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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.

832

Nothing to see here. Just a boring Sunday night game in the middle of preseason. Except for a line brawl featuring 212 penalty minutes, three game misconducts, and a goalie fight: Brendan Shanahan, have fun with this one. The story of tonight's Phil Kessel vs. John Scott skirmish, and the ensuing brawl, starts with the destruction of Corey Tropp by Jamie Devane a few minutes earlier. The two head coaches did not respond to this event the same way. Ron Rolston sent out John Scott, expecting more rough stuff to come. Randy Carlyle countered with Carter Ashton, Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel...

611

It was technically-poor hockey, but between the scrums, fights and disorganized play, this was a pretty fun game to watch. Rather fitting for the game to end in a 15-round shootout that included this: http://youtu.be/N-2XWKiJTgM Note Enroth slashing at Ranger for trying this, making it all the more awesome. This was a messy, chippy game for the most part, a product of rookies trying to impress and the vets generally looking half-interested. The Leafs looked terrible for the first 40 minutes and deserved the 2-0 deficit, but they started to come on strong in the third period. A good shift from a...

65

The Leafs took a 3-2 decision in tonight's preseason match on a late scrappy goal by Dave Bolland (he's good at those). There was some injury concerns after Nazem Kadri blocked a shot with one of his patented nifty mittens, but early reports indicate it is just a bruise. This was a preseason game, so it was far from pretty. Players come into these games with significantly different levels of motivation, skill and rustiness.  While many look at skill as the most significant of these qualities, consistent high level success in the NHL necessitates enormous amounts of motivation and effort....

384

The Leafs dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Philadelphia Flyers in a sloppy second game of preseason. Remarkably, Phil Kessel took 6 minutes worth of aggressive stick infractions. Becoming known for eating up his former team, James van Riemsdyk opened the scoring after cutting off a pass on the left board in the neutral zone. He got in behind the Flyer defenceman and roofed it far side on a goaltender named “Heeter.” Answering for the other side of the transaction, Luke Schenn tied the game at 1s with seconds remaining in the first frame. Mark Fraser awkwardly tried to block...

517

If you want to look back and find a Game 7 featuring the Leafs, you need to go back to 2004, the last time the Leafs made the playoffs. The Buds emerged victorious in a 4-1 win over Ottawa to  wrap up a first-round series win. Really, this game 7, the first against Boston in 57 years, should've ended much the same way. Instead, hearts were broken. This is the toughest Game in 10 I'll ever write. 1) The Leafs are... out. A shocking end to the series. If you aren't devastated, you aren't a Leafs fan. 2) The first powerplay of the...

402

These Leafs will not go quietly. After another hard fought, fast-paced game with excellent goaltending, Toronto eked out a 2-1 win that has forced a seventh game tomorrow night back in Boston.  With standout performances from Reimer, Gardiner, et al., the Maple Leafs secured their first win on home ice of this postseason.  Hopefully, it won't be their last. -This was an intense situation for an extremely young and inexperienced team. As such, the early jitters were to be expected. This culminated in a JM Liles penalty, as he threw the puck over the boards, instantly ramping up the anxiety...

456

We're headed back to Toronto for Game 6. The book isn't yet closed on this team's 2013 story as the Leafs continue to prove to their detractors that this season was no 48-game fluke. After three games in which the Leafs looked every bit Boston's match, early Leaf domination gave way for the James Reimer show as the Leafs finally got the reward for all of their endeavour. 1 - The Bruins came out of the gates with a strong 2 minutes, but the Leafs weathered the brief early storm and then completely dominated the play, pace and scoring...

144

Toronto put up a valiant effort in their first home playoff game in far too long. Despite finally outshooting their opponents, the Maple Leafs paid the price for a handful of individual, but egregious errors. The Bruins regained their home ice advantage with the victory, but the Leafs sustained offensive pressure and created numerous chances with nearly fifty shots on the night.  In short - tonight's tilt was reminiscent in many ways of the positives from game two, with a scattering of costly turnovers that were the trademark of game one. 1. Despite a loss on the night, Randy Carlyle's coaching changes...

Phil Kessel

350

Playoffs – Game 2. They say that nothing goes wrong in the playoffs until you lose a game at home. Advantage: Leafs. After 6 periods of hockey, the Buds return home with a slight edge in the series after splitting Boston. Your Game In 10 is down below. 1) The Leafs are 1-0-1 and this was the first Leafs' playoff win since April 30th, 2004. Revel in it, Leafs Nation. 2) The game got off to a quick start and the Leafs showed better jump right from the get go. That said, they needed a couple of big saves from Reimer...

305

Here we are with the first ever PLAYOFF Game In 10 on MLHS. The Boston Bruins won three out of four regular season meetings between the two teams, but went 3-5-2 during the last 10 game stretch. Meanwhile, the Leafs entered the series with a 5-4-1 record. Let's examine the horror learning process that unfolded. 1) The Leafs are 0-0-1 and this was first post season meeting between these two teams since 1974. That series ended with a Bruins' sweep... gulp. 2) Not even 2 minutes into the game, Bozak (who left at one point and later returned to the lineup)...

290

The Leafs finish the season at 26-17-5 (57 points) and not on the note we were hoping for headed into the playoffs. Their round 1 opponent is now up in the air and will depend on the result of tomorrow's Ottawa-Boston game. 1 - The game kicked off with a goosebump-invoking playoff atmosphere in the ACC. A sprightly Leafs team was feeding off the energy with a number of good rushes and plenty of finished checks. If the result goes its way tomorrow in the Sens-Bruins game, this will make for a good series. Both are fast, skilled teams...

Grabovski

209

The Leafs are 26-16-5 after taking care of business with a much-needed, convincing win 4-0 over Florida. The Canadiens beat the Jets, so Saturday's game will not determine fourth place/home ice advantage. Saturday's game still has a lot at stake, however, as the result will determine if the Leafs play the Habs, Capitals or maybe even the Bruins in round one. 1 - For those who missed the game tonight - Tyler Bozak was given the night off for “maintenance” and Carlyle trotted out the following four forward lines: Lupul / Kadri / Kessel JVR / Grabo / Kule MacA/Colborne/Frats Orr/McClement/Komarov 2 - The fourth...

57

After a three day break spent golfing, fishing and pool side chillaxing in Florida, the Leafs were looking to mount a push for home ice advantage in round one of the playoffs with a win over Tampa Bay tonight. As it turns out, the Leafs would outshoot their opponent for the first time in 10 games. Surely it ended well... 1 - We hoped to see the refreshed Leafs come out strong against a bottom-feeding Lightning team just playing out the string. There was jump in the Leafs' step in the first 20, and while not their cleanest period defensively,...

1212

IT’S OVER. The Maple Leafs are playoff bound after 9 years on the outside looking in as the clinch has been sealed with a 4-1 victory in Ottawa Saturday night. Enjoy this moment, Leafs fans. 1 - Pretty bad hockey from both teams in the first. For the Leafs, it was a story of repeated icings throughout the first due to continued struggles with the breakout. Failure to provide a good safe available outlet led to a number of dumped pucks for what must have been 5 or 6 icings in period 1. 2 - Frazer McLaren and Matt Kassian squared...

975

Toronto gave up five goals for the second consecutive game as John Tavares and the Islanders took tonight's tilt decisively.  The Leafs built a two-goal lead on their first two shots of the game before paying their dues to the tune of five consecutive goals against on account of inattentive and sloppy play. 1. After a lackluster two-game set earlier this week, Toronto got off to a great start in tonight's dance with the Isles. This involved a rousing penalty kill (5-on-3) that featured a couple of fantastic stops by Reimer. The PK continues to be a surprisingly strong spot...

222

A Leafs win and a Jets loss would mean the Leafs are officially post-season bound. Oh my god, it’s been so long I don’t remember how to feel. What boggles my mind is how many Leafs fans weren’t even 10 years old when it happened. God, that makes a man in his 30s feel old. Let’s see what happens… 1. LUPULLLLLLLLLL is back!!!! Aka: Captain CORSI. I can only assume he will score 2-4 goals in the first 10 minutes or something. Some say I’m a realist….. 2. The Leafs played a reasonably solid first road period. Not a lot of...

387

The Leafs are now 24-13-5 and after five shots in the first two periods and on the back of James Reimer’s stellar performance, escaped with a 2-0 win!  Another shutout for Optimus Reim, who kept Toronto in a game they did not deserve to win.  Phil Kessel scored the game winner on a nice wrister on the power play in third third, giving him his 16th of the season, and Jay McClement capped the game with an empty netter.  Tomorrow, it’s off to Washington, where the Leafs will take on the Capitals with a chance to clinch a playoff...

1714

The Leafs and the Habs met for the fourth time this season. In what was potentially a preview of the first round playoff matchup, it was important to get a win, not only because of the 5-2 loss in the ACC last time around, but because a win for the Habs would most certainly give them a home ice advantage in the potential series encounter. Here is how it all, beautifully, unfolded. 1) The Leafs are 23-13-5 and shoot score, shoot score, the Price is wrong, shoot score. This will be my last Game In 10 until the playoffs, so...

181

Post game Stats: Kessel now has his 14th of the season and with a hot streak incoming, should be able to hit 30 goals with 8 games left on the schedule. The Leafs’ penalty kill continues its excellence with a man down as they killed off three of the Rangers’ 20th ranked power-plays. And what a game it was after a first period that put my ADHD afflicted dog to sleep. 1 - The Leafs are 22-13-5 and are now seven points clear of the Atlanta Thrashers of Winnipeg who sit in ninth place with an extra game played. 2...

1172

Phil Kessel scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Rangers 4 – 3 on Monday night.  The game was never really in doubt, with the Rangers never able to take a lead, though they hung around with two goals in the third to briefly tie it.  Kessel added an assist for his third three-point game of the season, while James van Riemsdyk and Ryan O’Byrne also scored for the Leafs.  James Reimer made 31 saves for the victory. 1. The Toronto Maple Leafs are 22- 13 – 4, and are looking more and more like a...