After a terrible game on Saturday, the Leafs had a strong response, with one of their best first periods in a while.

They had the better of the chances, and were rewarded in the last couple of minutes when David Booth scored. The Islanders were much better in the second, and after Peter Holland managed a goal to double Toronto’s lead, New York made a real push to get back into the game. The Islanders had four of the first five chances in the third, along with a goal, but James Van Riemsdyk gave Toronto some insurance. That didn’t last, as the Islanders had two goals in thirty seconds to bring the game back level. Both sides had a few chances for winners late, with the Islanders coming close a couple of times in the final minutes, but the game went to overtime. The extra frame was pretty quiet, but in the final thirty seconds it was John Tavares getting the winning goal, completing the comeback.

StatusOverallEven StrengthES Close

After that solid first period, the Leafs were out-chanced 22-10 at ES, and gave up fourteen chances in the third, which goes to show how effective their efforts to defend the lead were. They also allowed twelve of the last fifteen chances, a truly terrible showing.

ClubStPTimeTScOscNoteTorontoNY Islanders
TORPP116:3900Rielly drives428121344455186145530-
TORES115:5300Lupul from Gardiner2419335145-189134430-
TORES115:2600Erixon wide from Lpul241923345-122925530-
NYISH114:3600Bailey from Leddy18202845-12275191230
NYIES113:0800Kennedy from giveaway2347203514526294034430
TORES111:0400Sill post from Kozun1522672514553151725530
NYIES110:4500Strome drives15241835145185186115530
TORPP109:3000Bozak from rebound of Phaneuf shot4281213444553144430--
TORPP109:1100Phaneuf from Kessel4281213444553144430--
NYIES106:5000Visnovsky from Hickey24182125145122791111430
TORES103:2500Sill from Kozun22672124445122791111430
TORES101:3700GOAL! Booth drives2319202444518518625530
NYIES218:4310Strome drives4281192444518518625530
TORES216:1910Van Riemsdyk drives wide2418213514512279134430
NYIES215:5910Strome wide from Nielsen2347202444518518625530
TORES215:4610Lupul post from Kessel4281192444518518625530
NYIES214:0310Martin from Hamonic1522672444553151734430
NYIES210:1510Tavares from Bailey2418193514512911725530
NYIES210:1010Tavares from rebound2418193514512911725530
TORES209:3610Panik drives2418213514512279134430
TORES209:3310GOAL! Holland from rebound of Panik shot2418213514512279134430
NYISH207:1020Lee deflects Tavares shot wide222024445-12275191230
NYISH206:2320Visnovsky wide from rebound of Boychuk shot222024445-129186115530
NYIES205:3620Nelson wraparound42811933514526294034430
NYIES205:3220De Haan from rebound of Nelson shot42811933514526294034430
NYIES203:4320Leddy from Nelson2419445145-262921130-
TORES201:3920Phaneuf from Bozak4247344514591151731130
TORES318:4720Kessel from Nozak42811935145122691145530
NYIES318:3920Bailey wide from Tavares42811935145122691114430
NYIES318:2820GOAL! Kennedy from Tavares42811935145122691114430
NYIES317:0921Lee from Visnovsky24182135145182729115530
NYIES314:0421Nelson from loose puck42811935145182729445530
TORES313:5421GOAL! Van Riemsdyk drives2418213514512269131430
NYIES313:3431Bailey wide from giveaway24182135145122691111430
TORES313:2531Van Riemsdyk drives241821335145122691111430
NYIES312:0931Visnovsky from Grabner4281192444551408631130
NYIES312:0731Kulemin from rebound of Visnovsky shot4281192444551408631130
NYISH310:0331Bailey from loose puck23473845-12275191330
NYISH310:0231GOAL! Nielsen from rebound of Bailey shot23473845-12275191330
NYIES309:4332Clutterbuck from loose puck1522678334553151734430
NYIES309:3232GOAL! Cizikas deflects Hamonic shot1522678334553151734430
TORES308:0133Holland drives24182124445531517114430
TORES307:3033Rielly drives23472024445531517114430
NYIES306:2333Tavares from Bailey24182135145122691145530
NYIES302:3333Cizikas wraparound23472035145531517145530
NYIES300:0133Kennedy from loose puck4247182444512269135530
NYIES402:2033Nelson drives post242134445-272934430-
NYIES400:2233GOAL! Tavares from Kennedy1819334445-269135530-

Player-by-Player data:

PlayerOverallEven StrengthES Close
Van Riemsdyk105519:4175216:17532

After a terrible night against St. Louis, James Van Riemsdyk was much improved, as the only Leaf player to finish above even in chance differential at ES. It might have helped that he was able to escape Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak, who had terrible numbers again, despite having the most favourable zone starts of any forwards. Bozak and Kessel were -6, while Joffrey Lupul, put on that line, was the worst defensive forward, on for 12 Islander ES chances. With Nazem Kadri out of the lineup, Peter Holland had a much more substantial role, and did well with it, on for a lot of chances and finishing even at ES Close. The fourth line was a bit of a highlight, with Zach Sill and Brandon Kozun both +1 in ES Close chances.

With Polak and Robidas both out for the season, the Leafs defence suddenly looks very different, with Erixon, Brewer and now Granberg drawing in. The two Swedes were given the easiest zone starts on the team. Granberg wasn’t able to turn that into any offense, but was on for just two Islanders chances in his ten minutes, which wasn’t bad, given some of the other numbers on the back line. Erixon also ended up doing pretty well, finishing above even at ES close. Of course, with those two guys getting relatively easy minutes, the other defencemen suffered. This ended up hurting Jake Gardiner, who played 25 ES minutes, had very defensive zone starts, and was on for 15 Isles chances, a -6 at ES overall. Dion Phaneuf, who had even tougher zone starts, also finished at -6. Eric Brewer was the bright spot on the back line, as he was a +2 at ES Close, tied with Van Riemsdyk for the best on the team.

Cumulative numbers this season:

StatusOverallEven StrengthES Close

Robidas and Polak’s injuries mean that the Leafs‘ best and worst regular defencemen at ES Close will not play again this year. That leaves Toronto with just three defencemen who have been regulars all season, which means we should see a lot of Brewer and Erixon. In extremely small samples thus far, both are on a similar level to Robidas, just short of 40% at ES. Brandon Kozun managed to get above the GP threshold to make his debut on the table. He does it in dead last, as in his limited minutes he’s been one of the most out-chanced players on the team. That’s harsh on him, as it mostly comes down to a couple of bad games very early in the year, particularly the opener against Montreal, when he played a season high 12 ES minutes. Since his recent recall, he’s been much more effective.