POSTGAME - Leafs Beat Devils in Shootout

Justin Fisher
November 08 2013 10:32PM

 

In their first game since last Saturday’s clunker, the Maple Leafs returned to action with a 2-1 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils. With the victory, the Leafs improve to 11-5-0, and are tied with Pittsburgh and Tampa atop the Eastern Conference standings.

By all accounts, it should have been a highly emotional game, considering the pregame Remembrance Day ceremony, the Hall of Fame ceremony, and it being the first game since Rob Ford admitted to smoking crack. These are all obviously great reasons to show up and play hard, but alas, neither team seemed really into it.

THE RUNDOWN

It’s hard to say what made the game so boring - the ceremonies, the Leafs ‘not having their legs’, or the Devils playing their second game in two nights. Whatever the case, any sense of excitement was few and far between.

I present to you, The Leafs Nation readers, a visual representation of the Leafs victory over the Devils.

Period 1

Period 2

Period 3

I’ll give you a minute to watch that beautiful Phil Kessel goal a couple more times. Go on. I can wait.

Not too long after Kessel put the Leafs ahead, the Devils tied it up on the power play with a Jonathan Bernier flubbed save, mishandling a Michael Ryder shot and deflecting the puck over his own shoulder and in. Beyond that, Bernier was his usual solid self, making 34 saves through three periods and an overtime.

James van Riemsdyk, who looked just fine in his first game at centre, was the shootout hero. The only one to score on either team, van Riemsdyk skated in on Schneider rather slowly, hung right, and quickly brought the puck to his forehand and snapped the puck  far blocker side.

WHY THE LEAFS WON / BLUE WARRIOR

Bernier was pretty damn good despite that rather awful goal which, as many on Twitter pointed out, James Reimer would have had. That being said, tonight's Blue Warrior honour goes to Kessel. I mean, c’mon. That goal. That’s one of the best goals I’ve seen all year. Look at it!

NOTES

  • Dion Phaneuf played a team high 27:06 and is worth a bajillion dollars according to my best friend Jeffler.
  • Colton Orr was a late scratch, meaning the Leafs went with seven defenders. Frazer McLaren was so bummed to be without his buddy that he couldn’t even muster up a fight, let alone a minor penalty (or even three minutes of ice time).
  • Morgan Rielly played, so his development hasn’t been ruined. He didn’t play a lot, but saw a good amount of ice time on the power play, where he and Gardiner dominated on one shift in particular. Too bad one of them is going to be traded. :( :( :( :(
  • Mark Fraser returned to the line up and Jerred Smithson made his Leafs debut. Both looked pretty good in limited roles.
  • Come back tomorrow and watch Steve Dangle’s LFR video because he’s a cool guy and he tries really hard and we all need to support him as best we can. Also, screw that guy.
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Justin Fisher is The Leafs Nation's Managing Editor. After the game, he's a handsome vigilante who fights crime and frequents late night food trucks.
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#1 Willbur
November 08 2013, 10:37PM
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Your right Reimer would have had that. On the other hand it was a hell of a deflection. I wonder if Bernier can play center? All our problems solved in one fell swoop.

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#2 Thanksgiving
November 08 2013, 11:02PM
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Even though Clarkson hasn't contributed any goals yet, he certainly seems like a good possession forward. His Fenwick % at 5v5 Close has been at 50% or higher in every game he's played so far which is pretty incredible considering how those games have gone.

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#3 gleaper231
November 09 2013, 12:25PM
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Good play by kessel but I don't think he would have gotten through many other teams with that, he would have been shut down his first 2 strides. Kinda lucky on that one I have to admit.

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#4 leafer2013
November 08 2013, 11:03PM
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This game was a bore and the leafs just don't seem to get up for games as much as they do when Orr is in the line up. Hopefully Orr is back for the Boston game

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#5 Nick
November 09 2013, 09:40AM
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@leafer4life

God forbid the leafs get more than twenty shots a game

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#6 leafer4life
November 08 2013, 11:09PM
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@Thanksgiving

I'm not as impressed with Clarkson as many of the advanced folks seem enamoured with him at this point. He has a good Corsi but he is not so great at managing shot quality like most of the remaining leafs have learned to do under Carlyle. That is, Clarkson is taking too many low opportunity shot attempts (he is focusing on quantity and not quality shots).

That said, I have confidence that Carlyle's coaching can improve his the quality shooting and defensive part of his game.

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