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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.

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...

114

Prepare yourself, this loss is going to invite some doomsday, trade-everybody overreactions. 1 - Game #9 started out much different than it ended, with a decent first period from the Leafs. Kadri, Frattin and Komarov are the only thing going for this team offensively at the moment. He’s got a lot of fans on this site, but it’s worth repeating anyways: Komarov has had a big impact despite being pointless. He covers a ridiculous amount of ice; they send him in as usually the lone forechecker and he does enough for two. Kadri and Frattin scored off a rush play,...

1062

Nothing to be embarrassed about in this one for the Leafs. The Buds played Boston as close as they have in nearly two calendar years. It was also the most boring Leafs/Bruins game in a few years, but we'll take that every time over losing in spectacular fashion. 1 - With the 4th line out, the Leafs got caught behind the play against the Bruins' 3rd line of Kelly, Peverley and Borque. Centerman Dave Steckel was particularly behind and wasn't in a position to support down low. Peverley makes a nice floated pass into space behind Mark Fraser, Cody Franson...

Dion Phaneuf

574

The Capitals are not a good team at the moment and for a while there the Leafs looked in danger of walking away with nothing in a winnable game. Thankfully, a two-goal third period saves the day and the Leafs move to 4-3-0 with their first home win. 1 - Franson gives the puck away on the sideboards, both Franson and Fraser lose the battle in the corner, the puck goes around back of the net to Mike Ribeiro, who shiftily turns Frattin inside out and finds an open Joel Ward back door. The Leafs are in an early hole. 2...

1800

The Toronto Maple Leafs did the previously unthinkable, walking into Buffalo and winning an exciting game in overtime.  Tonight's match looked like it may follow the same unsavory fate that has plagued the Leafs at HSBC in recent years when Buffalo tied it up late.  But a team devoid of two of their top wingers in Joffrey Lupul and Clarke MacArthur showed fortitude and grabbed a victory in the dying moments of overtime. 1.  Before this game started, the makeshift line of Kulemin-Grabovski-McClement raised some eyebrows. Surely it would be better to throw Kadri into JvR's vacated wing for the...

1301

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ offense disappeared down the stretch and the defense had no answer for the “22-Million Dollar Line” en route to a 5 – 2 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night.  This was a funny game, because the Leafs never really had any business winning, yet carried a lead for 40+ minutes.   That said, when Henrik Lundqvist has an average night, he ought to face more than 17 shots. The Leafs are 2 – 3 – 0 for the season, with tonight’s performance eerily echoing Thursday’s debacle in Toronto.  They jumped to a 2-goal lead...

235

How do you undo any progress and momentum gained by a 5-2 win over Pens in their home opener? How about a 7-3 loss to the Islanders back at home, coughing up a two goal lead and conceding five unanswered? That’ll do it. 1 - I’m going to go ahead and say the Leafs didn’t look good from puck drop. They went up 3-1, scoring three goals in 13 minutes, you say? True, but it was wide open hockey and not at all what the team was doing well in the first three games of the season. The first period...

James van Riemsdyk

635

It might actually be a Game in 9. Or a Game in 27. Who knows? I'm writing this sentence at 7:08pm. 1. The game just started, and I'm already sick of the TSN commentary dedicated to "PHIL HASN'T SCORED YET AND IT'S GAME #3!" He's been making plays amazingly well since Saturday and even backchecking. Like, a lot of backchecking, for him. I really hope this first point turns redundant at some point in the next couple hours. 2. I like Tyler Bozak. I really do. But a first line/Kessel-capable centre, he remains not. He's tenacious and full of energy, but...

604

There's no better way to kick off a Leafs season than to beat the Canadiens in their own rink, inspiring some hilarious yet predictable non-blowout booing from the fans and some verbal pleas to the front office to strike a deal with their unsigned RFA. In the fans' defense, the Habs looked particularly poor in a close but sloppy game all around. An entertaining first period, a product of pent up anxiousness and energy from the players, gave way to a bit of a crash in the second and third, expected from a group of players that hadn't played against...

446

Boxscore | Ice Time | Recap You've just watched your final 60 minutes of Leaf hockey until next September, and spent it half-hoping the Habs would win (which they did). What a fun end to the season, amirite? The Leafs did land the fifth overall pick by losing and will have an 8.1% chance at winning Tuesday's NHL draft lottery. They finish the season 35-37-10, for 80 points - a five point step back from last season. No use writing up 10 points tonight, I'll just extend my appreciation. This was a fun and active season on Maple Leafs Hot Stove, our...

837

Boxscore | Ice Time | Recap It was the first game back in the ACC for Keith Aulie and that was about it. Game with little to no meaning will do that to your overall viewing experience. At least we won, right? Right? 1 – The Leafs are 35-36-10 and the NHL draft lottery will be on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on TSN. 2 – Good chance for Liles early but he's denied by Roloson. Solid start by the Leafs but the Lightning score first after a centering pass puck takes a deflection of St. Louis and goes behind Scrivens. 3 – Immediately...