January 25 2014 08:26PM
I didn't get a great look at this hockey game, juggling cooking dinner during play (quesadillas!) with running errands during intermissions, so I can't really go too in depth tonight other than what my eyes (somewhat) told me and also what the statistics say.
Basically, the CBC has led me to believe that the Winnipeg Jets are hotter than a quesadilla loaded with Sriracha sauce ever since firing Claude Noel and putting former Toronto bench boss Paul Maurice behind the bench. Maurice has the Jets playing better hockey, if better hockey means "riding your hot goalie".
The Jets got out to a 4-1 lead over Toronto, but the Leafs fought back with two goals by the end of the second period and a late tying (read: clutch [!!]) goal by Phil Kessel to tie the score and send it to overtime. Dustin Byfuglien, however, ended the game with a hard wrist shot from just inside the blue line moments after Evander Kane hit the crossbar. There was a lot going on and, to step back from it, it was pretty entertaining, all in all.
January 25 2014 01:27PM
Back at it tonight, this time in Winnipeg, as the hot-cold pack road trip comes to an end with a game in a city where the temperature is too bloody cold and the wind is blowing too bloody hard. I think we can agree that no matter what happens tonight, the Leafs road trip would have to be considered a success given they've guaranteed themselves at least a split with wins against Colorado and Phoenix.
The Jets have had a decent record since firing Claude Noel, but as Tyler points out at Sportsnet, that's just noise and regressive corrections falsely attributed to something else. Teams go on streaks and slumps all the time, and sometimes they mirror with a coach getting fired or a player returning from injury, but not always.
Winnipeg, for my money, are still a lousy team, but in the NHL, that's no guarantee of a victory. Stats/lineups below:
January 25 2014 08:22AM
January 24 2014 04:46PM
Now you're just a win streak that I used to know.
January 24 2014 06:02AM
#5 - Josh Leivo - LW (Toronto, AHL)
Leivo has used a solid showing in his first season as a pro with the Marlies to climb two spots and into the top five of our prospect rankings. He's also had a few looks with the Leafs this season, so the fanbase is starting to find out what this guy's about - size and skill.
Recently I took in a pair of games between the IceCaps and Marlies here in Newfoundland, and while anyone can look good in a game or two, I was surprised by Leivo. The only forward on the ice that was more noticeable offensively, for either team, was Peter Holland.
I did notice at times that Leivo would take a safe shot rather than trying to beat a defender, but that's likely common for a kid adapting to the pros. His skill will be on display more as he continues to get used to his surroundings. - Ryan Fancey