The Maple Leafs will have to settle for just one point out of four as the weekend back to back versus Detroit ended with a last-second OT loss at the Joe. And a Jonas Gustavsson shutout (smh).

This was a fairly even game for most of it, with the Leafs actually edging the Wings in shot attempts, 54-48 in all situations and 45-39 at even strength (they were outchanced to my eye, however). High referee involvement made the game disjointed in the first 40 especially, but it gave way to a moderately entertaining third period and overtime session. The atmosphere was more Leaf friendly than the typical evening at the ACC, with a boisterous contingent of Leafs fans on hand blasting out Go Leafs Go chants throughout.

The finish was tough to swallow, but there were some positive takeaways, most notably the play of Jonathan Bernier, who looked like the Bernier we came to know and love last season. He was on from the start, making tough saves look easy by being a step ahead on his reads and managing his rebounds well. If the Leafs have any shot at the playoffs this season, it rests with Bernier stealing more than his fair share of games. Tonight’s Bernier looked up to it.

Even despite putting 30 shots on goal, it felt like the Maple Leafs let Jonas Gustavsson off a little easy tonight. The Leafs needed to drive the center lane a little more as he was leaving rebounds for the taking and the Leafs weren’t getting to them.

There are some themes developing six games in: Line 2 and 3 are clicking (line 3 especially); Carlyle still isn’t using a fourth line; the top line is getting no better despite tonnes of ice time; the Leafs’ PK is showing some early promise, killing 15 in a row; and the Leafs defence pairings are still far from sorted out.

Unfortunately, the PP (0 for 5) was as ineffective as the PK (5 for 5) was effective on this night.

Player Notes

Tyler Bozak – The Bozak defensive glide is tough to watch on the best of nights, but losing a draw in the offensive zone with the game on the line in OT and getting beat by the opposing center by half a rink length the other way…

Phil Kessel – Still fighting it, and as long as he’s fighting it, PP#1 and Line #1 are going to be a mess. Kronwall is a nasty player and he got Phil off his game.

Dion Phaneuf – A few frustrating fumble-y moments in regulation, but played an excellent overtime period, twice playing a 1v1 to perfection and leading a rush offensively.

Cody Franson – Breaking news: The pairing with Phaneuf is a very poor idea. In safe possession of the puck, Dion and Franson nearly combined to throw the game away trying to execute a basic D to D play, coughing it up to Zetterberg with a few seconds left on the clock in the third. Got an unfair portion of the blame on Twitter for the losing goal; definitely could’ve played his gap better on that 3 on 3, though.

Stephane Robidas – Nice return to the lineup. Carlyle liked what he saw and upped his minutes to the 17-minute range. Quiet, in a good way. Won his battles and was mostly error free. Still like his chances at becoming a consistent positive contributor as the season goes along.

Jake Gardiner – Saw another example of what Anthony was talking about with Gardiner in his Notebook, leading to a spell in Leaf end in the first — he needs to trust/have the courage to use his speed to win puck races rather than slowing up and engaging in 50/50 battles he’s probably not going to win. There was also some questionable decision making and sloppy play from #51, a continuation of games 1&2 of his season. Jake Gardiner still does not have a shot on goal this season. With the new $4 million contract, the expectations have risen, and so far his play has not. Fortunately, 4 games does not a 5-year contract make, but Gardiner has to wake up soon.

Roman Polak – Team leading eight hits, including a few of value that recovered possession. No major issues with his game tonight.

David Clarkson – A part of the best, most consistent line through six games. Had a shift in the third period that was his best as a Leaf. A dog on a bone retrieving pucks, driving the net, and even throwing in a little gamesmanship to slash Gustavsson’s stick out of his hands. His confidence is growing by the game it seems.

Mike Santorelli – Leafs best center through six games. There’s a limit to his skillset but he plays the position properly – hard on pucks and his work rate is consistently high. Really nice move to create a breakaway in the second period; just needed to get the puck off the ice.

Leo Komarov – Not a point to his name and no pluses in the plus-minus column, but he was essential in getting this point tonight. Some big plays by Leo to break up the Wings’ puck movement on the powerplay, and he drew two PPs on his own and won some defensive zone draws; led the team at 56% on faceoffs.

Daniel Winnik – Really gelling nicely with Komarov on PK unit #1. The consecutive kill streak is only going to breed confidence; that’s exciting to see after the 4v5 struggles of yester-season. Nice quality about Winnik is his line mobility; he’s a tool Carlyle can use to try to get any given line going because you know what you’re going to get and it’s going to help a line play in the right end of the rink.

Matt Frattin – Was a little overzealous in trying to make an impact in limited icetime and took a penalty backchecking in the neutral zone. It was a soft call, in fairness. I’m not sure what Carlyle has against him. There’s a point where you’re deciding the player’s fate for him; 2:54 is not enough time for a player to make any sort of impression. Carlyle was quick to staple him to the bench and rotate one of his top 6 forwards onto the 4th line when needed.

James van Riemsdyk – Spent a lot of time battling for positioning in front of Gustavsson only for no shot to arrive.

Joffrey Lupul – Liked his game overall, which has been consistent and impactful, but he was lucky not to be wearing the goat horns after he got too cute on the half wall late in the game and it led to a dangerous turnover. Morgan Rielly bailed him out big time, otherwise we’re talking about how that blown play cost the team a point.

Nazem Kadri – Not playing poorly, but needs to get himself on the board soon. 2 points in 6 games is well below the expected output from Naz in a season where everyone was expecting him to take a step. Early days still.

Morgan Rielly – Hasn’t really jumped off the page so far this season, but he played a good game tonight, moving the puck well and making a great recovery play to save the point, although the puck did bounce a little on that play.

Richard Panik – 3:54 of ice time. Enough said.

Peter Holland – Nonexistent at 5v5, but there hasn’t been much effort at building a functioning fourth line by the coaching staff. Looked okay taking Kozun’s spot on penalty kill unit #2.

Shot Location Chart


Red Wings 1 vs. Maple Leafs 0 – Possession Chart


Red Wings 1 vs. Maple Leafs 0 – Player Stats

3D. PhaneufD0000261-3:054:4025:56:00
4C. FransonD000-1014-2:491:0421:28
12S. RobidasD0000000-0:073:0116:54
18R. PanikR0000000-0:000:003:10
19J. LupulL0000020-3:370:0018:38
21J. van RiemsdykL0000220-3:371:2721:07
24P. HollandC000000125%1:051:586:52
25M. SantorelliC000002150%0:070:0015:03
26D. WinnikC000002156%0:005:2713:36
39M. FrattinR0000211-0:070:002:54
42T. BozakC000-100144%3:410:1621:13
43N. KadriC000023021%2:360:0016:04
44M. RiellyD000-1040-3:331:1922:50
46R. PolakD0000018-0:074:4619:45
47L. KomarovC000002756%0:075:4218:48
51J. GardinerD0000001-5:090:0022:56
71D. ClarksonR000000220%3:190:0017:57
81P. KesselR000-1240-3:590:0024:09:00
45J. Bernier23 - 2406-Jun02-Feb31 - 320.969064:50:00

Red Wings 1 vs. Maple Leafs 0 – Player Possession Stats

PlayerAll SituationsEven Strength
#NamePositionCorsi ForCorsi AgainstCorsiCorsi For%Zone Start%Corsi ForCorsi AgainstCorsiCorsi For%Zone Start%
3DION PHANEUFD30191161262412126720
4CODY FRANSOND2610167235239147223
12STEPHANE ROBIDASD711-4394156-14546
18RICHARD PANIKR12-1335012-13350
19JOFFREY LUPULR181715162161425340
21JAMES VAN RIEMSDYKL1915456441314-14831
24PETER HOLLANDC59-43610034-143100
25MIKE SANTORELLIC1459743814597433
26DANIEL WINNIKC15123561014597450
39MATT FRATTINR3305010033050100
42TYLER BOZAKC1716152361215-34428
43NAZEM KADRIC181625357161425340
44MORGAN RIELLYD2028-842531622-64242
45JONATHAN BERNIERG555325138453965435
46ROMAN POLAKD1425-1136251319-64133
47LEO KOMAROVC16142531714597420
51JAKE GARDINERD131305050910-14741
71DAVID CLARKSONR14113564712935733
81PHIL KESSELC1918151411417-34532

Game Highlights

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder and editor of, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He's published five magazines on the team entitled "The Maple Leafs Annual" with distribution in Chapters and newsstands across the country. He also co-hosted "The Battle of the Atlantic," a weekly show on TSN1200 that covered the Leafs and the NHL in-depth. Alec is a graduate of Trent University and Algonquin College with his diploma in Journalism. In 2014, he was awarded Canada's Best Hockey Blogger honours by Molson Canadian. You can contact him at