There wasn’t much action at even strength in the first period, with just four chances between the two teams, but each team managed a goal at ES in the frame.

The Toronto Maple Leafs then went ahead early in the second, and seemed to be in good shape, only for things to go south in the second half of the period. While the Leafs did open up a 3-1 lead at one point, the Buffalo Sabres were dominating the chances, finishing the period on an 11-2 stretch at ES. They continued that push in the third, and two quick goals soon put Buffalo ahead. Toronto were able to put on some late pressure with the extra man, but couldn’t get an equalizer, ending their win streak.

StatusOverallEven StrengthES Close
TeamTORBUF%TORBUF%TORBUF%
15741.7%1325.0%1325.0%
241323.5%41225.0%41126.7%
38372.7%4180.0%010.0%
Total172342.5%91636.0%51525.0%

Toronto’s performance at even strength was really poor, as they were totally outclassed in the 2nd period by the worst team in the League.

 

ClubStPTimeTScOscNoteTorontoBuffalo
TORPP116:3900Kessel from Phaneuf42812134445128264735-
TORPP114:5700Lupul from Kadri154319255145368264735-
TORPP114:5600Lupul from rebound154319255145368264735-
BUFES113:1200GOAL! Dalpe from Ellis154347255145192037244135
TORPP111:0201Van Riemsdyk from Rielly42812134445123764735-
BUFES108:4501Meszaros from Varone231920253345638444244135
BUFES105:5101Larsson deflects Meszaros shot wide4281212345632226244135
TORES105:3001Kadri wide from Lindstrom154347253345256382516135
BUFEN102:1511Gionta from Ennis152247445145631222264147
BUFSH101:2511Hodgson wide from loose puck23472345-192582416135
BUFSH101:2311Hodgson from loose puck23472345-192582416135
BUFSH100:5211Moulson from Ennis4218253345-631222264735
TORES219:1311GOAL! Van Riemsdyk from Kessel428121234525128264735
BUFES217:3421Hodgson wide from Varone221920253345192084516135
TORES215:2921Komarov wide from Bozak42478122545632226516135
BUFES214:1421Varone drives23192025334519208464735
BUFES211:5221Bogosian from Larsson428121234563222664735
BUFSH209:3421Foligno deflects Benoit shot wide23472345-192582416135
BUFES209:1821Grigorenko wide from Foligno2343472345192582416135
BUFES208:4121Weber drives4347813444536374464735
BUFES207:1521Grigorenko from Meszaros154318253345251282244135
BUFES207:1021Foligno wide from rebound of Grigorenko shot154318253345251282244135
BUFES207:0521Grigorenko wraparound wide154318253345251282244135
TORES206:3621GOAL! Kadri drives1543182345192025244135
BUFES206:0631GOAL! Hodgson from loose puck2319202345192084516135
TORES204:5932Kessel drives42812144514563222664735
BUFES203:1432Grigorenko wide from Foligno1543472345251282516135
BUFES202:4432Dalpe drives2319203514519208464735
BUFES202:3532Varone from Hodgson2319203514519208464735
BUFSH318:2732GOAL! Moulson from Larsson23472345-631222264735
BUFES316:4633GOAL! Ellis from Zadorov2337202345123782516135
TORES316:2134Sill drives2223372345363744244135
TORES311:0434Kessel from Kadri438121445145192084244135
BUFSH308:5034Ennis drives wide22472345-631222264735
TORES306:1434Lindstrom wide from Kadri15374334445632226516135
TORES302:4634Lupul from Lindstrom154319255145198426476135
TOREN301:4134Kessel from Rielly42478121244198426476135
TORPP301:0234Kessel from Rielly42438121344128264735-
TORPP300:2334Bozak from Van Riemsdyk42438121344368264735-
TORPP300:2334Kessel from rebound of Bozak shot42438121344368264735-

Player-by-Player data:

PlayerOverallEven StrengthES Close
ForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiff
Brewer511-622:1146-216:3935-2
Phaneuf914-527:5749-517:4928-6
Lindstrom66014:1645-112:1925-3
Panik14-311:2613-208:2913-2
Lupul36-312:4016-510:4305-5
Booth07-711:2407-710:0306-6
Van Riemsdyk92719:0132113:39220
Sill13-208:1411006:0601-1
Smith111-1011:3817-608:2106-6
Brennan58-314:1137-411:4927-5
Erixon17-614:3716-511:1416-5
Bailey21106:4021106:4001-1
Bozak93621:1332115:21321
Kadri107318:1257-213:1527-5
Rielly92721:4731214:23110
Komarov310-716:3624-212:0024-2
Gardiner54119:2833016:4313-2
Kessel103722:0743116:19330
Bernier1323-1057:54916-743:26515-10

On a night where there wasn’t a lot of even strength offense, the top line was still fairly effective, as they managed to finish even, a strong defensive effort for them. This was in spite of the fact that JVR and Kessel did not get a single ES start in the Buffalo zone. The top trio were the only forwards with an offensive zone start ratio under 50%, so you’d expect the other lines to pick up the offensive slack. Unfortunately, that didn’t really happen. Nazem Kadri had a bad start, -5 at ES Close, but was at least on for most of the ES Leaf chances in the 3rd period. He wasn’t the only forward who had poor numbers, as Joffrey Lupul and Trevor Smith had were even worse in terms of chances, and unlike Kadri they didn’t have a strong bounce-back in the third period. The worst of the forwards in chances was David Booth, who wasn’t on for a single Leaf chance all night, and was -6 at ES Close.

Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly have seen the difficulty of their minutes go up recently, and have responded well. Rielly played a low-event game at ES, not on for many chances either way, while Gardiner, like Kadri, rallied in the third period to finish at even. Dion Phaneuf had a bad chance night, -5 at even strength. However, he was far from the worst defenceman, as Brennan and Erixon, despite softer minutes, had numbers that were almost as bad, both -5 at ES Close.

Cumulative numbers this season:

OverallPos#Even StrengthES Close
ForAgainst%TOIForAgainst%
LindstromF15343747.9%08:46222052.4%
KadriF6933935848.6%14:5519920049.9%
PolakD5628634645.3%17:5417418848.1%
SillF17242648.0%07:03111247.8%
RiellyD7742446347.8%16:5822825147.6%
GardinerD7539142048.2%18:0420823846.6%
KomarovF5919018950.1%12:039711146.6%
PanikF7219721547.8%10:1410812546.4%
BernierG5572385245.9%44:1344251946.0%
PhaneufD6636144344.9%17:1320725644.7%
KesselF7840547346.1%15:0022628344.4%
SmithF5312915345.7%09:28769843.7%
LupulF5120127042.7%13:1910814043.5%
BozakF7838345345.8%14:5020226243.5%
ReimerG3340449345.0%41:4818325242.1%
HollandF5916523441.4%11:368712042.0%
Van RiemsdykF7836248242.9%14:4920528741.7%
ErixonD11264735.6%12:52192741.3%
CarrickF16233241.8%07:07152438.5%
BrewerD14679441.6%17:35315237.3%
BoothF5513419141.2%10:307412537.2%
KozunF20284637.8%07:26132237.1%
RobidasD5219226741.8%14:449316336.3%

Tim Erixon enters the table after playing his 11th game. His numbers are bad at ES Close, especially considering how easy his minutes have been, but are truly terrible at ES Overall. His ES percentage is very similar to the percentage Holzer put up before he was traded, but the German was typically playing much more difficult minutes. The US-born Swede hasn’t shown a whole lot in his brief time as a Leaf, and I question whether he’ll be back.