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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.

866

Toronto saw a hard fought one-goal lead disappear in the third period against Pittsburgh, as the Penguins Sidney Crosby staged a second consecutive third period comeback to steal the game in regulation.  It's a tough loss to swallow after a thorough effort across the lineup kept the Penguins scoreless until the final eight minutes of the game. 1. You could see the team knew they needed a bounceback game in this one. They came out fast, determined, and nervous as the first period had a mixture of turnovers and energetic offensive play. Thankfully, the Penguins can be a sloppy bunch defensively,...

1384

Former Leafs Nik Antropov and Kyle Wellwood came back to haunt their old club with five points between them, as the Winnipeg Jets trounced the Leafs 5 – 2 on Tuesday night.  Blake Wheeler scored two goals, while Ondrej Pavelec had a rare good showing with 24 saves for the victory.  Phil Kessel scored both goals for Toronto, and now has nine on the season, and five in his last five games. 1.  The Leafs 15 – 11 – 1, and appear to be regressing to the mean with three straight losses.  They were heavily outshot again, with Reimer and...

746

The Leafs welcomed the Penguins in what was their second meeting of the season. A win in the first game in Pittsburgh certainly felt good, but this was a Penguins team that has 7 wins in their last 10 games and has just now started to push for the top of the Conference standings. It was a different game entirely. 1) The Leafs are 15-10-1 and this was a collaborative effort from Michael Stephens and Mislav Jantoljak. 2) 1st minute, Malkin wins a faceoff against Bozak, Neal gets the puck to the point, it trickles back to him and the winger...

399

More of the same in Boston. It was less embarrassing than last season's visits to the TD Garden, and there's a small victory in that, but the Leafs fall short nonetheless and drop to 15-10-0 with a 4-2 loss (one empty netter) to the Bruins. 1 - In a tentative start from both teams, there was not a whole lot going on early besides a bout between Fraser and McQuaid that I’d score in Fraser’s corner. It wasn’t exciting early, but it was the tight-checking start you wanted to see from the Leafs, who were on the road in...

336

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators in the alley and on the ice in the first period and survived a late push on the way to a 5 – 4 win on Wednesday night.  The Leafs took a lead early, and chose not to look back, with goals coming from Tyler Bozak, Jay McClement, James van Riemsdyk, Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri.  James Reimer made 39 saves, while Kessel recorded two assists for his first three point night of the year. 1.  The Leafs are 15 – 9 – 0 at the halfway point of the season, despite...

1027

It wasn't pretty, but the Maple Leafs took it to New Jersey 4-2 Monday night and moved up in the standings.  Nazem Kadri continues to be Toronto's most dangerous attacker and James Reimer is on a personal five game win streak. 1. On Mike Brown's departure - yes, it made sense from a team management perspective. Brown's penalty killing: brave but not necessarily the best. He is less suited for the role of a fourth line zero-minute duster than the likes of McClaren or Orr. He's more of a bottom six/top six player than a top nine/bottom three. That being...

328

The Leafs closed out February strong with a win over the New York Islanders in front of all 30 of their diehard fans. They have finished the month 9-7-0, giving them 26 points on the year, matching their first 22 games of last season. Oh, and Nazem Kadri had a hat trick. 1. The first Islanders goal by Josh Bailey demonstrated that third pairing defensemen are third pairing defensemen for a reason, no matter their +/- ratings. The lazy play by Franson would get you benched in most Rec Leagues. 2. In fact, Fraser and Franson were on the ice for...

1624

Prior to this one, the Habs lost only four regulation games this season, but two of those loses have come at the hands of the Maple Leafs, including the 6-0 shellacking handed to them in the Bell Centre. The 6-0 win also featured physical dominance by the Leafs so this one was expected to be a fiery affair. The Habs added Michael Ryder and PK Subban to the lineup just to make things more difficult. 1) The Leafs are 12-9-0 and this was a loss to the Habs. We don't like those. "Ole Ole" in the ACC, hell no... 2) It...

242

Showing no signs of slowing down, the Leafs followed up a tough loss in Ottawa with a bounce back win in Philly, their 8th victory in their last 11, to move to 12-8-0 at the 20-game mark of the season. The Leafs' speed and puck movement proved to be too much for the Flyers as the Leafs built a lead and held on for the win. 1 - The Leafs came out hitting everything in this one. Unable to find a fight last game, Mike Brown in particular was looking to make an impact. Thankfully, an excellent PK bailed him...

1249

The second edition of the Battle of Ontario. Last time these teams met (Feb. 16th), the final score was 3-0 in the ACC. Now, last time the Sens were simply missing their top line C and last year's Norris Trophy winner. Tonight, that list included one of the season's best goaltenders, Craig Anderson. Fair to say that this was another winnable game. Not to be as the Leafs fall 3-2. 1) The Leafs are 11-8-0 and this was disappointing. 2) 4th minute - McClement keeps the puck alive on the boards and Grabovski scores from up close as he gets some...

2030

The Leafs move to 11-7-0 and improve their once-dismal home record to 4-4. Tonight, they ground the head of the down-and-out Sabres into the dirt with their boot, new coach be damned. Through three games against Buffalo, one of which Miller stole, it's safe to say the Leafs are a clearly superior team to at least one of their divisional rivals. 1 - The Leafs missed their chance to grab an early one in the first. Leo Komarov pounced on a lost faceoff, caused a turnover out of Mike Weber in front and would've put the Leafs up 1-0 if...

1799

Ben Scrivens couldn’t weather the storm, as the Tampa Bay Lightning stunned the Toronto Maple Leafs 4 – 2 on Tuesday night.  The Bolts were bolstered by goals from Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn and Matt Carle, while Mikhail Grabovski  and James van Riemsdyk responded for the Buds. 1.  The Toronto Maple Leafs are 10 – 7 – 0 and I told you last night that the Lightning would offer stiffer competition.  Yes, the Leafs were on the second game of a back-to-back, but they didn’t look like a tired team.  They controlled much of the play through the...

Phil Kessel FLEX

200

The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their winning ways on the road, dropping the toothless Florida Panthers 3 – 0 on Monday night.  Ben Scrivens made 37 saves in his second consecutive shutout and the Buds were buoyed by goals from Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri and Clarke MacArthur.  The win was the Leafs second in a row, and broke a 5-game losing streak in Sunrise, Florida. 1.  The Leafs are 10 – 6 – 0 and have won 8 of their last 11 games.  It’s only 1/3 of the way through the season, but this team has a +10 goal differential...

2259

'Twas the first of four match-ups between these Northeast Division rivals, the season's first edition of the Battle of Ontario. The organization honored the 50th anniversary of the 1962-63 Cup winning team. With Spezza and Karlsson out, it was supposed to be an easier game against a division rival that's hurting right now, but it's not like the Leafs are at full strength. 1 – The Leafs move to 9-6-0 as the team improves their home record. 2 - After a sloppy start from both teams, McLaren has one hit him and go in for the Leafs following a good shift...

198

The Leafs fall to 8-6-0 as their four game win streak ends with a tame effort in Carolina. 1 - A “staged” fight between Orr and Westgarth provided a brief flash of mild excitement early in the first, a pretty even bout amid a boring, uneventful first half-period filled with Leafs icings. I counted just four shots through the first 9 minutes of play. 2 - After Liles rang iron on the powerplay, the Leafs continued to ice the puck throughout the remainder of the first, spending a lot of time in their own zone and struggling to initiate breakouts without...

1668

The Maple Leafs are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference (7th in the league), against everyone's better judgement — the smart money being that the Leafs will be a non-playoff team and probably a lottery pick team. And by everyone, I mean everyone except for Ian Dudgeon (@Dudgee) and I. Most people that write about the game had them finishing out of the playoffs again and if I'm being honest, I saw everyone else's prediction via email first and thought I should be throw them a bone. While the key will be avoiding the characteristic season-crippling slump, this start means...

549

The Leafs refused to let another pair of Canadian brothers come into their barn and come out on top, taking it to the Flyers with a 5-2 win Monday night.  A dominant performance that saw five different Toronto players score, it is a game that will bring the team's record at home slightly closer to the realm of respectability.  However, it may have came at the cost of James Reimer, who left the game with an apparent lower body injury partway through the night. 1. Toronto came out with the type of lethargy one would expect for hockey players coming...

857

On some days it does actually feel great to be a Leafs fan. Such an occasion was February 9, 2013, a Hockey Day in Canada when the Leafs utterly dominated the Habs. Final score: 6-0 Leafs. 1 – The Leafs are 7-5-0 and it’s all smiles today. 2nd most road wins in the league. 2 – Good, composed, energetic start from the Buds. One minute in, the Habs give the puck away at the Leafs blueline, Kulemin stays really strong on his skates, drives to the net and passes to an open Komarov, who makes no mistake. Leo was making a...

Carlyle Welcomed back to Winnipeg

1493

A tilt between two of the league's youngest teams went pretty much as expected.  Questionable special teams, fast-paced action, and a blown third period lead.  Thankfully, the Maple Leafs were on the winning side of this one and climb to a game above .500 eleven games into the season. 1. The Jets came out flying (pun intended). Fantastic crowd up in the 'Peg that shows you what actual cheering from the stands can do for a team. You can guarantee that you will never see the ACC thriving with the consistent energy of the MTS Centre outside of the playoffs....

269

The Toronto Maple Leafs bounced back from last night’s drubbing, defeating the Washington Capitals 3 - 2.  But did you really expect a team with Tim Hunter coaching and Joey Crabb featuring heavily on the PK to actually win a game? 1.  The Leafs are 5 – 5 – 0 after Washington gifted them another easy victory.  It’s the Leafs 4th win on the road, and the game was really never in doubt.  The Capitals late effort down 3-2 made it interesting, David Steckel’s whiff on an empty net from 15 feet out kept it interesting, but the steady supply...