February 19 2013 09:37PM
It was an uncharacteristically slow pace for a game involving the Tampa Bay Lightning, or perhaps I've been swayed by a bias because their games are usually high-scoring. There wasn't a lot going on for either team, a slow first period and a slow second period ended up having a pretty fun ending thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs pressing with the empty net, but ultimately the Leafs dropped their first game in three outings with a 4-2 loss to the Bolts.
The difference may have been Ben Scrivens' first two mistakes on the season. Alexander Killorn and Matt Carle both scored on long, unscreened point shots misplayed by Scrivens. Neither him nor Anders Lindback were overwhelming on forward shooters—much of the reason for the low shot total in this game, 25-19, was the result of missed nets and blocks.
February 19 2013 12:45PM
I'm at a loss for words to explain Toronto's run of good fortune lately. Not only have they been generating scoring chances at a rate far higher than you would expect from their shot totals, but a good number of those chances are going in, especially lately.
Toronto has won six games out of their last seven, a blemish only against the Carolina Hurricanes. In those seven games, the Leafs have out-chanced their opposition 92-86, which isn't horrific domination. They've out-scored their opponents 24-9 in the process, which is horrific domination. A lot of things right now are clicking for Toronto, especially the goaltending. Ben Scrivens has come in and been lights-out.
February 18 2013 09:21PM
It turns out you cannot stop the Toronto Maple Leafs, you can only hope to contain them.
Or, perhaps, the only person on the planet who could effectively shut down the juggernaut that is the Toronto Maple Leafs is Ben Scrivens, the 26-year old undrafted opening day starter who now has two consecutive shutouts.
A Maple Leafs team that came out flat turned it all around on a fortuitous turnover by Mike Weaver that led to a Phil Kessel partial breakaway. Kessel snapped home his third of the season on a beautiful shot at full speed. Two other LeafsNation favourites, Nazem Kadri and Clarke MacArthur, scored goals in the second and the Leafs walked through the third for their second straight 3-0 win.
February 18 2013 07:51AM
Screencap via the Florida Panthers' main page. You get get to this game for very cheap.
Here's a good mantra: "Manage your losses".
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of two teams in the NHL without having suffered a defeat in overtime or the shootout this season, the other being Pittsburgh. About 25% of NHL games go to overtime, and that doesn't vary when there are more divisional or conference games.
Yet the Leafs have gone the distance just once: an overtime win against Buffalo much earlier this season, where Matt Frattin scored with about a second to go in the OT period to save the game from the agony of the shootout. The Florida Panthers meanwhile have managed to get past the regulation 60 minutes five times this year… and all five times have been in their last six games.
February 16 2013 08:50PM
Photo via Abelimages and NHLInteractive
The Toronto Maple Leafs beat a provincial rival 3-0 on a Saturday night. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the opposing team, tonight the Ottawa Senators, had to dress two players who have sweater numbers in the 60s and three with sweater numbers in the 50s.
Ben Scrivens though, played very well in his first career shutout, despite the fact that the majority of the Senators' shots came were long-range or mid-range attempts from poor angles. He looked good positionally, but mostly the defence was good around him and the Sens didn't get a lot of second chances. Or first chances.
Frazer McLaren's ass, Tyler Bozak's skate and John-Michael Liles from 131 feet out are your goal scorers in this one.