Leafs and Jets Shift by Shift

Danny Gray
October 20 2011 11:28AM

                       

 Our Leafs played arguably their most exciting game of the season last night. After looking all but dead for most of the second period they came out flying in the third and scored two PP goals to tie the game and send it into overtime. Lupul, Frattin, and Reimer locked down the two points in the shootout.

The Leafs finished their generous home stand with a 4-0-1 record. We can quibble about unsustainable this, and regression that, but what matters is that they have earned 9 out of a possible 10 points to open the season. They made some mistakes but were able to overcome them. While it’s not going to last it’s been a whole lot of fun.

Taking a look at last night’s Time on Ice sheet, here are a few things that stand out:

  • Luke Schenn and Mike Komisarek combined saw less time than Dion “Sutter’s Folly” Phaneuf in the 3rd period. In fact Schenn played less time in the 2nd and 3rd periods than Phaneuf did in just the third period.
  • John-Michael Liles played almost 26 minutes last night with 9 coming in the 3rd period and did not look terrible doing so.
  • Jake Gardiner played 25 minutes 8 of which were in the third period.
  • Wilson essentially played 4 D in the third and it worked out pretty well I think.
  • David Steckel had 16.29 minutes of ice time last night. 3 minutes more than both Brown and Frattin. He is proving to be pretty good value. Wilson is using him really effectively. He wins faceoff, he hits, goes to the net, and doesn’t take stupid penalties, you really cannot ask for much more than that.

How did all of this look on the shift chart? I’m glad you asked:

  • Once again my favourite defensive pairing of all time Gunnarsson-Phaneuf was virtually inseparable tonight. They were only apart for about five shifts. I just can’t stress how awesome it is to have a pairing who can play tough minutes in every situation night in and night out. They saw a lot of time against Wellwood-Antropov-Burmistrov and held them pointless. Burmistrov scored with Schenn-Liles on the ice.
  • David Steckel was one the ice for both PP goals. Hope to see him out there more often.
  • Mike Komisarek was the first Leaf (besides Armtsrong) to see his night come to an end. He had two shifts in the third period.
  • Dupuis was the first forward to be stapled to the bench with about only 6 minutes left in the third. With no “enforcer” in the line-up the Leafs have been able to roll four lines all night. I wonder if this has any influence on their ability to come from behind.
  • With Armstrong out both Lupul and Kessel took a few extra shifts with Lombardi and Brown.
  • Winnipeg rolled four lines most of the night as well with the line of Glass-Slater-Thorburn benched at about 14 minutes into the third.

So there you have it. The Leafs remain undefeated (in regulation) as they head out on the road for the first time this season.

Watch tonight as they strive for 5-0-1 against the defending Cup champs and noted Phil Kessel haters, the Boston Bruins.

And, as always, Go Leafs Go!

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Danny once met Doug Gilmour and it changed his life. Had he met Bret Hart the same day he would not have been able to handle it. He can be found on Twitter @ACatNamedFelix.
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