Leafs Rookie Tournament: Game 2 Live Blog – Leafs vs. Penguins

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Here we go again.

With Brian Burke back in the news, it’s fitting that his greatest contribution to the Maple Leafs — a rebuilt farm system — take center stage in the days leading up to actual meaningful hockey.  The Baby Leafs have a gold-plated defense group and a forward contingent that breaks down fairly nicely into scoring lines and checking lines; the lines should pretty much roll themselves.

With players like Morgan Rielly trying to make an impact prior to the start of Leafs camp, and guys like Leivo, Biggs, and Percy looking to solidify key roles with the Marlies, the stakes are a lot higher for these kids than they may seem to fans on the surface.  These aren’t your typical pre-season games and they’ll provide a great glimpse at what the future has in store for the big club.

Live Updates:

Period #1
Very physical period for both team, even if you don’t count the two fights.

Pittsburgh scored first on the PP when Harrington’s shot beat Gibson, unscreened.  It was tough to tell from my vantage point whether the Penguin at the side of the net was a factor but Finn definitely lost body positioning on him, giving him the inside lane to the net.  Finn was otherwise reasonably solid.

Toronto responded first with the pair of fights and after winning those, supplied anecdotal evidence that fighting impacts momentum, taking it to the Pens for the rest of the period.  Both Ruperts got on the board as the Leafs scored a powerplay goal at the side of the net.  It was a bit of a greasy one with Biggs floating around the net as well but the shot was a pretty tight angle and Rupert did well to hit it.

Standouts: Percy’s defensive play was very strong that period — something he’ll hope to carry into Leafs training camp, I’m sure.  Also, Ross’ physicality was noteworthy and borderline dirty, which is exactly where we want him to live.

(Matt) Rupert goal (1-1):

Broll fight:

Devane fight:

Period #2
Things calmed down a little bit in the 2nd after a very eventful 1st period.

Pittsburgh struck first again, on the PP, after Gibson left a rebound on a point shot sit 8 feet in front of his crease.  He made a pair of nice saves on rebounds but the defense was caught napping and the Penguins were able to put it away.

As with the 1st period, the Leafs answered shortly thereafter with Ross and Verhaeghe doing the yeoman’s work and Fabrice Herzog reaping the rewards in front of the net.  Nothing has been particularly pretty for the Leafs so far tonight but they’ve been rewarded when they’ve worked hard.

Standouts:  Granberg’s transition game was really slick that period;  he gets the puck to the forwards in stride and at the right time.  Ross had an even better period in the 2nd.  He was creating and his aggressiveness led to a few turnovers.

Herzog goal (2-2):

Period #3
The third was a pretty uneventful period but it did provide Toronto’s nicest goal of the game.  Andrew Crescenzi made the game 3-2 Leafs, flipping a one timer over the goalie in transition after he and Devane made a couple passes down ice.

The Penguins weren’t content to let me go and warm up though and scored to tie the game with seconds left (you can keep your playoff collapse jokes to yourself, thanks).

In the shootout, both Percy and Ross scored (Ross in the extra shooter portion) and with that, the Baby Buds have started the rookie tourney 2-0.

Crescenzi’s goal:

  • Jmessih

    At least switch around Biggs and Carrick, Spott
    Hopefully all these players dress tho, it is a good group

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Nice to see Leivo back in there.  That kid could be something special.  Looking forward to seeing him again.

  • B_Leaf

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
    If the Leafs get the cap problem sorted (Liles trade) I actually think Leivo has a shot at making the team out of camp. Knowing Carlyle, he’s gotta be loving this guy.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Sorry those are just the same lines from last game. No word on the lineup yet.

  • B_Leaf

    Leivo reminds me a little of Corey Perry. He has that strong slender frame with good hands, an edge, and a high compete level.

  • B_Leaf

    If the Leafs could move Liles then…
    JVR Bozak Kessel
    Lupul Kadri Leivo  (Sorry coach Spott)
    Clarkson Bolland Kulemin
    McLaren McClement Orr
    (Colborne)
    Gunnarson Phaneuf
    Gardiner Ranger
    Fraser Franson
    (Holzer)
    Reimer
    Bernier
    Leivo adds more scoring depth, he is highly responsible defensively, strong on the wall, and adds more size to our top nine. Everyone excels beside Kadri. Geez, that line could have some serious fire in it. Lets see how camp goes but just sayin…

  • mcloki

    Evening gents. Looking for a good game tonight. Should see better from Granberg

  • Burtonboy

    mcloki Yeah I’d like to see a better Petter

  • maple1967leafs

    Burtonboy mcloki  my wifes mentioned that to me a few times

  • GeorgeCastanza

    when do get to see the chinese guy?