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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.
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Game Highlights - Toronto 3 vs. Texas 1 Steve Spott Post Game Press Conference

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It was a must win for the Toronto Marlies, and the urgency and desperation was visible from puck drop. A much-needed tone-setting shift off the opening faceoff by Trevor Smith, Carter Ashton and Sam Carrick got the ball rolling for the Marlies in this one, as a hard forecheck followed by a cycle and penalty draw led to the first of three consecutive Spencer Abbott powerplay goals. On the ensuing powerplay, Abbott, stationed on the point, wristed one past Nilstorp with Josh Leivo playing screen, marking the 11th straight playoff game in which the Marlies have opened the scoring and Abbott's...

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TORONTO - After a big 5-1 win on Friday against the Texas Stars, the Toronto Marlies knew they had to improve on their 50-shots-against performance in game #2 on Monday night or else risk dropping their first game of the 2014 post season. The first period started well for Toronto. After a Texas turnover inside the Marlies blueline in a 4-on-4 situation, Jerry D'Amigo picked up the puck and went barrelling down the ice and snapped a quick wrist shot over the glove of Christopher Nilstorp for his fourth of the post-season and a 1-0 Marlie lead. The first period in...

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Drew’s the Glue: Heavily out-shot but not out-done, Marlies fly high in Texas TORONTO - On Friday night, the Toronto Marlies began their series with against the West’s best Texas Stars. The Stars and Marlies split the season series at 2-2 this season and all four games were great match ups. The Marlies entered Friday’s game with an impressive 7-0 record in the post-season, haven’t trailed for a second in those 7 games, and were looking to continue those impressive streaks. In the first period, Texas put pressure on fast and furious early but it was the Marlies who would again find...

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Back and forth game leaves Wolves grasping for their playoff lives TORONTO - On Wednesday night, the Toronto Marlies returned home for just their second home playoff game this post-season, game #3 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals versus the Chicago Wolves. Toronto only played one home game in the opening round, defeating the Milwaukee Admirals to complete the three-game sweep. The Marlies have been dominant in the first two games of the series, taking 3-0 leads in the first period of both games one & two.  On Wednesday, the Marlies were looking to move one step closer to reaching the Western...

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Going home on a high note — Marlies hold off late Wolves surge, head home with 2-0 series lead TORONTO - On Saturday night the Toronto Marlies looked to once again make quick work of the Chicago Wolves in game #2 of the Western Conference Semi Final. Toronto defeated the Wolves by a score of 5-2 in the opening matchup on Friday night and also welcomed back Peter Holland and Spencer Abbott to the lineup. Abbott recorded two points (2A) while Holland chipped in with three points (1G 2A). In the first period the Marlies got on the board quick....

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Toronto Marlies open round two with a bang versus Chicago TORONTO - On Friday night the Toronto Marlies and the Chicago Wolves kicked off their round two Calder Cup matchup in Chicago. Toronto, coming off a long layoff after their 3-0 sweep over the Milwaukee Admirals, were looking to make sure that the Wolves bark was louder than their bite. Friday was also the first post-season game for both Spencer Abbott and Peter Holland. Abbott had been sidelined with an upper body injury since the beginning of April, while Holland missed the last few games of the regular season with a minor injury. In...

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TORONTO -  On Thursday night, the Toronto Marlies returned to Ricoh Coliseum with a chance to sweep the Milwaukee Admirals in front of the home town faithful. With the Maple Leafs out of the post-season, the Marlies have begun to draw support from Leafs Nation. On Thursday night, the sea of blue jerseys could be seen in the stands at Ricoh Coliseum and the fans most definitely got their money's worth. After a scoreless first period where the Marlies were outshot 11-8, the second is where they would strike. With both teams exchanging penalties in the middle frame, Toronto was the...

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TORONTO - Whether it's positive or negative, the Maple Leafs are consistently the talk of Toronto. The Toronto Marlies, often left behind in all the commotion, are now the centre of attention with the Maple Leafs out of the playoffs. On Saturday night, the Toronto Marlies gave their fans something to smile about. A tough matchup on paper against the Milwaukee Admirals was made to be just a fairytale by Toronto on Friday in game #1. The Marlies defeated the Admirals 6-2 on Friday and were looking to take a 2-0 series lead on Saturday night. The first period was a rough one...

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TORONTO - On Friday night the Toronto Marlies and Milwaukee Admirals dropped the puck on hockey's second season.  The North Division champion Toronto Marlies struggled towards the end of the season but we're able to end the year on a high note with a win against the Rochester Americans.  For the Marlies, the matchup versus the Admirals would be one that would test patience, hockey sense, and most importantly their discipline. In the first period Toronto struck first.  A fairly even period for the most part, the Marlies benefitted from a Milwaukee mis-communication.  With less than five minutes to play in...

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So ends the three-week nightmare that derailed a promising 2014 Leaf playoff bid. So begins weeks of soul searching while the real teams compete for the Cup in those playoff contests the Leafs teased us with last May. The Leafs finished up the year with a 38-36-8 for 84 points. They had 80 points 28 days ago with 14 games remaining. That's remarkable in a disgusting kind of way. The Maple Leafs didn’t even do a good job faking half an effort tonight. Pretty sure the team in White didn’t cross the red line in the first three minutes of...

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About that pre-game talk of pride and putting in a good effort for Drew MacIntyre in his first ever start... He’s not mad at himself, I don’t think. Worst yet, earlier in the period Nick Bjugstad trucked MacIntyre (wasn’t helped into the crease at all) and the Leafs stood around twiddling their thumbs. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VLmf_wBeaE&w=700&h=394] Outchanced 26-12 (by Leafs TV’s count) against the Florida Panthers. 37 shots against. Said Randy: “I thought there would’ve been a little more compassion for the goalie in our net... If that's all we have, we shouldn't be thinking too much of ourselves.” Go back to the Marlies and...

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning - TAMPA, FL - APRIL 8

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I mostly watched this one with my eyes half glazed over, dozing in and out of consciousness, with a smell of burnt toast lingering, symbolizing the end of the Randy Carlyle era (fell asleep with something in the toaster.. BOBBY!). This was a dead team skating, one not worthy of much analysis on this night. Phaneuf and Gleason together on a pairing looked about as we expected before the night (not good), while Carl Gunnarsson moving to the right side seemed to only exacerbate his recent struggles (he backed right off and didn't seem sure with his stick on the...

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This game was a fitting end to the Maple Leafs’ playoff chase, and a fitting final home game in the Randy Carlyle era. 15 shots after 40 minutes in a do or die game. 41 shots against by the end. The team looking utterly clueless as to how to get out of its own end (one shift rivalled the 1:30 shift in their own end in Boston back in November, leading to the Jets powerplay and game winning goal). All sorts of inexplicable stuff going on in the ice time distribution (Also, the team was playing with 11 forwards despite having...

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins

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The Maple Leafs were done after the Red Wings loss, but would that stop them from turning it on in their final six games, you ask? Are you new to being a Leafs fan? Of course not. It’s always dramatic in Leafland. There were a couple of crazy storylines within the overarching storyline in this one, too. The Leafs, league leaders in third period leads forfeited, gave up another one, which was another multi-goal lead squandered to the Bruins. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, as they say. Jonathan Bernier left the game hurt, just as the...

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The Calgary Flames were just what the doctor ordered for the Leafs, at least as far as ending the losing skid goes. The 10-game skid of 1967 will not be touched, and the “making the playoffs and winning the Cup” theme of the 1967 season also likely won’t be repeated. Toronto survived a choppy, out-of-synch first period that was clear evidence of a team playing in fear in their home building amid an eight-game collapse. It was a terrible period of hockey by both teams, and really a terrible game in general, too. The Leafs never really played well at any...

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Anyone following this team in earnest over the last two seasons is familiar with a number of this young group's faults. One is their propensity to elevate their game to a different level - at the very last possible moment. The shortened season was better in this respect, as a team that the hockey world thought little of went out every night with the goal of proving themselves. This culminated in a showdown with the Bruins in the playoffs, wherein the team's speed, determination, and some miraculous goaltending propelled the series to seven games. Fast forward to this season. A...

Toronto Maple Leafs vs St. Louis Blues

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At what point do we stop saying the next game is a “must win?” Tonight was a must win and the Leafs came out flat, at home, and got dominated. Doesn’t matter who they were playing, the effort was embarrassing. Full stop. The Blues could be seen with smirks on their faces after whistles in the first 40 minutes. It doesn’t really matter if the Leafs make it interesting in the last 8 games, this is what we got from a fully healthy Leafs team when it still mattered. No NHL team should give up 23 shots in one...

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It may have been one of James Reimer's final starts as a Leaf, depending on how soon Jonathan Bernier returns. It sure has been excruciating to watch this train wreck play out as the team in front of Reimer hasn't played well enough to help him through his poorest stretch of games as a professional. 14 saves on 14 shots, a few of the challenging variety (the save on Gelinas in the slot was his best of the night), could mean Drew MacIntyre will get the start the next game (if Jonathan Bernier still can't play). This latest run of...