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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The Leafs visited the Vancouver on Pavel Bure night for the first of two seasonal meetings with the Canucks. In other news, Luke Schenn was a healthy scratch for the Flyers as Paul Holmgren saw fit to reward the former Leafs defenseman on his birthday. More importantly, but certainly less amusing, Liles, Bodie and Ashton were healthy scratches for the Leafs and Mason Raymond was in the lineup against his old team. Anyway, see how this one turned out... or don't. Your choice. I'd prefer the latter. 1 – The Leafs are 10-5-0 and the Leafs still haven't beaten the Canucks...

101

The Leafs are the first team in the East to hit the 10-win mark thanks to a 4-2 win in Calgary. It was far from pretty, but in second leg of a back to back on the road, these are two points the Leafs will happily pocket before hitting the road further West to Vancouver for what will be their stiffest test of the road trip. The Leafs will remain top of the East thanks to two shorthanded goals (JvR, Ranger), David Clarkson's first point as a Leaf (on Raymond's goal), and a powerplay (basically) goal from Joffrey Lupul. Game...

Phil Kessel

373

The Maple Leafs started their western road trip on the right note, putting away the Oilers 4-0. It was an impeccable road game, and possibly Toronto's best work over sixty minutes this season. James Reimer tightened his grip on the starter's role with a shutout and Phil Kessel moved into a tie for second in league scoring with four points. 1. One minute into the game, Raymond chips it up along the boards to Kadri, who almost immediately sends it to Kessel streaking down the middle of the ice. As the Edmonton defender falls to the ice behind him, Kessel...

802

Toronto bounced back from a defeat in Columbus last night in a big way with a win against the Penguins. The Leafs found their physical game and put forth a strong effort across the board on their way to a 4-1 victory. 1. The Leafs came out with one of their best first periods of the season. The reason? It could be playing up to the level of their opponents, or the absence of a certain defensively-capable, offensively-culpable center. But the jump in their game was in large part due to their renewed physicality. 2. Toronto lost a hitting machine in...

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Randy Carlyle speaks to the media after Toronto's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh.

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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...

295

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...

629

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...

472

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...

445

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...

251

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...