Friday, March 27, 2015
Game Reviews

Game Reviews

Everything you need to know about last night's Leaf game is broken down into 10 cogent points of analysis by an MLHS writer within minutes of the final buzzer.

138

Like their last game, against the Wild, the Toronto Maple Leafs started well against the Florida Panthers, out-chancing them in the first period. Things then fell apart in the second, with two quick Florida goals opening up a lead. That lead seemed to break the Leafs, who were out-chanced 7-2 in the second half of the period, and fell further behind, leading to Jonathan Bernier getting replaced by James Reimer. Florida then shut down the game in the third, and while Toronto pulled one back, that was all they got, with the Panthers earning a critical win in their playoff chase. All...

527

The Leafs had a great start, out-chancing the Wild 6-4, and were unfortunate to trail after the opening period when Coyle scored a goal in the last minute to put Minnesota ahead. Toronto responded poorly in the second, as Minnesota dominated much of the period, and only Jonathan Bernier managed to keep them in it. So, it was unfortunate that a second Minnesota goal went right through the Leaf goalie in the third period, which looked like it might be the dagger to the Leafs' hopes. A rare thing happened after that, as Toronto made a real push in the...

1244

For the fifth straight game, the Leafs were badly out-chanced in the opening period. Ottawa dominated proceedings, getting ten of the eleven chances and beating the Leafs 7-1 at ES, including two goals. The Leafs managed to show some good fight in the second. After an early exchange of goals, Toronto carried the play, and were rewarded with a pair of goals. A costly power-play marker for Ottawa in the last minute of the period put the Sens back ahead, and Toronto weren't able to keep up the pressure in the third, as Ottawa had almost all the chances. The...

1221

In the last few weeks, the Leafs have clearly established an identity. Unfortunately, that identity is one of a team that isn't ready to play at the start of the game. It was another abysmal first period against San Jose. The Leafs generated just two chances in the twenty minutes, while the Sharks had seventeen, including thirteen at even strength. As with their game against Vancouver, the Leafs were lucky to escape the period down by only one. The Leafs were better at even strength in the second, but gave up a power-play goal, and a goal in the last...

2

The depressing thing about the current state of the Leafs is that the first period, which saw them fall behind 4-0 in just eleven minutes, was their best of the Western road trip in terms of chances. It was still bad, but they were only out-chanced 7-4 at ES. The problem was that Jonathan Bernier struggled, which left the Leafs chasing the game early. The Leafs managed to pick up their play  once the score was lopsided, and managed the better of the chances in the second, but didn't get a goal. However, that pressure didn't keep up in the...

266

The Leafs again had a terrible first period, in what's become a trend in recent games.   While they at least managed some chances at even strength, they also allowed Vancouver to run rampant, out-chancing them 11-4, and they were fortunate not to end the period down by more than one. Two quick goals halfway through the second opened up Vancouver's lead, and while Toronto had a number of power-plays, they couldn't score. They finally scored a goal in the second half of the final period, but the Canucks totally shut the game down after that, and Kessel's penalty shot was...

0

Toronto have had some horrible starts this year, but this was one of the worst. They didn't generate a single even strength chance in the first period, and managed to give up two goals on a five minute major power-play. An early Flames goal in the second put them even further behind, and it was only after the score reached 5-1 for Calgary that Toronto began to generate some chances. In fact, the Leafs dominated the rest of the second period, but they weren't able to cut the lead down. They did get within three early in the third, but...

1064

Three goals in a wild two minute stretch left Toronto and Buffalo tied after the first period, with the two teams being nearly level in chances as well. Both coaches must have been unhappy with the defensive effort shown, and in the second period the chances dried up. Unfortunately for Toronto, the Sabres began to press in the second half of the frame, getting a go-ahead goal, and out-chancing Toronto 5-1. Now chasing the game, the Leafs had one of their best offensive periods of the season in the third, generating sixteen chances, including several on the power-play. They were...

8

After a terrible game on Saturday, the Leafs had a strong response, with one of their best first periods in a while. They had the better of the chances, and were rewarded in the last couple of minutes when David Booth scored. The Islanders were much better in the second, and after Peter Holland managed a goal to double Toronto's lead, New York made a real push to get back into the game. The Islanders had four of the first five chances in the third, along with a goal, but James Van Riemsdyk gave Toronto some insurance. That didn't last,...

Toronto Maple Leafs vs St. Louis Blues

384

Through the first fourteen minutes the Leafs were being badly out-chanced by St. Louis, as Toronto didn't have an ES chance, but the game was still scoreless. That didn't last, as St. Louis got three goals in just under five minutes, breaking the game open and building a lead the Leafs would never challenge. Toronto were out-chanced 8-0 at ES in the first, one of their worst periods of the season. While the last forty minutes were better in terms of chances, St. Louis continued to pile on the goals, easily pulling away for the win. You can see just how...

1480

Toronto struggled early, falling behind 7-4 in chances and 2-0 on the scoreboard. They figured things out in the second period, as they were able to out-chance the Lightning, and while it was an open period with plenty of chances both ways, Toronto scored the only goal. That meant they were down only one, and had the chance to chase in the third. Unfortunately, the third period was terrible from Toronto, surrendering 11 of the first 14 chances and falling behind 4-1. While the Leafs did manage to direct some chances at the Tampa net, by the time they got...

2

The Leafs had a great start to this game but Florida had a strong response, finishing the first period even in chances, and getting a goal in the last twenty seconds of the period. In the second, Toronto again started well, and a power-play goal got them back on even terms. However, Florida got a power-play goal of their own, and despite having the better of the chances after two periods, the Leafs went into the third trailing. That's when things got strange. Florida had already pulled Luongo, who left the rink and went to the hospital for examination, when...

91

Toronto had a tough turn around, with the second game of a back-to-back coming against Washington. They had a terrible start, giving up a goal in the first minute of the game to fall behind. They actually had a solid period after that, as they were the better team in the second half of the frame, and ended up even with the Capitals in chances. Since Washington generated three of those chances on one great shift, most of the period was dominated by the Leafs. The second period was similar, as Toronto had a solid period in chances, and other...

1431

Montreal had a strong start, getting six of the first nine chances, and a pair of goals in the first thirteen minutes (the second of which Bernier would like back). Toronto was able to get even in chances for the period after a good late push, but didn't get a goal out of it. The second period was also even in chances, with Montreal again having a hot start before the Leafs pulled things back late in the frame. There wasn't a real push back from Toronto in the third, as an early Montreal goal extended the lead to three,...

9

The Clarkson-free Leafs had a strong first twenty-five minutes, out-chancing the Flyers and opening up a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals from the top line. The rest of the second period was all Philadelphia, as they dominated the chances, 10-1, but couldn't find a way past Jonathan Bernier. The Leafs started the third by widening the lead even further, but faced some penalty problems, as the Flyers had a number of chances on special teams, including a pair of power-play goals. Bernier stood strong, though, and the Leafs earned their first back-to-back wins of 2015. The first period was...

0

The first period didn't have a lot of even strength action, as the two teams combined to generate just three ES chances. Most of the action in the period happened with a man in the penalty box, including all three goals occurring on Winnipeg power-plays. The Jets dominated special teams in the second, out-chancing Toronto while the Leafs had the extra man, but the teams were close to even at ES, despite a late goal from Winnipeg that re-established their lead. Nazem Kadri got the Leafs level early in the third period, and though both teams had some close chances...

765

The opening period was an offensive, back-and-forth one, as Toronto and Carolina traded chances. The Leafs had the better of it, out-chancing the 'Canes 10-6 at even strength. Brandon Kozun's first NHL goal drew them level on the scoreboard, but it took less than a minute for them to fall back behind, a deficit they never recovered from. After that first, both coaches must have been unhappy with their team's defensive performance, as the chances went drastically down. Toronto hardly got any offense in the rest of the game, despite four power-plays, on which they generated not a single shot on...

922

Toronto got an early power-play goal to take the lead against the Panthers, but Florida dominated the second half of the period, and got a goal themselves in the last few minutes. Another power-play early in the second put Florida ahead, and Toronto's offense sputtered before former Leaf prospect Jimmy Hayes scored what would prove to be the winning goal. Florida went into a complete defensive shell in the third period, not generating a single chance. Toronto weren't able to do much about it for the first two-thirds of the period, but in the last few minutes were able to...

2

There wasn't much separating Montreal and Toronto in this game, with both teams having strong stretches. The two teams exchanged goals midway through the first, with Toronto getting out-chanced, but not badly.   The second period was quiet, with Montreal unable to do much on the power-play, and the Leafs finishing strongly, but not scoring. Montreal started the third period well, but they weren't able to find a breakthrough either, and Toronto looked the more likely to score in the final ten minutes of regulation and overtime, when they out-chanced Montreal 6-3 at even strength. In the end, the game went...

0

The Maple Leafs had another horrible start, similar to their game against the Rangers, as they finished the first period behind 2-0 and down 12-3 in chances. Toronto had a great response in the second, scoring twice in the first five minutes and getting the first seven chances. In the last ten minutes of the period the Islanders took control again, including getting a third goal. Toronto had some chances as they chased the game in the third, but couldn't get another tying goal, and lost yet another game. Other than the first ten minutes of the second, the Islanders were always...