Home Game Day Game in 10: Game #31, Bruins 5 at Leafs 2

Game in 10: Game #31, Bruins 5 at Leafs 2

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The opposite of the typical Leaf game from earlier in the season. A decent even-strength performance by the Leafs, but the game was lost on special teams and an uncharacteristic bad goal on the Leaf netminder. The Leafs again played the Bruins pretty even, but can’t find a way to beat this team.

1 – An excellent opening period of hockey from the Leafs. Toronto came out with a better energy level in the back to back situation than the Bruins, and outworked them for much of the period.

2 – Jake Gardiner continues to make good things happen, jumping up into the play 12 minutes into the 1st period. With Holland on briefly with Raymond and Clarkson, Pete jumped on a rebound off of Gardiner’s second shot at the net and jammed it in at the back post. Good work around the net by David Clarkson to draw attention and open up some space.

3 – John-Michael Liles made a couple of clever little plays in the first period to evade a forechecker and get the Leafs out of the zone. He combined with Gardiner for some nice puck movement on powerplay unit #2 on the Leafs‘ lone powerplay in the period. Throughout the game, he also helped sustain some cycles with timely pinching, an asset of a mobile D. Unfortunately, Liles left the game after taking a hit pinching down the boards in the third, and it looked as though his head was jarred on the contact.

4 – For whatever reason, this team has been unable to sustain the intensity level for 60 minutes at any point this season, and started losing the lion’s share of puck battles in the second period. Combine that with avoidable penalties, a bad goal on Bernier, and you’ve got the makings of a nightmare period. Come the end of 40, it was 3-1 Bruins.

5 – It all started with a puck-over-the-glass delay of game call against Carter Ashton. The Leafs won two draws to start this penalty kill, but couldn’t clear on either. On the second draw win, Dion Phaneuf didn’t get his clearance airborne after the faceoff win, which sent the PK scrambling. Gunnarsson was late arriving to pick up a man in front, and after a couple of passes Carl Soderberg made it 1-1 on the doorstep.

6 – A minute later, Carl Gunnarsson hammered a pointshot into a shinpad and took a hooking penalty scrambling back. The Leafs went right back to the PK. Another blown clearance – this time from Mason Raymond – led to a goal against. A hard shot from the left circle from Tory Krug, according to Jonathan Bernier, took a deflection off Jake Gardiner’s shin pad and in. The Bruins took a 2-1 lead just like that.

Looking forward to Gus’ system analysis early this week on what’s slipped on this penalty kill. It is certainly being put to work far too often. The Leafs lead the league in penalty kill time with over 121 minutes against over 31 games. It’s not always defensive zone penalties, and it doesn’t seem to be 100% related to zone time – the Leafs are taking dumb penalties all over the ice.

7 – With four minutes to go in the second period, a point shot off a lost draw got through Jonathan Bernier’s legs for a goal that needed to be stopped. That stood up as the game winner.

8 – After a draw win by McClement in the first minute of the third period, McClement beat Soderberg to the front of the net and finished off the rebound from Kulemin and Holland’s shots. Finally, some secondary point production, i.e. points from players not named JvR, Kessel, Kadri or Raymond. Holland had a goal and an assist; Clarkson grabbed an assist, his first point in 8 games; Jay McClement scored his first of the season (and just his third point).

There were a couple of good cycle shifts by a thrown-together combination of Kulemin, McClement and Holland in the third period.

9 – This game was over after Milan Lucic went in beast mode with four minutes to go. Phil Kessel gave up on the battle after getting beat to the puck in the offensive zone, Dion Phaneuf got caught flat footed and was skated around with ease, Lucic – with a full head of steam through the neutral zone – gained the edge on Carl Gunnarsson and found Jarome Iginla in front to put the game out of reach at 4-2.

10 – An empty netter from Patrice Bergeron made this game look more out of reach than it was. This was a winnable game, and the Leafs inability to avoid their one-horrendous-period and stupid penalty habits sunk them tonight.

In terms of the performance of the Leafs’ best players tonight, we may have been seeing the after effects of 28 minutes for Phaneuf and 24-25 minutes for JvR, Kessel and Kadri last night, as feared. On the upside, the Leafs got a kick in terms of secondary production to at least keep them in this game. Still not good enough. The 5-game stretch from hell starts with a loss, and the disappointing part is that there was at least a point to be had.

Leafs-Bruins-Shots-Data

NO.
PLAYER
POS
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
S
HITS
BS
GVA
TVA
FO%
PPTOI
SHTOI
TOI
3D. PhaneufD000-2033110-5:46:002:25:0022:05:00
4C. FransonD0001015210-3:08:001:07:0021:26:00
11J. McClementC101104100074%0:08:002:25:0012:59:00
12M. RaymondL0000030010-2:10:001:20:0018:19:00
15P. RangerD000-1024002-0:00:001:17:0017:45:00
21J. van RiemsdykL000-2033002-5:42:000:43:0024:48:00
23T. SmithC000-100220061%2:10:000:11:0017:08:00
24P. HollandC112201000040%0:00:000:00:0010:35:00
26J. LilesD000-1001211-2:14:000:05:0017:17:00
29J. D'AmigoR000-1002000-0:00:001:07:005:00:00
36C. GunnarssonD000-1222420-0:08:001:46:0016:06:00
37C. AshtonR00002110000%0:08:000:00:005:29:00
38F. McLarenL0000000000-0:00:000:00:003:44:00
41N. KuleminL0111023200-0:08:001:23:0012:29:00
43N. KadriC000-220200141%5:42:000:00:0023:23:00
51J. GardinerD0112013100-4:44:000:34:0025:21:00
71D. ClarksonR0110234130-4:17:000:00:0018:34:00
81P. KesselC000-2060010-5:35:000:05:0024:36:00
Goalie
NO.PLAYERSAVES - SHOTSSV%PIMTOI
45J. Bernier34 - 380.895057:19:00
Review overview
Forwards - 60 %
Defence - 60 %
Goaltending - 65 %
Special Teams - 10 %
Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. Contact him at [email protected]

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67 comments
StanSmith
StanSmith

The whole 2nd period wasn't a bad period.  The leafs actually dominated the first 5 minutes of it before taking the 2 penalties, gave up the short handed goals, then sagged a bit for the next 5.  They were actually starting to carry the play again when Boston scored their 3rd. 

NotSince67
NotSince67

Just gonna put this here but just checked the boxscores from UMD's games this weekend (I do every weekend) but Toninato missed the second game, but lead the team in faceoffs on Friday night, going 9-18 in the circle (Camerenesi went 4-15, 5-10). That has been a theme of late, Toninanto being used heavily for faceoffs, around 50%, and far better than Camerenesi. I have not seen any of the games but it makes me wonder about how the coach is using the two players, and the fact he clearly trusts Toninato to be out there for the draws.

I would sort of bare out though. Jim Hughes seemed really impressed with him. I heard somewhere he was maybe THE BEST drafted prospect last year in the USHL. It would be a big boost in the organization if a pick such as himself can contribute in 3-4 years time. Might be a guy to keep an eye on, kinda like Josh Leivo.

Sundin_13
Sundin_13

If Dion gets suspended were fucked

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

Missed the game. What's this talk about Phaneuf getting suspended?

Wilbur
Wilbur

Of, before I forget…If we could just have 12 McClaren's on this team we'd win every night. Seriously, how in the hell does this guy still have a job? Look at what Jerry D has done in three games. Build me an entire line of Jerry D's and turn them loose...

GeorgeCastanza
GeorgeCastanza

Have you ever raced cars, installed an "MSD" ignition box? You can insert a chip or module that limits your RPM before you have to shift gears.  This is how the maple Leafs are playing, like they have a REV limiter in place and they plan on leaving it there until the 40 game mark or until they slip out of a play-off spot, whichever comes first. Nothing else will make them pull that dang chip out. Not the coach, the media , the fans ...nothing. This is my theory anyway, so take it with a grain of salt.   That's why I'm not panicking just yet. After 40 games and it's gut-check time. I'll stick to this belief because it's only way I can tolerate watching and being patient.  

Waiting4LSC
Waiting4LSC

Alec you nailed it. Many of our weaknesses reared their ugly heads. Can't clear, can't hold the puck, can't control the puck, stupid penalties, passive PP, lack of urgency, carrying passengers (that's you Clarkson). So tired of being in the ozone and blocked shots spring the opponents because we are too high or have no one covering the middle in case of blocked shots. We keep repeating our mistakes. RC plays with a short bench so he can't bench those not playing the way he wants. His presses are filled with what we didn't do. Most fans can tell what our major problems are, but the players can't seem to address them. Injury and fatigue may be reasons for tonight, but there is a real lack of IQ on this squad.

Birdman_
Birdman_

Anyone got a video of the hits tonight?   Dion or Seidenberg?

Wilbur
Wilbur

Stop me if you've heard this before…."We came out and played well, we just didn't sustain it".

Wilbur
Wilbur

PVR'd the game. Just finished watching. I don't even know where to begin on this one. It's a good thing I wasn't sitting anywhere near where the Leafs come of the ice or I'm sure I'd have been arrested tonight. Not the worst game the Leafs have played but nonetheless totally embarrassing. Tonight was unacceptable on so many levels. I'll be interested to see if any of the intermission stuff makes it to HBO and see if RC is still molly coddling the boys. As soon as Lucic beat Phil and Phil gave up, and let's face it Phil gave up before Lucic even beat him, I couldn't stand to watch the remaining 4 minutes. FML...

wiski
wiski

Yes thanks for the GIT Alec, must be hard to do on nights like this.

PEIleafnation
PEIleafnation

any update on liles  jerr d and dion to get a call from nhl

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

Thanks for the Game in 10 Alec. I didn't get to see the game tonight so it was nice to get a good take on things.


From the looks of twitter comments tonight and what usually goes on even after a win I'll probably just bow out now.

Cheers

loomx
loomx

I know some of you will roll your eyes, but this team misses Brian Burke. He took pressure off the team by always making it about himself. This took some media attention away from the players because Burke was always being accountable for the team that's iced. He also gave this team an identity that fit Carlyle's system. Nonis is bringing in players that don't fit.(either that or Carlyle's system is outdated) So please, bring in a coach that can get the most out of this group instead of having Carlyle try to shove an outdated system down the players' throats.

juliesucks
juliesucks

I think we're stuck with this group, for better or worse

DJBrianBurke
DJBrianBurke

Missed the game also, so I didn't see the hit, but I say "oh well" Chara gets away with hitting from behind almost daily, twice against the Leafs.

ProfessorRance
ProfessorRance

@Waiting4LSC I thought Clarkson had a better game. With Lupul returning hopefully next game I would love to see our second line as:

Lupul-Holland-Clarkson

Leafbites
Leafbites

@Wilbur '...loss momentum in the game due to bad penalties and never recovered it."

GreekGod
GreekGod

@loomx

Do you even watch the games??? Franson playing like shit... Gunnarsson, Fraser, etc constantly making bad decisions with the puck and the whole team taking stupid fucking penalties is all Carlyle's fault? No this team needs to come out and compete regardless of what Carlyle says or Dion. If guys don't want to do what it takes to win then trade them and bring guys in that will. 

SJ, with all there talent kept coming up short in the playoffs but they stuck by there coach and there core players and look at them now. Once again, we aren't the Edmonton fucking Oilers where we bring in a new coach every fucking year. We all need to be patient and hopefully we can get healthy and start developing some team chemistry.

jcg_4
jcg_4

Did I miss something? Wasn't Brian Burke the GM when our 18 wheeler drove off the cliff. Your giving Burke way too much credit if you think there was anything noble about his rants; I liked the work Burke did for the Leafs but lets be real...he couldn't keep his mouth shut if his life depended on it. As far as Carlyle goes, there is nothing wrong with his systems, no system will work if the players can't do the simplest things like compete for a lost puck or clear the zone when there is plenty of time to do so.

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

Who did he hit and did the player get injured?

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Bruffins @Wilbur Yup. It's his speed and dogged determination. It makes a difference. It puts the other team on their heals and forces the odd penalty. I'll take Jerry D over Ashton as well. But when everyone is healthy I'm not so sure that McClement between D'Amigo and Ashton wouldn't be so bad.

Waiting4LSC
Waiting4LSC

PR: our expectation versus his performance over the last 10 games. From here to Pluto. He may have had a better game than previous, but on my scale he is at bust right now.

NotSince67
NotSince67

@jcg_4 Burke essentially pulled this team off the floor and once it had some semblance of order, the shit canned him because he was too abrasive towards his new bosses.

From a hockey perspective, that's garbage. The guy is a winner, who really gives a shit and a half if you don't like his demeanor, he's probably doing his job better than you. Unfortunately, MLSE stood up for corporate culture and gave him the boot.

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Bruffins @Wilbur @leducleaf And I'm not picking on FML or guys like Orr. I like my tough guys and I respect what these guys have had to do to earn a living. But I'm with @Cameron19 100%…The way you beat the Bruins is certainly to be willing to match them in the checking department and grinding department but ultimately it comes down to out skating them and moving the puck quickly. It's not about fighting. Jerry D has wheels, physicality and can carry the puck when needed. He's the type of guy that can help us get the puck in deep and cycle it and make them spend some energy in their own end.

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Bruffins @Wilbur That stuff gets contagious as well. That's what happened with Leo last year. 

Leafbites
Leafbites

@Wilbur @Leafbites @Waiting4LSC There do seem to be a lot of 'between the ears' issues with this group. Sometimes, I think they're trying so much to adhere to RC's style that they screw up with basic hockey decisions. 

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Waiting4LSC That's a good point. I see a lot of individual stuff and not a lot of team. May be a combo of the injuries and lack of confidence right now.

Waiting4LSC
Waiting4LSC

PR: IMO Clarkson probably needs Bolland to help him. For me Bolland seems to have been the glue holding parts of this team together. But even Bolland had his down games, particularly the one against Chicago. The players have got to collectively elevate each other, and I don't see who can do it. At the moment we seem to be seeing individual efforts rather than sustained team efforts.

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Leafbites @Wilbur @Waiting4LSC I'm out of patience. I've provided my fair share of patience. I'm tired of watching professional hockey players make stupid plays over and over. I'm beginning to wonder about the IQ of the entire fucking team.

wiski
wiski

@Waiting4LSC Clarkson is taking over the human Zamboni roll, getting knocked on his ass for a few games now. 

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Leafbites @Waiting4LSC This one counted. If we miss the playoffs by 2 points this one really fucking counted. They all fucking count.

ProfessorRance
ProfessorRance

@Waiting4LSC I'd agree with you he isn't living up to his contract just yet but I think Clarkson could use the presence of Lupul on his line to help him get out of this funk. 

Leafbites
Leafbites

@Waiting4LSC Still so much hockey left in the season, though, wait until the games really count.

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Waiting4LSC I know I'm just upset about another embarrassing loss but I'm at the point of writing off this season for Clarkson already and hoping for better next year :)