Leafs Post Game - Quack Quack, Mr. Badstick

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 10 2014 10:55PM

GOODstick

Some may say that this road tour of California is one that will give the Leafs a rude awakening. While there's a lot of potential for that to be true; it's better to look at it from a different angle. Any team that wants to make a serious dent come playoff time should be capable of keeping up with the best. The Anaheim Ducks are technically the second best at the moment, but that's still a pretty high hurdle to face. After all, they've more or less clinched themselves a playoff spot already! That's pretty dominant.

But give the Leafs some credit; they pulled out a surprising win to get the trip underway, beating the Ducks by a score of 3-1.

The Rundown

The Leafs started the period by, well, letting the Ducks swarm the offensive zone. An early penalty to Nazem Kadri definitely didn't help things, and tides reversed as soon as Ben Lovejoy allowed Toronto to have a man advantage of their own. It didn't turn into anything, but the ice began to tilt in their favour. Tyler Bozak put the exclamation point on the momentum rally, taking a feed from Dion Phaneuf and turning into his fifteenth goal of the season. Many would have been happy with a one goal lead after twenty, but with the seconds winding down, Phil Kessel flew into the offensive zone, earned himself a break, and added yet another goal to his collection (tying Corey Perry for 2nd in the league!). Also, David Clarkson fought for reasons I can't really explain.

Kessel struck again early in the second, finding himself on an odd man rush with Paul Ranger. Naturaly, you'd expect Kessel to shoot, but he showed patience and waited to give his defenceman a tap in to extend the lead to 3-0. The game stayed pretty even from there, and eventually, Corey Perry was the first and only Anaheim player to beat Jonathan Bernier, tapping in a cross-crease one timer for his 35th of the year (jumping ahead of Kessel again). Also, David Clarkson fought for reasons I can't really explain.

The third seemed to be all Anaheim; they took three quarters of the shots and the attempts looked about as crazy. But Bernier was equal to every task, even as Anaheim pulled their goalie and ran six attackers, and the clock eventually hit zeroes. In this third and final period, David Clarkson did not fight anybody for any reason.

FUN FACT: This was the first time this season that Corey Perry scored a goal and the Ducks lost in regulation.

Why The Leafs Won / Blue Warriors

I don't feel that it's fair to name just one guy as the Leafs best player tonight, and in total honesty, there's only a few guys on this team that really had a firm grip of this game. Dion Phaneuf and James van Riemsdyk had their moments, but the Leafs won because of Jonathan Bernier, Phil Kessel, and Tyler Bozak.

Bernier, of course, stood on his head. Stopping 43 of 44 shots coming from a team as gifted as the Ducks, especially when so many of their players had faced him as a member of the Kings, is stellar and makes this one of his best games of the year. Bozak made a couple mistakes, but was often in the right place to break up or make plays, and made several important passes. Plus, you know, the opening goal. Kessel? He's on another planet, and had one of those games where he was a legitimate threat every time he touched the puck.

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I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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#1 luckyleafs
March 10 2014, 11:28PM
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This leaf team is lucky. They win games they have no business winning given how badly they are outshot. But the truer team is the leaf team that could not get many points and regulation wins while bozak was out.

The leafs are simply on a hot streak now like they were at the start of the season. And they will lose soon enough.

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#2 Trollalert
March 11 2014, 12:50AM
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@luckyleafs

"They see me trollin' they hatin'..."

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#3 Tom B
March 11 2014, 01:47AM
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This is just an odd leafs team. At what point does, 'the leafs are just lucky', become a lazy response to all of this?

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#4 leafdreamer
March 11 2014, 06:08AM
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If Leafs somehow win the Cup this year it shouldn't count because relying on the goon-squad to provide energy to the high-scoring, shot-blocking, hard-hitting, puck-moving team with incredible goaltending isn't hockey!

Bozak made so many mistakes and should be sent to Slovenia or something because, sadly, noone in the NHL would have him given his terrible Corsi and Fenwick and we desperately need cap-space just in case a possession-monster-type-of-player from another team loses his mind and decides for some crazy reason to want to join our team. He scored a fluky goal that a child could have scored and had only secondary assists on the other two goals - the secondary assists that shouldn't count anyway.

Clarkson fought twice to distract the viewing public and all concerned from the terrible play of his teammates who were terribly outpossessed and hemmed in their own zone through the entire game relying on their goalie to stop the rain of shots and incredible scoring-chances against.

Fire Carlyle! Fire Nonis! Go Canucks go!

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#5 leafdreamer
March 11 2014, 06:13AM
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No, seriously guys, jokes aside, where's is the guru guy? I hope he's ok, like not sick or something.

The guy actually had a narrative, however wrong it may have been, he could write and he watched the games...

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#6 Jeremy Ian
March 11 2014, 06:55AM
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I watched the game on and off till mid-way into the 3rd.

The first half of the game the Leafs were a strong match for an impressive Ducks team. After that, Bernier was rock solid.

So, the outcome was good, but I'd like to see the Leafs play more consistently for 60 minutes.

Those fisticuffs from Clarkson may have seemed over the top. But actually, he played a good game. And his style on the ice -- and the instantaneous willingness to drop the gloves with a much bigger Allen after the blind-side hit on Gardiner -- shows why the Leafs do not need pure enforcers. Gleason and Clarkson are tough. So, while there may appear to be no reason for the fighting, I see these charades as an opportunity to ice an energy 4th line.

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#7 chawnsy
March 11 2014, 07:32AM
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Y no luv 4 Ranger Jeffler?

He easily had his most dominant game of the year and was picking up loose pucks and breaking up passes in the D-zone all night long. He was frustrating the hell out of the Ducks players and his goal was just the icing on the cake.

I would have put him in that group of "Blue Warriors" in a heartbeat.

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#8 Leaf Life
March 11 2014, 12:50PM
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luckyleafs wrote:

This leaf team is lucky. They win games they have no business winning given how badly they are outshot. But the truer team is the leaf team that could not get many points and regulation wins while bozak was out.

The leafs are simply on a hot streak now like they were at the start of the season. And they will lose soon enough.

Can you Smell-la-la-la-la-la what this TROLL IS COOKIN'?!?!?!

FYI - This "Hot Streak" as you call it Essentially started 14 freaking games BEFORE the Olympic break when the Leafs went on a 11-2-1 run, thats pretty long stretch to be labeled a "hot streak" dont ya think Troll?

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#9 MaxPower417
March 11 2014, 01:09PM
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Leaf Life wrote:

Can you Smell-la-la-la-la-la what this TROLL IS COOKIN'?!?!?!

FYI - This "Hot Streak" as you call it Essentially started 14 freaking games BEFORE the Olympic break when the Leafs went on a 11-2-1 run, thats pretty long stretch to be labeled a "hot streak" dont ya think Troll?

I'm not sure you've properly grasp the concept of trolling. When someone is trollin they often don't believe or at least fully believe what they are writing. So it therefore makes no sense to call them out on trolling and then take the bait hook line and sinker.

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