The Leafs hosted a struggling Minnesota Wild in a game where our team desperately needed to put some points on the board. Good thing we did just that.
1 — The Leafs are 23-18-5. Yes?
2 — Great start for the Leafs as they jumped the Wild from the puck drop. Nazem Kadri scored on a spinning backhand after him and Lupul combined on a good cycle in the offensive zone. Lupul showed some nice puck handling skills prior to the goal, while Kadri showed off his great hand eye coordination and backhand eye coordination. I made the second one up.
3 — Joey Orr Crabb scored on a great rush. He protected the puck extremely well, held it on the outside, drove to the goalmouth and scored on a lifted net. Beautiful move. Crabb people etc.
4 — Speed kills and Phil Kessel showed plenty of it tonight, looks like splitting Lupul and Kessel didn—t do any damage to either of them as the duo still managed to produce. Kessel scored a power play goal, his 25th goal of the season and Lupul had 3 points on the night.
5 — Good amount of zone time throughout the game, it wasn—t a case of one and done chances. The team was much more composed in the defensive zone and showed more determination in the corners.
6 — After a good number of power play chances, including a 5 on 3 opportunity, Phil Kessel finally gets a man advantage goal after a scramble in front of Backstrom.
7 — Grabo knows how to use his feet. Great redirection goal to complete a great night for the Maple Leafs, a night where almost everyone contributed. Lombardi has really picked up his game.
8 — Gustavsson looked solid and is building his confidence in every single game. He looks much calmer in net, had no trouble looking through traffic and just played solid positional hockey (except on the goal, obviously). I choose to ignore his field trip away from the net. I choose to remember the big pad stop in the 3rd. The shutout bid? Well, he destroyed that one all by himself, a bad angle goal.
9 — We outshot the Wild by a large margin. Sure it—s the Wild, who are struggling right now, but special teams worked, we had jump right from the opening puck drop, and didn—t give up many chances.
10 — The boys played a really good 60 minutes of hockey tonight. We need more of the same as we—re playing some struggling teams next. Montreal next. Boooo.