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.

886

First off, more important than the outcome of the game, the good news is that Paul Ranger is expected to check out of the hospital tonight after receiving a vicious hit from behind at the end of the first period. We'll await word on the nature on the injury and hope for the best in the meantime. As for the game, it was a maddeningly frustrating 60-minutes of hockey. There was the constant sense of fear and dread whenever the puck entered the Leaf end of the rink, beginning with a bad goal on Reimer 59 seconds into the game. There was...

627

It's amazing how quickly things can change at this time of the season. Combined with the loss in Washington, this four-point swing puts the Red Wings five back of the Leafs for a wildcard spot with two games in hand. That's still a sizeable gap at this stage, but two consecutive losses by the Leafs combined with three straight wins each by Montreal and Tampa Bay suddenly has the Leafs in a wildcard spot and looking in the rear view mirror. Conceding three goals in nine minutes and losing to the Capitals, and falling to the severely undermanned Red...

744

The Maple Leafs took a couple of big wins out of Anaheim and Los Angeles, only to come out flat as a bottle of Coke left out in the sun for a week against a far more beatable opponent in Washington. Early start time? Sickness coursing through the locker room? All the recent travel? Who knows, but the Leafs have had too many full periods like this throughout the season with the only simple explanation being they’re a skating team that gets into big trouble if their legs aren’t there. Three goals against in the first 9 minutes and a...

986

This night was to be Jonathan Bernier's chance to put one over on his old team. He has taken over the number one spot in Toronto and posted, before tonight, a top-5 save percentage in the League while facing an inhumane number of shots, a huge part of the Leafs' second place Atlantic Division standing. A shutout is what he dreamt about last night, to be sure. Only it wasn't about one from James Reimer, who took over the crease tonight to begin the 2nd with the Leafs down 2-1. Reimer posted 30 saves on 30 shots over 40 minutes,...

687

The Maple Leafs rose to the level of competition with a good team effort and beat Randy Carlyle's (Holland, Lupul and Gardiner's as well) old team for the second time this season, handing them just their sixth regulation home loss of the season. This was an impressive win by the Buds without a bad effort on the roster to speak of. It has the potential to be a momentum-building win over one of the League's elite teams, but the fun doesn't stop here, with a brutally tough turnaround against a rested Sharks team tonight. If you're the Leafs you're...

1056

I’d love to say it doesn’t matter how you get the points at this time of season, but forget the constant chatter about the team’s shot totals; the biggest issue -- and something that, should it continue, will almost assuredly prevent this team from going anywhere in the playoffs -- is its inability to hold onto a lead when the game conditions change in the third period. It was predictable, really. The Flyers are one of the best third period teams and the Leafs one of the leakiest. Toronto entered the final 20 with a 2-1 lead and wound up...

Tyler Bozak, Morgan Rielly

663

// The Toronto Maple Leafs, eh guys? Never a dull moment. This game was firmly in Toronto's control at 2-0 when they took to the powerplay with fifteen minutes to go, only for the Leafs to blow their 20th third-period lead of the season in spectacular fashion - two shorthanded goals against on the same powerplay for the second time in under a week. That’s not even the result of being unable to defend a lead (though they certainly struggle with that as well), that’s just plain bizarre. It’s utter nonsense. I’d take my chance to rail against the defence pairings...

847

Good-enough first and third periods were spoiled by a lack of finish and a nightmare second 20 as the Maple Leafs dropped a 2-1 regulation decision and were swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the season series. The horrendous 2nd period really changed the direction this game seemed to be going. In that first period, the Leafs only gave up one scoring chance to my eye, the Nick Foligno breakaway early which James Reimer turned away with a good pad save. The Leafs had a half dozen prime scoring chances and two powerplay opportunities. The top line was relentless;...

1441

Jonathan Bernier took a costly penalty in the overtime frame, and Max Pacioretty scored his second of the game to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The Leafs both battled back from a two-goal deficit and coughed up a late lead to lose their second consecutive game in OT since coming back from the Olympic break.  James van Riemsdyk scored two, and Kessel had a goal and an assist while Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves.  Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty, PK Subban scored in regulation for the Canadiens, while Peter Budaj made 22 saves. First...

2164

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...

1054

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......

480

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...

1310

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...

1291

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...

348

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...

136

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

1626

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...

771

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

558

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

156

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...