726572948955136
    Only other time Kessel played fewer than 16 minutes this season was in EDM blowout in which he was rested in 3rd (1st game of back to back)

  • Zep2

    Burtonboy Zep2 Easy now BB, Melnyk and his private dicks might be lurking

  • LeafsForLife

    I expect Leafs will be much better on Saturday. Happy Grabo is doing well, so long as its not against the Leafs.

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 Burtonboy I have no doubt he’s banged up a bit but if it was anything more then some nagging injury he would be sat out

  • DJBrianBurke

    felixjvd Also Kardi’s “holding” call was very weak, they let that same play go in the 3rd.

  • Burtonboy

    Zep2 Burtonboy Rielly is Shea Weber in his own end compared to Karlsson