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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.

2214

addCustomPlayer('jlgjwvrmbjve1rae7ys3uy1e2', 'mbov4yeqk2eo1317ogwjitzvl', '1rb84jwhmr2871p4ztsgj03geg', 700, 474, 'perfjlgjwvrmbjve1rae7ys3uy1e2-1rb84jwhmr2871p4ztsgj03geg', 'eplayer17', {autoHide:true, age:1393280220000}); The Maple Leafs gave away a point tonight with their own boneheaded mistakes. That's pretty much all there was to it, as they gave up the lead on three separate occasions and conceded five goals mostly through a series of avoidable giveaway errors. Jonathan Bernier wasn't at his sharpest in his first game back from the Olympic Break, either. You could tell he was a little off from the first shot against. His first save was on a shot from outside the blueline he seemed half asleep on, kicking...

1104

Ten games above .500 (32-22-6), 70 points on the year, and the first win over Vancouver since November of 2003. That’s the way to enter the Olympic Break. 1st Period The Leafs started this game well, enjoying two consecutive powerplays. Not sure about Raymond on the left half wall on the PP as a left-handed shot. It's easy to defend against. By having a right shot there, it opens up a cleaner passing lane to the point and allows for a better shot lane at the net (a la Kessel). We’ve been saying it since last season and still are this season......

502

An exciting game at Tampa Bay Times Forum tonight, as an ominous start by the Leafs, except for Jonathan Bernier, gave way to a better final 50 minutes and ultimately a good road win overall. For the 11th time this season and second time in three games, the Leafs outshot their opponent (36-34). The Leafs brought the Lightning two points closer in the Atlantic Division thanks to this four-point swing, now sitting one point back of second in the Division. The Lightning still have two games in hand. 1st Period - There was a frenzied pace to the first period, which started...

1354

One might look at a 1-0 scoreline after 40 minutes in this game and think it’s not as bad as being down four or five to Dallas a few weeks ago. And yes, there is a difference: The Leafs played better in the first period in Dallas, only they couldn’t get a save. The only reason the Leafs had a chance in the final 10 minutes in the third in this 4-1 loss to Florida was because of Jonathan Bernier, who stopped 44 of 47 shots (hey, he had an easy night against Ottawa, right? It's the least he...

1379

Thanks to the Ottawa Senators for being gracious opponents. Some of the highlights amid this six-game winning streak vs. Ottawa: Nazem Kadri's breaking out party on the national CBC broadcast (Cherry's kiss on Coaches Corner); the Leafs officially clinching a playoff spot for the first time in nine years; and now, The Phil scoring a hat trick to reach 30 goals for the fifth consecutive (full) season.  It was indeed the Phil Kessel show at the Air Canada Center tonight, as god's gift to the hockey universe scored his sixth career hat trick (fourth as a Leaf) and added an...

383

Your Toronto Maple Leafs are now the hottest team in the League over the last ten games (8-1-1), and they're doing it the Leaf way - with hot sticks and a hot goalie while getting repeatedly outshot (in all ten games). The Leafs have scored 35 goals over 9 games since beating Boston 4-3 on January 14. JvR (1g, 1a), Kessel (2a), Lupul (1g, 1a) and Kadri (3a) all mustered multi point nights in tonight's 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers. The blow by blow: - This game started eerily similar to how the Leafs started in their loss to the...

148

Standout performances by Nazem Kadri (2 goals) and Jonathan Bernier (40 saves on 42 shots), and another timely goal late in the third by the top line (JvR's 21st from Kessel and Bozak), saw the Maple Leafs take the first of four season meetings against the Lightning. The Leafs are 7-1-1 in their last nine, and remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 28-21-6 record (62 points). 1st period - The Leafs couldn’t take advantage of any of their three powerplays in the first period, despite going up against the fourth worst penalty kill in the League. On...

James Reimer

1653

It was 4-1! Half way through this one, it looked to be a continuation of the Dallas game, where uncharacteristically poor goaltending ensured every Leaf mistake wound up in the back of the net. Given the context of the 4-1 deficit, it's hard be disappointed in the (loser) point the Maple Leafs received. Whereas the team folded like a card table once a few things went against them versus Dallas, they battled back admirably in this game and now pass Montreal for third in the division—for the time being. Enjoy this image: 1st period Franson-Gleason/Lupul-Kadri-Kulemin started the game in a tentative fashion...

806

Well, they weren’t going to win forever, but this was an emphatic way to end the winning streak. Ray Ferraro had a pretty good comment as this game got out of control: “In the NHL, if you let off 5-10% one night while the other team plays great, this is what happens.” Dallas looked pretty good on this night, and made the Leafs pay time and again with their speed and timely, clinical finishing. The Leafs couldn’t get a save to help settle them down, either, from Bernier or Reimer. Mistake, turnover, goal... rinse and repeat. It was one of those...

Dion Phaneuf

576

These Leafs are rolling. Their first six game winning streak since 2006 comes thanks to another offensive explosion and a commendable effort in a back-to-back situation at mile-high altitude against a top team in the West. The Leafs chased goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who was 11-0-5 in his last 16, with three goals on their first 10 shots. The Leafs have scored 25 goals over their six game winning streak, as the top line is blazing hot, the Leafs’ offensive production from their defense has gone from famine to feast, their PP continues to be elite, and their goaltending continues to be...

Leafs Coyotes

158

The Maple Leafs made it five in a row for the first time since the 2006-07 season with a 4-2 win in Phoenix, as Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel stayed hot and Jonathan Bernier turned away a whopping 39 shots. The Leafs also now hold the dubious honour of leading the league in 3rd period goals against with 60 after two third-period goals made things, as always, interesting. Nevertheless, the road swing started on the right note and the Leafs have collected all 10 of the last 10 available points. 1st Period -  The Kadri line was the second unit out, and...

Nazem Kadri

1783

The first four game winning streak of the season has quickly erased memories of the lowest point of the Leafs' season, a four-game losing streak wherein Toronto was outscored 21-7.  A couple of regulation wins over divisional opponents Boston and Montreal needs to be a momentum builder for this team as they attempt to chase down a divisional playoff spot, beginning with a 4-game road swing versus the Coyotes, Avalanche, Stars and Jets. This was an emotionally-charged rivalry matchup between the Leafs and Habs, with the fires of last season's line brawl seemingly stoked by the Max Pacrioetty goal celebration...

1016

For the life of them, the Leafs can’t put together a pair of ROWs for their burning boat. They still don't have two consecutive regulation-overtime wins since November 19, but they do have a three-game winning streak underway thanks to their ninth shootout win of the season. Given their ROW was already too far below their nearest competitors to catch up on the tiebreaker, the two points are what matter most. Obviously, one thing that’s disappointing about the five games versus the Sabres is just how even/touch and go they’ve been. The Leafs clearly have more talent, and who...

585

A new look line up produced better results, as the Toronto Maple Leafs topped the Boston Bruins 4-3 Tuesday night.  The Leafs were led by the offensive dynamism of Tyler Bozak who scored 2 game-tying goals in the first period and added an assist on the eventual game winner.  Phil Kessel recorded 3 assists, and now has 7 points in his last three games.  It was Bozak’s 7th career 2-goal game… which is actually kind of an impressive stat for him.  Equally impressive was the goaltending of Jonathan Bernier, who made 38 saves in his 9th start in the...

Jonathan Bernier

450

The eighth shootout win of the season (an astounding 36% of total Leaf wins) comes in unconvincing but much needed fashion. There's a couple of ways you could look at this one depending on how optimistic you want to be. The Leafs had a goal called off unjustly on a phantom goaltending interference call, which may have ensured a regulation win. On the other hand, the Leafs were outshot 38-25 and spent their typical extended spells snowed under. Devils head coach Pete DeBoer was thrilled with his team's effort in their third game in four nights, and thought the Leafs were...

2574

The Leafs lost a hard-fought, 50/50 game in Washington by a score of 3-2. There's positives to be gleaned, as Toronto was more combative than in recent games, but there’s only such thing as a "good loss" if it begets the end of a losing streak. The issue is the Leafs have so rarely been able to use a good effort as a building block this season. Carlyle’s message will have been to keep heads high after this one as the effort wasn’t in question. Notes: - Always love watching the Ovechkin vs. Phaneuf battle. They play each other hard,...

1868

I gave up after the 1st, which featured some of the softest defensive play and fundamentally poor defensive coverage we’ve seen from the Leafs since Ron Wilson got fired. Apparently it didn't get much better in the 2nd: In your expert opinion @KatsHockey , what would you call this d-zone coverage? #TMLtalk #FireCarlyle pic.twitter.com/aXI4UaW8kk — Gaudz (@gaudzrn) January 10, 2014   The Carlyle checklist of nonsense tonight: Playing Fraser over Gardiner, or at all. Nonsense. Playing Franson over Gardiner. Nonsense. Leaving Gleason on the top pair instead of reinserting Gunnarsson. Nonsense. Playing Ashton 40 seconds in the first period after the call up. Nonsense. As for the rest of...

975

This was the first loss of the season that can be definitively attributed to poor Maple Leafs' goaltending. Not that the Leafs were totally convincing otherwise, but they carried the shots advantage and play for the first 40, as well as a 4-0 advantage in powerplay opportunities, and came out of it tied at 2s. No excusing three of the four goals on Jonathan Bernier tonight, and yet he remained in the net through 59 minutes. Randy Carlyle called the goaltending situation a "1A/1B" situation just two days ago, but you know what a coach with a real 1A/1B situation...

297

Interesting that a lack of practice time and a busy schedule were cited by Randy Carlyle prior to the Christmas break, as this was a disgraceful effort while carrying the rest advantage in a two-game week while the Rangers played the second game of a back to back. Tim Gleason won't have to wait long to draw into the lineup. First Period After one decent chance for JvR on the opening shift, the Rangers were unlucky, twice, not to score the shift after, as Nash just missed with a wide open cage. Rick Nash was playing on the right wing (left-hand shot)...

936

Usually, HBO's 24/7 beats the actual Winter Classic in fanfare and expectation. This year, it has simply been a welcomed preview. The Big House in Ann Arbour, Michigan gathered a record number of bodies (105,491 people), vastly exceeding 71,217 humans attending the first Winter Classic in 2008. After a tough 5-4 SO loss against the Wings on December 21st, the Leafs were due for a victory. Paul Ranger had the right idea, wearing the eye-paint of the tiger and looking very much up for a game which brought him and all those in attendance to the core of their...