The Maple Leafs are leaving Raleigh with stolen goods in the form of two points in the NHL standings.

It was a case of history repeating itself for much of the night: a pretty lame Leaf effort, Cam Ward suddenly finding his pre-2012 form again versus the Leafs, so on and so forth.

It was also a painfully boring game for much of it, and went according to script for two mildly talented teams coached by Mike Babcock and Mike Babcock’s disciple Bill Peters.

In terms of process, though, Peters will continue to rue his team’s luck while Babcock will be treating this more like a loss. The Leafs had a particularly ugly run of play in the second – outshot 10-1 in the first 15 minutes of the period – through to the early third.

According to War On Ice, the Leafs were outshot 2:1 at 5v5 (30-15), out shot attempted 54-37, but actually had more scoring chances with 18 to the Canes’ 16 (9 to 6 in high-danger scoring areas). The Hurricanes under Peters are really struggling to turn possession into chances of note.

Without the break of a faceoff infraction penalty, Toronto is probably leaving Carolina empty handed, but credit to the powerplay for continuing to click at an important juncture of the game — although the later 4 on 3 PP in OT was a bit of a trainwreck, the Leafs are rolling on both sides of special teams and getting great goaltending, and it’s making up for a bit of a step back in their 5v5 play.

Funny how things can change in a hurry, but Babcock won’t like that last part one bit.

If there’s three things to like about the game tonight:

  • The Return of Optimus Reim: Reimer continues to soar, and is now up to a sparkling .933 save percentage along with a 7-2-3 record. Reimer has collected points for the Leafs in 10 of 12 games and has been in net for all but one of the Leafs’ 18 points. Goals from behind the goalline like the one from Carolina’s Brad Malone tonight are almost always the goaltender’s fault, but Reimer more than compensated for it with a 34-save performance accentuated by a big save in overtime and a fantastic showing in the shootout, particularly on a second-effort stop on Nathan Gerbe.
  • Nazem Kadri bumped the monkey off his back. Finally a chance fell for him in the low slot and he put it in the roof for his first goal in 62 shots on net. You could see earlier in the game on a 2 on 1 opportunity just how much he was questioning himself in offensive situations – hopefully not so much anymore. Him and JvR were easily bested on even strength possession, though (see below).
  • Leo Komarov was an all-situations beast for the Leafs. Leo had a massive effort on the 5 on 3 late in the first period to twice break up passes with good anticipation and an active stick before sending it down the ice. He then won a battle in the slot to free the puck up for Kadri on the tying goal on the late powerplay. He also mixed in the customary seven hits to go along with his assist. All in a night’s work for Uncle Leo.
  • Let’s make it four – Dion Phaneuf did everything in his power to get his team going with a couple of punishing hits that dialled up the temperature of the game, if only temporarily.
  • Okay, five – His point streak ends at five, but Tyler Bozak appears to have some new-dad mojo going as he had some nice shifts tonight where he was first to pucks and distributing well, particularly on a 4 on 4 shift in the third.

There won’t be much time to let this one digest as the Leafs are in Boston for a game that starts 20 hours from now. The Leafs could leapfrog the Bruins in the Atlantic Division standings with two points.

Reimer will start again tomorrow — it might have been something that was already decided given the way the last back to back went with Bernier in net, but the 34-save performance definitely sealed it.

Shot Location Chart


Even Strength Possession Chart

chart (15)


Leafs vs. Hurricanes — Leafs Player Stats

M. Hunwick00000334-0:262:3426:33:00
D. Phaneuf000-10330-3:591:4023:52
P. Parenteau00000101-4:120:0019:37
J. Lupul00000120-2:010:0016:11
J. van Riemsdyk011-10300100%2:530:0018:58
S. Matthias00002001-0:000:1615:01
P. Holland0000012062%3:500:0015:34
D. Winnik00000100-0:000:009:47
B. Boyes00000000100%2:330:0013:12
M. Grabner00002451-0:001:0510:13
T. Bozak0000030141%3:420:3820:30
N. Kadri101-1031232%2:530:0020:29
M. Rielly00000012-1:510:2025:49:00
R. Polak00002021-0:000:3417:16
L. Komarov011-1017050%1:441:0916:36
J. Gardiner000-10030-1:310:0018:55
M. Marincin00000001-0:000:009:45
B. Froese0000212131%0:000:3411:29

Leafs vs. Hurricanes — Leafs Player Possession Stats

NameCorsi ForCorsi AgainstCorsiCorsi For%Zone Start%
MATT HUNWICK1831-1336.73%27.78%
DION PHANEUF1522-740.54%36.84%
JOFFREY LUPUL817-932%12.50%
JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK1123-1232.35%46.15%
SHAWN MATTHIAS1215-344.44%36.36%
PETER HOLLAND1114-344%33.33%
DANIEL WINNIK610-437.50%14.29%
BRAD BOYES911-245%40%
JAMES REIMER4967-1842.24%32.56%
MICHAEL GRABNER129357.14%25%
TYLER BOZAK1414050%35.71%
NAZEM KADRI1025-1528.57%42.86%
MORGAN RIELLY1529-1434.09%30%
ROMAN POLAK1215-344.44%30%
LEO KOMAROV1016-638.46%36.36%
JAKE GARDINER1813558.06%33.33%
MARTIN MARINCIN810-244.44%100%
BYRON FROESE99050%8.33%

Mike Babcock Post Game