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.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins

676

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...

1431

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...

1360

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

673

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...

980

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...

113

This is may be the darkest night in Leafland since May 13, 2003. It was a crucial loss to the Montreal Canadiens that took the Maple Leafs from in the mix for the third divisional playoff spot to no longer in control of their own destiny when it comes to making the playoffs in a wildcard position. The Leafs have now lost their third “four-point game” in the span of a week. Crushing stuff. The reality is that the Leafs, with their current flaws, are among the large group of middling teams in the East who aren’t separated by all...

840

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...

576

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...

700

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...

924

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,...

621

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...

1012

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

625

// 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

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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...