Deep breaths, everyone. No Dion Phaneuf and the 20-7-4 Los Angeles Kings are coming into town.
The Kings are a heavy forechecking team and are going to seal the boards on the Leafs all night. The key to beating a good forecheck is going to be quick puck movement, effective use of the D to D pass, and available forward support on the breakout. Without that, this Kings team will hem the Leafs in with sustained zone time, bring fresh legs into the cycle, and grind them down all night. Blowout win over the Canadiens last night aside, the Kings haven’t been an explosive offensive team (18th in goals for, bottom 10 before last night), but give up so little in the way of shots and goals (fewest in the league with 62) because they win the possession battle night after night.
Randy Carlyle would be wise to play to a strength and put to use all of the mobility and puck moving available to him on defence.
The Kings are in the second half of the back to back and will play goaltending Martin Jones again tonight coming off of his shutout at the Bell Centre. The Professor has been snubbed of a crack at his former team. In Darryl Sutter’s defence, Jones is 3-0 with a .62 goals against average in his first three starts in the NHL.
Jonathan Bernier will play against his former team and may have to steal one for the victory.
Joffrey Lupul will make his return on a good looking third line tonight.
JVR – Kadri- Kessel
Raymond – Smith – Clarkson
Lupul – Holland – Kulemin
McLaren/D’Amigo- McClement – Ashton
Gunnarsson – Franson
Gardiner – Liles
Fraser – Ranger
Good nite . Great effort , disappointing result.
Im hoping Santa bring us a .500 + record and a bit of health for Xmas.
Back reading a lot of Fraser hate here.
Thought he played his best game of the season.
Bad missed calls, ridiculous goaltender and a couple mistakes cost us
Queston is...can we keep this energy up?
Doughty on tonight's goal scorers: "We all grew up around here cheering for this team. I guess we all showed up to play".
This will never end.
Kings have 9 players from Ontario btw.
@LandBruiser It's just words...they played like shit and got lucky against a team that couldn't finish.
Doughty on tonight's Goal scores: "We all grew up around here cheering for this team. I guess we all showed up to play".
This will never end.
Almost perfect TOI distribution tonight.............if D'Amigo was a bit close to 7 minutes. But it's an improvement. Good to see Holland at 15 minutes and McClement with 8.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Many forget the warts of JML....and the list starts with lack of size.
@Pent_House to be fair, Mark Fraser was the one covering the pass....and Mark Fraser can't cover anything so Bernier had to respect the pass. If that's Phaneuf or Gardiner, I bet Bernier goes down in the butterfly.
@Pent_House The Ranger pinch!!!!! it's becoming notorious …. why would Reilly be a step down from him?
And Dion …. Hmmmmmm this good without him?!?!… 6for7 or 7for6 buddy , take your pick!!!
He cheated PH
Bernie was sucking/ blowing simultaneously as the one knee down was to allow him to push off across for the cross creaser to ,uggh,Carcillo.
In the end,stop the shot and dive paddle down if you are wrong.
Think McKenzie is right, we need to embrace the reality that we are a rush team, and try to be better at it. Rush doesn't have to mean run and gun, no defense. We have to get that idea out of our heads.
@Cameron19 With kulemin, Lupul , Clarkson, McClement etc, they can still play a possession game. But the 1st line , no doubt is better suited to the rush.
@Cameron19 Even the Kessel line was playing the cycle game tonight . Going back to playing rush hockey is a recipe for failure
@Cameron19 I assumed everyone knew we were a rush team...does this mean Carlyle doesn't? Because that would be worrisome.
Some started with the dump and chase too Cam
Kings never pinched hard at the blueline tonight and left a LOT of neutral ice open with hard retreat.
Not sure,but they played us differently than most teams who have the book on us.
It helped,but we were far more urgent in our play too...and won frigging puck battles for once!
@Xxxxxnew Corsi means absolutely nothing. The real problem with the Leafs is their PK. They were top 3 at the beginning of the season and now have dropped to 26th.
@wiski Tell you what . He will get figured out soon enough . I say you need to go high on Jones
@Burtonboy I agree. He made some amazing reaction saves tonight, but I left with the impression he was a little loose. He spat rebounds right out into the middle of the slot, he couldn't catch a puck all night.
He will get figured out. If he plays long enough to.
@wiski Jones, looks great, but giving him Monster status after 4 games is premature. Young goaltenders are as volatile as nitro. He could go hero to zero pretty quick
But you gotta like L.A. depth at the position right now
@Jay31 do it again!
Haha..I was searching for this comment ;)
@Burtonboy Please keep it up :)
@Cameron19 No...the Carter goal.
@Cameron19 And that's a save Bernier has to make.
@loomx @Cameron19 Folks say this because it went 5-hole. But that's only because it was by one of the leagues top snipers at point blank. He could've taken away 5-hole and Carter would have put it under the bar. He's not the guy you want to be giving up those opportunities to. Sometimes, you got to credit the shooter.
Why, it was 1-1 and still lots of time plus OT to go, no need to pinch at all.