James Reimer (expectedly) didnâ€™t start in Winnipeg but the Leafs still needed to grab two points in an important back to back encounter. Oh look, itâ€™s Nik Antropov! What, no Kyle Wellwood? For shame Jets, for shame.
1 â€“ The Leafs are 28-20-6 it was one of those “something was wrong but it wasn’t effort” games. Good news – our PK remained perfect in 2012, 2/2 tonight.
2 â€“ Jake Gardiner was electric early in the game, heâ€™s young so mistakes are to be expected but what heâ€™s showing so far is reason enough to be excited about his future. You canâ€™t expect such a young defenseman to be completely defensively sound, or to have his positioning spot on every time but his poise with the puck, his hockey IQ, not to mention supreme skating ability, make him an exciting player for the future as well as the current day Maple Leafs.
3 â€“ Lupul shows tremendous vision and passing ability to get the puck to Kessel who looks like heâ€™s going to drive the net, stops up, beats the defenseman and puts a shot past Pavelecâ€™s stick side. Thatâ€™s a difficult shot to make considering the velocity it had.
4 â€“ Winnipeg ties it after Chris Thorburn scored on a backhand shot, from a bad angle. At first it seemed like a bad goal but after looking at it again and againâ€¦ Yes, it was indeed a bad goal. Not really one you want to give up (not that you ever want to give up a goal) to get this crowd going. Gus was somewhat off his angle, deep in his net and the puck went through him. Moving on.
5 â€“ I love Kessel as much as any Leafs fan who loves young consecutive 30 goal scorers more than draft picks but you canâ€™t take retaliatory penalties like the one at the start of the second. Itâ€™s just selfish. This was followed by some classic Dion and a moment of wonder, disbelief and relief as Gus didnâ€™t let that puck in after all. You said it Mr. Bowen: Neeyayaya!
6 â€“ Winnipeg goes in front after Gustavsson made the initial save on Wheelerâ€™s rush, which was huge by the way, but had no defensive support as he was down and out when Little fired it home. If youâ€™re having flashbacks then youâ€™re perfectly normal.
7 â€“ The Leafs were passing up too many shots tonight, sometimes, especially when youâ€™re back to back and playing away, you just need to get it on net.
8 â€“ Crabb and Oduya looked like they had a score to settle, but they only thing they settled was the debate about it being worth 5 minutes in the sin bin. It wasnâ€™t, but thatâ€™s what they got.
9 â€“ Youâ€™ve got to give Gus credit for the way he battled until the end of the game. He kept this team in it with several big stops. One was on Gus, one on defense and it was the difference in a tight game tonight. If only Lombardi had scored on that beautiful feed from Crabb…
10 â€“ Our boys battled, but it just wasn’t going our way today. Back to back sometimes don’t. The Leafs are 1-5-1 as the tired team now, but it wasn’t that they looked that tired; just a lack of execution did us in tonight.