Lower scoring than one might have expected, this game was more entertaining than the scoreline suggests. The Leafs won the special teams battle and the shootout thanks to Mr. Saturday Night, James Reimer, to move to 14-8-1 on the season.
1 – A pretty fun first period to watch; it was a five-on-five, penalty-free track meet as both teams were skating well while playing a loose and structure-free game. Good goaltending at both ends kept it even. For the Leafs, the biggest positive was a really good period from Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson line, which looked as good as we imagined it in the off season. After a few iffy shifts to start the game, this line established some traction for the Leafs with a good cycle, and continued driving play in the right direction all period.
2 – Clarkson’s most obvious asset is his forecheck and ability to protect the puck adeptly, which sustains offensive zone time, but it’s worth pointing out a few small plays by Clarkson on a shift with around 5 minutes to go in the first; in the defensive zone, he chipped a puck through his legs to Lupul up the wall with a man on his back, then he picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and carried the play forward. This is a good possession player.
Here was an example of him in the second period with a good backcheck before turning the puck up ice and hitting the post:
3 – Penalty free hockey no longer in the second. After some defensive zone confusion led to a Raymond hooking penalty, the Leafs were naturally devoting a lot of attention to #8 and got a confidence-building first kill for the recently-struggling units. Another penalty to the Leafs had us holding our breath a few minutes later, this time on Phaneuf for having his leg hugged after dropping Johansson by the Leaf bench. Scott Gordon had Jay McClement sag down off the point to shadow Ovechkin to the side of the net. You’re going to take point shots from John Carlson and Niklas Backstrom before giving Ovechkin room to breathe, I guess. Reimer was eating point shots for breakfast on the second Washington powerplay of the period to preserve the 0-0 scoreline.
4 – The Leafs were pinned in for a spell after killing off the penalty, before Nazem Kadri (of course) drew a penalty to send the Leafs to the man advantage. A high point shot from Jake Gardiner was tipped down by Clarkson to give the Leafs the lead. That’s the 15th time in 24 games the Leafs have opened the scoring, complete with a Clarkson death stare after the goal. Is #71 earning his paystubs lately, or what? Four points in his last five games as well as all of those other consistent efforts he brings in the dirty and small-detail areas of the game.
5 – Scary moment for Mikhail Grabovski at the end of the 2nd period, as he dove to try to retrieve a puck and Clarkson’s skate caught him right in the face. Grabovski returned to the game 20 stitches later in the third period. Tough SOB. In a scary moment for the Leafs, Joel Ward caught David Clarkson with a head clip as Clarkson finished his shot in the offensive zone. Clarkson went to the bench, but came right back on for his next shift.
6 – Another big penalty kill a minute into the third period against the league’s second best powerplay. This time Smithson was draped over Ovechkin as the Leafs let the Capitals hang onto the puck high in the zone and watched the seconds tick by. The PK was intentionally passive, but Scott Gordon’s gameplan worked tonight. Going 3 for 3 against a top notch powerplay like Washington is hopefully the confidence booster the penalty kill needed to get itself back on track going forward.
7 – I wish I could frame Phaneuf’s game and hand it out as a flyer when the Phaneuf signing happens and the outrage floods out from the darkest corners of the fan base. Phaneuf gave little space and no easy minutes to Ovechkin and Backstrom throughout the night. He nearly scored twice, too; he was robbed by Holtby off a cross crease pass in the second period and he hit a post in the third period. For those counting, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Semin, Kane, Toews, Hossa, Perry, Getzlaf, Tavares, Backstrom, Ovechkin have combined for two goals against the Leafs. Gunnarsson was sturdy, too, and played one of his better games of the season, breaking up a lot of plays. The McClement line cut down on Backstrom and Ovechkin’s time and space pretty effectively for the most part.
8 – One of those two goals, unfortunately, came tonight. After a near-goal off a JvR rush, the Capitals airmailed a puck in Ovechkin’s direction that was going to bounce to Phaneuf but had some vicious backspin spin on it, falling perfectly into Ovechkin’s path for Great 8 to snap home. Much like the Minnesota game, the Leafs played a good defensive game for the most part but spent way too much time in their own end with a one-goal lead.
9 – The Leafs’ odds weren’t great going into the shootout against a Capitals team that has won five of them this season. Despite falling 1-0 down after one round, JvR and Lupul scored a couple of beauties and James Reimer turned aside Ovechkin and Backstrom attempts to pull out the win. Reimer is the first of five goalies to stop Backstrom in the shootout this season, and it took a great glove save on a blazing wrister with the game on the line.
10 – Just when the starts seemed to be favouring Jonathan Bernier, James Reimer battles back, as he always does, with a sterling performance. 50 effing shots. Let’s face it, if there’s ever a team that needed an amazing 1A/1B tandem…
Braden Holtby didn’t go untested, either. The Leafs had a number of good looks, especially off the rush. The Leafs weathered loads of shots from the perimeter in this game, but winning with one-goal while facing 50-shots is not exactly an exercise in playing the odds. Thanks go to Reimer.
|10:08:00||TOR||PPG - David Clarkson (2) Tip-in - ASST: Jake Gardiner (5), Nazem Kadri (10)||1 - 0 TOR|
|15:50:00||WSH||Alex Ovechkin (20) Snap shot - ASST: Mike Green (12)||1 - 1 Tie|
|James van Riemsdyk||Scored|
|21||J. van Riemsdyk||L||0||0||0||-1||0||2||3||0||0||1||50%||0:53:00||1:28:00||18:54:00|
|34||J. Reimer (W)||49 - 50||0.98||0||65:00:00|
|45||J. Bernier||0 - 0||0||0||0:00:00|
Just a quick question... Why is the shot location chart always a mirror image of where the shots come from? You notice it with the goals. For example, Ovechkin's goal comes from the left-wing, whereas the chart clearly has it coming from the RW. I have noticed this with a few Game in 10s.
I bet you as the season moves along those other goalies will crumble. They can't sustain those high numbers playing fifty plus games. While the Leafs will have two fresh goalies going into the playoffs. Think about it, if they get rid of Liles, they have enough money to sign Reimer in the three mil range and can do an extension on Bernier also. If one wants to leave for more then you'll know who the real team player is. That will be the one that will play his heart out for the Leafs. The Leafs best strategy this yr. was having two top goalies to use.
Completely and utterly off topic but everyone should read this article. It's an incredible conglomerate of The Right Honorable Stephen Harper and his "accomplishments" as our great leader. Everything in this article is 100% factual.
What happened to Canada? Harper has made us into a right-wing petro state
http://www.marlies.ca/news/news.asp?story_id=2882 Marlies highlights.
Just watched the post-game interview of Reimer and I honestly have no idea what is going to happen with the goalie situation (keep both? Trade one? Which one?) Thoughts? Its hurting my brain because I love Reims
So Gleason for Liles looks more and more like a possibility to happen eh? they been scouting us and we them. Both have similar term and cap hits. They need a puck mover and I guess we could use more of a shut down guy to balance out the D pairings. Hope its something more then that (E.Staal :)) but unlikely.
@Great Dane Morning GD . Anthony's note book usually comes out sometime today . Hasn't missed many Mondays this yr.
@TuckerForPunishment Thanks for posting this. I think Canadians need to stand up and take action. The more big business runs this country the less us people will have.
Rabble?.....Rabble?........Rabble????? some interesting points but rabble is obviously discredited in my eyes. ethicaloil.ca take a look.
who cares. I wish there was a dislike button.
@TuckerForPunishment Depends on the night, and the matchup. Both solid.
@TuckerForPunishment if Bernier hadnt let in 2 soft soft goals id agree... those always stick in my mind... reimer yet to let a real weak one in... lokks shakier but has done the task.... man these 2 guys are great
@Loric76 I hope we don't get Gleason. I would prefer to just keep Liles.
@Jmessih No team in the NHL dominates any other team for the whole game. Unrealistic expectations.
@Jmessih lol can you say pumped
@KingKadri Keep both. Start a revolution.
@KingKadri enjoy having two good goalies is my opinion
I could looks this up, but am to lazy.
Anyways, is Gleason a right-handed shot?
@Black_Hawk There must be other pieces involved in this possible trade. I don't think Carolina would need this much time to scout Liles.
@Black_Hawk Liles' cap hit is less than Gleason's even and Liles is more likely to be able to play RD so no benefit for getting Gleason IMO
@Black_Hawk How good is Gleason?
@Burtonboy Morning BB - just needs my Monday mid-day hockey fix. LOL
@WendelBark @TuckerForPunishment I always find these sort of comments funny, he obviously cares. That's one person who cares. You're someone who doesn't care. That makes you the opposition to his opinion, or just someone who's strongly indifferent. I STRONGLY OPPOSE ANY THOUGHT THAT I DON'T LIKE OR UNDERSTAND !
I wonder if its in my best interest that you're politically absent, someone who doesn't care. You realize it makes the votes of those who do care worth more right ? So in return, those that care get to speak for you. Ironic because you're speaking out against them for caring for you.
Some "insider" was speculating that a Liles/Gleason swap would makes sense.
Myself, I really don't see if making any sense for Toronto.
@PepTalk @Black_Hawk To be honest im not sure but he got a 4M dollar deal from them and I got to believe there is a good reason for that. they say he has fallen off with them and just needs a change of scenery. I wouldn't mind giving him a shot since he would provide a position as a shut down we need more then Liles as a offensive dman. wose comes to worse he comes here and we waive him like lilles.
@Great Dane @Burtonboy My fear is Gleason would turn out to be another O'Byrne with a terrible contract . As for the goalies Nonis would have know they would work well together from that WC experience. Honestly I wasn't sure about the deal at first because I'm a huge Reimer fan but it sure looks like he made the right move on this one .
@Burtonboy Well - I still wouldn't be surprised if they pulled the tricker on the deal. But he will have to come at a discount to Liles. Nonis and Loiselle are very good at finding players that are cast-offs from other teams and turn them into good use.
And goalies Bernier/Reimer what a duo. Read somewhere that Nonis had put them together at the WC to check out if they could work together.
What a homerun for Nonis.
@Burtonboy Still a long way to that for me.
So what is Loiselle and Nonis up to right now?
@Great Dane Just got up . Waiting for the coffee to brew . Nothing wrong with retired life once you get used to it .
Politics is a joke. You vote for people you've never met and don't even know, except what the media says about them. That's laughable. If This country is going down the tube it's because we the people don't throw the whole lot of stinking politicians and their elitist enablers out the window. But people are so dumbed down by these snakes and their puppet media propaganda machines that they can't do anything than believe whatever they read in the newpaper or hear on T.V., the place where critical thinking emanates from. lol.
@TuckerForPunishment @lukethenuke Both will be solid in 5 years. Its silly to think that just because one goalie is better one game, let alone one year, that another goalie wont be better the next. Marty Brodeur is one of the best goalies of all time, is that because he won the vezina every year, or was the best goalie every year? No, because he wasn't, however, he consistently did his thing. In 5 years, Reimer may come out ahead, but what happens in year 6? Everything is subject to change from game to game and season to season. I suspect that both will be really good goalies in the future, just as they are today.
Not saying Nonis isn't in on him, but just saying I wouldn't be interested.
If he was a right handed shot, I might consider bringing him in, but don't think he is good enough to knock any of our current defencemen off the roster.
Hell, it could probably be argued that we have better players with the Marlies.