October 26 2013 08:28PM
After a real lacklustre effort in Columbus a night ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs rebounded and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Hockey Night in front of yet another spectacular performance from James Reimer. The theme for the Leafs so far this season seems to be "play well in two periods and get totally out-shot in the other 20 minutes" and that remained true Saturday. After a fairly even first period and forcing Penguin goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to make some excellent saves, the Penguins peppered Reimer in the second, but he was very solid and making all the saves he had to.
Clear of the second frame, the Leafs put together a couple of highlight-reel goals against Fleury, one coming at the start of the period, another coming at the end, and got an empty-net goal from David Bolland for good measure.
Also, despite taking the second period off, the Leafs did manage to generate 30 shots on goal. On the whole, a pretty good game for Toronto, who find themselves at 8-4 ahead of their three-game Western Canadian road trip.
October 26 2013 01:11PM
(via National Geographic - Read all about emperor penguins here)
Pittsburgh and Toronto both played last night—not against each other—and wound up with disappointing losses against inferior opponents. The Leafs were curbstomped on the shot clock by a bad Columbus team, while the Penguins gave up a late winning goal against the New York Islanders in a game they probably should have won. They went 0-for-5 on the powerplay despite 11 shots on goal and were beaten by Evgeni Nabokov in a 4-3 loss.
One man's "the Penguins are coming into the game hungry" is another man's "the Penguins are coming into the game cold." I don't think that the results of previous games affect a team emotionally or change their desire to win in any way. I do think that playing the night before can impact your legs and being tired means you're more prone to mental mistakes, but unlike NHL players I didn't have access to nutritionists and sleep experts when I was playing sports.
Second week in a row the Leafs are thrown to the wolves against the league's elite on Hockey Night. Here's hoping they make a game of it this time.
October 26 2013 12:24PM
That face sums it up, right?
David Clarkson's big debut was spoiled as the Blue Jackets just out-played the Leafs. What's up with the first periods, bro?
October 25 2013 08:54PM
Wonder how that Indiana-Dallas game turned out?
I'm sorry in advance if this game recap misses key information. In the second period, right after Toronto tied it up, a large intruder walked into my home and knocked me over the head with a large, heavy object. I was knocked out for much of the second period, and awoke to find my intruder gone and miraculously, he hadn't taken anything valuable from my apartment. I did miss most of the second period, however. Perhaps he was from the Illuminati.
Toronto limped into Columbus Friday night with yet another key injury, and limped out a little slower after the Maple Leafs managed to be defeated by the friggin Blue Jackets. If there was a theme to the game that wound up being David Clarkson's debut, it was the parade to the penalty box as the Leafs just couldn't keep their sticks away from Blue Jacket players. The Leafs again were out-shot heavily, 15-5 after the first period and 36-25, but were in the game for long enough that the ending was in doubt until Ryan Johansen's empty-net goal in the final minute.
Final score, 5-2, after a snack goal on the part of Nick Foligno. Not a pretty road performance.
October 25 2013 01:32PM
We're two weeks into the regular season and at least one thing is clear: the Metropolitan Division is crap, and if that trend continues, the Atlantic Division will send five teams to the post-season. The Columbus Blue Jackets are in fifth place in the Metro with a very mediocre 4-5 start to the season. A second thing is clear: they're further from that team that went on the torrid second half run and barely missed out on the postseason than people think.
For one, it would appear that Sergei Bobrovsky is human. The Jackets are on the precipice of being a bottom third puck-possession club this season, with just three regular players at above 50% in Corsi with the score close: Cam Atkinson, Marian Gaborik and Ryan Johansen.
What I'm really saying is that it's unlikely tonight's Leafs and Blue Jackets game will be the perfect start to the weekend. But maybe it will be because DAVID CLARKSON finally makes his "real" debut as a Toronto Maple Leaf.