Monday, April 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.

617

The Leafs' disappointing season finished with one of their stronger performances of 2015, against a playoff-bound Montreal team. The Leafs out-chanced Montreal in the first period, and despite blowing a lead in less than twenty seconds, they finished the period ahead after Casey Bailey's first NHL goal. The two teams were again essentially even in chances during the second period, but a late Canadiens goal left the game tied going to the third. Montreal then seized control of the game, out-chancing Toronto 9-0 in the first ten minutes of the third, but couldn't get a goal. Toronto managed to even...

516

The Leafs' final road game of the season was a fitting summary of their 2015 play. They were heavily out-chanced in the first period, with Columbus having several great shifts where they generated multiple chances, scoring three goals in the frame. The Leafs were better in terms of chances after that opening period, but they couldn't get a goal and fell further behind as Columbus scored two more in the second. The Leafs couldn't bust the shutout in the third, either, and went down to a 5-0 defeat. The Leafs' numbers in the last two periods were much improved, as Columbus no longer needed to...

0

Toronto had a great first period, out-chancing Ottawa and getting an early goal from Joffrey Lupul to take the lead. After the intermission, the Senators upped their level of play, dominating the period. The chances weren't that one-sided at even strength, but Ottawa had a lot of power-play time as well, and managed to tie the game with the extra man. Toronto went back ahead late in the period, but another Ottawa power-play, stretching over the intermission break, saw Ottawa get level again. After the teams exchanged chances early in the third, Ottawa had a strong three minute stretch, generating...

612

This was the type of game we have seen quite often from the Leafs over the last couple of years, but not much during this recent slide. They were out-chanced 5-1 at even strength by the Bruins in the first period, but managed to escape the period with the game still scoreless. Early in the second Boston grabbed a goal, and it seemed like the floodgates might open. Boston let up a little, though, and Toronto was able to get a lucky bounce to draw the game back level. The Bruins, desperate for points, carried the play in the third...

307

There wasn't much action at even strength in the first period, with just four chances between the two teams, but each team managed a goal at ES in the frame. The Toronto Maple Leafs then went ahead early in the second, and seemed to be in good shape, only for things to go south in the second half of the period. While the Leafs did open up a 3-1 lead at one point, the Buffalo Sabres were dominating the chances, finishing the period on an 11-2 stretch at ES. They continued that push in the third, and two quick goals...

0

Toronto had a great start against the Lightning, getting two first period goals and out-chancing Tampa Bay 5-2 at even strength. A late power-play goal for Ryan Callahan gave the visitors some momentum, and they carried the play in the second period. However, James Reimer was able to stand strong, and the Leafs held onto the one-goal lead. Morgan Rielly extended the advantage at the start of the third period, and Toronto did a good job of shutting down the Lightning attack. Tampa Bay had just one ES chance in the last ten minutes, and while they generated some chances...

942

This was a tight game in chances through two periods, with neither team doing much. A ninety second flurry early in the second featured six chances and two Ottawa Senator goals, putting the Toronto Maple Leafs behind again. Toronto managed to pull one back in the 3rd, and after an exchange of power-play goals, went into the last eight minutes with a chance to earn something out of the game. For once in this terrible stretch, they actually managed it, Tyler Bozak getting a goal with the Leaf net empty for his first career hat trick, taking the game to...

886

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...

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning

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...