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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Leafs' best performance of the season, injuries be damned? Yup.

David Clarkson

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Ugly start to the first leg of the weekend's back-to-back, and a spoiled debut for David Clarkson, as the Leafs drop to 7-4-0 with a 5-2 loss in Columbus. The local broadcast crew in Columbus called the first period the Blue Jackets‘ best of the season. Columbus had a huge edge in both shots (16 to 6) and, more importantly, a significant edge in quality scoring chances. It didn’t start out that way, as the the Leafs were playing at a great pace and moving the puck pretty well in the first couple of minutes, really dictating the flow for...

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Things certainly looked grim 25 minutes into this game, but four unanswered goals including a hat trick from our star, our moon and our sun, Phil Kessel, saw the Leafs get back into touch with their offensive side en route to 4-2 win over Anaheim. The Leafs will have earned some goodwill with their coach after snapping Carlye's former team's seven game winning streak. 1 - The first period featured a lot of commentary on the Sportsnet broadcast about a lack of shots from the Leafs. It also featured a derisive cheer from the crowd when Paul Ranger took a...

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Game in Six Minutes - 10/22/2013 Anaheim Ducks at Toronto Maple Leafs 10/22/2013 5:59 Mins

Phil Kessel Hat Trickvideo

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Phil Kessel scores three goals, two of them assisted by James Van Riemsdyk, for his first hat trick of the season. 10/22/2013 1:20 Mins

Randy Carlylevideo

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Randy Carlyle speaks to the media after facing his former team for the first time in Toronto's 4-2 win over Anaheim.

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Phil Kessel speaks with the media after recording a hat trick including the game winner in Toronto's 4-2 win over Anaheim.

Dave Bolland vs Patrick Kane

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Simply outclassed by the league’s premier team, the Leafs fell to 6-3-0 after a 3-1 loss in Chicago. 1 - It started off not so bad for the Leafs. It was a well played opening 20 minutes by both teams, without many mistakes. The Leafs were moving the puck a little better coming out of their zone than in recent games, but this didn’t last much longer than the first. 2 - The Leafs came out looking dreadful to start the 2nd, puck chasing for the majority of the first seven minutes of the period. After all of Bozak, Kessel and...

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A bizarre loss for the Leafs in game eight of the regular season. The bigger concern may be who the Leafs lost. 1 - We were one shift into a low-key first period before next thing you know, Reimer is down hurt. On a routine play, Reimer came out a few feet to his right to smother his own rebound, while Leivo was backchecking with his head down and was late to see the whole thing develop. He came crashing into Reimer and caught him with a knee in the worst place possible - jarring Reimer’s helmet loose. What a horrible...

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My pregame chat with Declan over gtalk: "Alec: Wild are playing some kid in net and are in the second game of a back to back Declan: Easy win tonight. Leafs will score three goals with under 20 shots" With their three biggest skilled forwards on the sidelines (Clarkson, Kulemin, JvR), playing the best shot suppressing team in the league so far this season, the Leafs needed a good performance from James Reimer and their special teams to win tonight. That's exactly what they got. With negligible offensive zone time and a total of 14 shots on net, the Leafs beat the Wild...

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Toronto Maple Leafs' win, a 6-5 victory in OT, marks best start for the franchise in 20 years (1993-1994 Toronto Maple Leafs). Randy Carlyle and Dallas Eakins are probably going to want to forget this game; it was poorly played with more turnovers than we've seen in a while, complete 5-man defensive breakdowns, poor goaltending, no hitting, no commitment and/or sacrifice in the way of blocking shots or being hard on the puck. On the other hand, it was river hockey at its stats-padding finest (or worse, in the case of Cody Franson & Morgan Rielly). They were on for a number of...

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The Leafs won't take home the Corsi Cup again tonight, but they will return to Toronto a 4-1-0 team thanks to Jonathan Bernier's first shutout as a Maple Leaf and a good final 30 minutes in Nashville. 1 - The Leafs played a decent road period in the first. Toronto didn't generate much, but didn't give up a whole lot in terms of scoring chances, either. The Leafs actually had some of the better looks, and were only outshot 8-6 despite a laughable 17-5 faceoff deficit. 2 - Whether we’ve been able to successfully quantify the importance of faceoff wins...

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This was a pretty awful game after the first period. The Leafs stopped skating, started playing on the perimeter, and between 17:15 of the second period to 8:13 of the third period, did not place a single shot on net until Franson unleashed one from the point. The fact is, not putting a puck on the net for ten minutes is inexcusable. That they stopped playing in the dirty areas after Lupul’s goal in front of the net is also damning of their unmotivated play. . Overall, the Leafs were badly outplayed – they were outshot, outhit, beaten badly in the...

48th Highlanders

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The Leafs remain on an 82-0 pace after a thrilling home opener that had everything but a fight. The Leafs found a way to win despite a goalie pull and a 4-2 deficit, as their off-season additions shone bright en route to a 5-4 shootout victory. 1 - Troy Bodie was instrumental in opening the scoring five minutes into the opening frame. With his long strides and deceptive speed, he broke the blueline and threw a shot on net, before overpowering Jared Cowen and retrieving the puck. He found Bolland in front of the net, who made an instinctive backhand...

Dion Phaneuf, Jonathan Bernier

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What a dirty road win that was. In the second half of back-to-back games against opponents playing in their home openers (courtesy of the schedule makers), the Leafs gutted one out in no small part thanks to an amazing performance from Jonathan Bernier in his regular season debut. Goal scorers for the Leafs were Phil Kessel on his 26th birthday and Dave Bolland with his first and second goals as a Leaf.  1 - A wide open start saw the teams trade chances for the opening few minutes. The Leafs were actually outshooting the Flyers 7-6 at one point, but...

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It's October and hockey is back. With it comes the unparalleled rush of seeing your team beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Unfortunately, it also comes hand in hand with whistle-happy refs, clueless CBC commentators and a surplus of scraps. With their speed, pugilism and offensive prowess on full display, this looks like it will be another exciting year for the Maple Leafs. Some notes from this Tuesday night throwdown: -The Leafs first goal was a result of some interesting movement of both puck and bodies on the powerplay. JVR ended up with the goal on a pass that snuck through Price's...

Leafs vs Wings

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The Maple Leafs and the Red Wings both decided to save their best for the regular season and ice watered down rosters for the last game of the pre-season. Beyond that, I will spare you a lengthy introduction and jump right to the game: #1: Prospects Look Hungry to Start The first period opens with a welcome increase in pace compared to the end of last night's effort. The kids know they are on Hockey Night in Canada and they look to have brought their 'A' games with them. D'Amigo creates scoring chances on his first three shifts with a...

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The Maple Leafs dropped a 5-2 decision to the Swedish Olympic team Detroit Red Wings tonight. While firm judgement should never be made based on preseason, many of the goals tonight were a testament to the skill that the Red Wings possess and a poor effort from the Leafs. It will be great to renew one of Toronto's oldest rivalries this season against one of the league's oldest set of players. Some notes from tonight's tilt: -Whether it be his trademark pinpoint accuracy (shots and passes) or his right-handed presence on the powerplay, Cody Franson is a noticeable difference maker...

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James Reimer stood on his head but a plethora of turnovers proved deadly for the Toronto Maple Leafs , as they fell 3 – 2 to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.  Reimer made 34 saves while Senators starter Robin Lehner made 25 in defeat.  James van Riemsdyk scored an absolute beauty and Dion Phaneuf collected the other tally for the Leafs who are now 4 – 1 – 1 in the preseason. Because the league is hilarious, Phil Kessel served the first game of his suspension for his Paul Bunyan antics on Sunday while David Clarkson took his spot...

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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...