The Leafs had a great start, out-chancing the Wild 6-4, and were unfortunate to trail after the opening period when Coyle scored a goal in the last minute to put Minnesota ahead.

Toronto responded poorly in the second, as Minnesota dominated much of the period, and only Jonathan Bernier managed to keep them in it. So, it was unfortunate that a second Minnesota goal went right through the Leaf goalie in the third period, which looked like it might be the dagger to the Leafs‘ hopes. A rare thing happened after that, as Toronto made a real push in the last seven minutes. Jake Gardiner pulled one back, and a great shift from the top line came not long after. In the end, though, the Leafs didn’t manage a goal, or even any chances with the net empty, and went down to another defeat.

StatusOverallEven StrengthES Close
TeamTORMIN%TORMIN%TORMIN%
16460.0%6460.0%6460.0%
27943.8%2820.0%2820.0%
310471.4%10471.4%00-
Total231757.5%181652.9%81240.0%

The Leafs managed to win ES chances after that strong third period, the first time they’ve managed that since the game with Buffalo. At ES Close, Minnesota still had the edge, as Toronto’s strongest stretch came while chasing the game in the 3rd.

ClubStPTimeTScOscNoteTorontoMinnesota
MINES119:0700Parise from Pominville23192044514564291164640
MINES115:4100Fontaine from Dumba19212345-1426205540-
TORES115:1200Rielly drives231934457459142664640
TORES113:2500Carrick wide from loose puck155367445145212356335540
TORES111:0300Carrick wraparound155367335745212356202540
TORES110:1700Bozak deflects Gardiner shot428121445145212356335540
TORES109:1200Booth wide wraparound2318203574532911202540
TORES105:5300Booth from Lupul2319204451453142664640
MINES101:0600Niederreiter from Koivu224718234592244202540
MINES101:0200GOAL! Coyle from loose puck23192033574531426335540
TORSH218:4701Booth from Phaneuf472035745-94426205540
MINES217:4901Vanek from Stewart4281673344453442663340
TOREN215:5001Carrick from loose puck2247531823212356335540
TORPP214:1401Smith drives231819335145216462040-
TORES213:4901Sill drives15224735145141125334640
MINES213:3301Niederreiter from faceoff231920234592244202540
MINES213:0101Koivu from loose puck231920234592244202540
MINES212:3701Parise from loose puck428121445145642911335540
MINEN210:5201Pominiville from Vanek421821445145142926562033
MINES208:4101Vanek from Stewart5318212345644426254640
MINES206:2401Niederreiter from Stewart42812123459224464640
MINES205:5701Koivu drives wide428121234594426335540
MINES205:5701Koivu from rebound428121234594426335540
TORPP203:3601Phaneuf from giveaway42812134445215664640-
TORPP203:1901Kessel from Phaneuf42812134445215664640-
TORES200:0401Lupul from loose puck2318192444514225664640
TORES319:5001Bozak drives4281212514592244202540
MINES318:3701Spurgeon from Stewart2381203344459441164640
TORES316:5201Sill from Komarov2247182514531426335540
TORES315:1801Phaneuf deflects Van Riemsdyk wide428121234592244202540
MINES314:2101Parise from Pominville2319213514564291164640
MINES312:4701Niederreiter drives wide538121234592122202540
TORES311:4101Carrick deflects Gardiner shot155367445145642911335540
MINES310:5201GOAL! Vanek from Suter421821234531426204640
TORES306:2502Lupul from Gardiner531920445145212356335540
TORES306:2402GOAL! Gardiner from rebound of Lupul shot531920445145212356335540
TORES305:0312Kessel from Van Riemsdyk428121234531426202540
TORES304:3812Kessel from rebound of Phaneuf shot428121351453142664640
TORES304:3712Bozak from rebound of Kessel whot428121351453142664640
TORES303:0412Booth deflects Phaneuf shot422021234564291164640

Player-by-Player data:

PlayerOverallEven StrengthES Close
ForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiff
Brewer710-322:54610-419:2218-7
Phaneuf1211123:18811-319:1238-5
Lindstrom40408:1540408:08303
Panik54115:4533012:03220
Lupul66015:0256-112:0335-2
Booth65111:5955010:2524-2
Van Riemsdyk910-122:1579-219:2916-5
Sill31211:0221109:45110
Smith56-116:0346-211:29440
Erixon23-114:5413-211:1912-1
Bozak97222:1376119:1415-4
Rielly105522:2384418:58532
Komarov41312:3321110:28110
Gardiner124824:41113821:27422
Carrick62409:5352309:41211
MacWilliam41312:1531210:23312
Kozun31208:2431208:00211
Kessel87121:2967-118:3715-4
Bernier2217558:421816248:50812-4

Phil Kessel didn’t do much in terms of chances at the start of the game, -4 at ES Close, but was key to the Leafs‘ challenge in the third period, as he, along with Tyler Bozak and James Van Riemsdyk, put a lot of pressure on the Wild, and were unfortunate not to come away with a goal. Van Riemsdyk had a tough defensive night, on for nine Wild ES chances, the worst of the forwards. Joakim Lindstrom had a strong chance game, as despite not getting a single offensive zone start, he was a team best +4 at ES, and not on for a single Wild chance all night. Brandon Kozun was in a similar position, also having a strong night, despite few offensive zone starts, while Leo Komarov was relatively quiet in terms of chances, but did finish in the positive. Sam Carrick also did very well, one of his best games as a Leaf, +3 at ES overall. Richard Panik also got very defensive zone starts, but managed to finish even, a strong performance. Outside of the top line, only Trevor Smith was in the negative at ES, and even then, he managed to be even at ES Close, so it wasn’t a bad game from the centre.

Eric Brewer and Dion Phaneuf took the bulk of the Wild attack in this game, as they both put up very bad chance numbers. Brewer was -7 at ES Close, and on for ten Wild ES chances, while Phaneuf was on for a team low 11 ES chances. The other pairings were much more effective, particularly Jake Gardiner, who was an offensive dynamo, leading the team as a team best +8 in 21 ES minutes, and scoring the Leafs‘ only goal. Morgan Rielly also had an excellent night, while Andrew MacWilliam had the most defensive zone start ratio on the back end, but was still solidly in the positive in terms of chances.

Cumulative numbers this season:

OverallPos#Even StrengthES Close
ForAgainst%TOIForAgainst%
SillF14212347.7%07:0610952.6%
LindstromF11202841.7%07:22131252.0%
KadriF6632234248.5%14:5119218950.4%
PolakD5628634645.3%17:5417418848.1%
RiellyD7339944447.3%16:5221724447.1%
KomarovF5517617450.3%11:558910246.6%
BernierG5370482346.1%44:2742949746.3%
GardinerD7136940347.8%17:5719823046.3%
PanikF6818620747.3%10:1310211946.2%
PhaneufD6233841544.9%17:0619423844.9%
LupulF4719125043.3%13:1810312844.6%
KesselF7438444946.1%15:0221426944.3%
SmithF5011914245.6%09:12698943.7%
BozakF7436343045.8%14:4919024943.3%
HollandF5916523441.4%11:368712042.0%
Van RiemsdykF7434545942.9%14:5019727441.8%
ReimerG3036746044.4%41:4416523441.4%
CarrickF13182839.1%06:49132138.2%
BoothF5112217341.4%10:126511236.7%
RobidasD5219226741.8%14:449316336.3%
BrewerD10477239.5%17:10193634.5%
KozunF19254535.7%07:11112233.3%

Like the current leader, Zach Sill, Joakim Lindstrom’s small amount of ice-time means that his position on top of the table is somewhat misleading. Both Sill and Lindstrom have just one more ES Close chance for than against, but on the Leafs that’s enough to put them in top spots. Lindstrom’s ES numbers are only just above 40%, which fits with the likes of Booth and Carrick, who are at the bottom of the table. Eric Brewer’s numbers have been bad, as he managed to slot in behind Robidas. In Brewer’s defence, he’s gotten harder minutes and worst zone starts than the injured veteran. Still, given that he’s taken a lot of minutes that previously went to Roman Polak, it’s no surprise the Leafs have struggled lately.