Game Recap: Game #53, Stars 7 vs. Leafs 1

DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 23: Kari Lehtonen #32 of the Dallas Stars makes a save against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second period at American Airlines Center on January 23, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Well, they weren’t going to win forever, but this was an emphatic way to end the winning streak.

Ray Ferraro had a pretty good comment as this game got out of control: “In the NHL, if you let off 5-10% one night while the other team plays great, this is what happens.”

Dallas looked pretty good on this night, and made the Leafs pay time and again with their speed and timely, clinical finishing. The Leafs couldn’t get a save to help settle them down, either, from Bernier or Reimer. Mistake, turnover, goal… rinse and repeat. It was one of those nights.

A big factor, to these eyes, how was how ineffectual the Leafs PP was. The Leaf PP repeatedly stunted their own momentum, and gave up a shorthanded goal (4-1 goal) as well as a goal just as the PP expired (2-1 goal). The Stars were extremely aggressive on the half wall, where Kessel sets up shop, and the points, taking away the d to d lane effectively. Dallas put their speed to work on the PK and it gave the Leafs fits. Instead of providing chances to tie it up or get back in the game, the Leafs conceded a couple of crucial goals that sunk them in this game as a direct result of a malfunctioning PP. It’s not like the man advantage has been anything but a major asset to this team all season though, so we’ll just have to flush this one.

The one thing that I’m wondering about is the Leafs’ quantity of blowouts the Leafs have endured this season, and if it is higher than most. To my count, this is the Leafs’ fifth game that was over and done with by half way through the game (Columbus, Vancouver, New York, Dallas, Carolina), and the third in the last three weeks. Not sure if that’s high or not.

The good news is that the Leafs have attempted to pay up on all of their PDO/great goaltending karma in one night.

Flush it and bring it in Winnipeg, for Reimer and Randy.


Toronto Maple Leafs vs Dallas Stars Boxscore

Carter Ashton0010:52020001110
Troy Bodie0015:43-120013101
Tyler Bozak0014:38-410870000
Cody Franson0021:17-210001100
Jake Gardiner0022:07-230000100
Tim Gleason0018:24-102002100
Carl Gunnarsson0116:30-112000200
Peter Holland0016:26010481020
Nazem Kadri0113:23-1012490001
Phil Kessel0014:03-420000210
Nikolai Kulemin1014:20120002001
Joffrey Lupul0016:57-130000001
Jay McClement0013:58010890000
Colton Orr007:160014003000
Dion Phaneuf0022:02-220001101
Mason Raymond0018:17-110101101
Morgan Rielly0020:02-220000100
James van Riemsdyk0016:15-310001000


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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-13 Maple Leafs Annual magazines. You can contact him at [email protected]