October 24 2015 08:28PM
Photo Credit: Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Maple Leafs served as the latest foil to the unbeatable Montreal Canadiens, who set an NHL record on Saturday night by defeating a harder working Toronto side 5-3. The Canadiens have won nine consecutive contests in regulation to start the season, which is completely insane.
Montreal didn't play well on Saturday, but still came away with two points. In addition to denting a tonne of iron, Saturday's contest was like special teams Chernobyl for the Maple Leafs, as they surrendered two power-play goals against and allowed a short-handed tally in a game in which they otherwise carried play soundly at 5-on-5. Of Montreal's two even-strength goals, one was the result of Michael Grabner's momentary brain fart.
Toronto's 5-on-5 play continues to be enormously improved in the early going. There's no doubt that this team is giving the sort of consistent honest effort that often alluded the club under Randy Carlyle (and especially under Peter Horachek), but it's all being sabotaged by misfiring special teams and - though you need your head checked if your blaming Jonathan Bernier for the Leafs loss on Saturday - by iffy goaltending.
October 24 2015 06:57PM
This is Michael Grabner's sense of shame and disappointment.
Image courtesy Hockey Night in Canada
Hockey is a game of mistakes. They happen from time to time. Even the best defensive players in the world kick a goal or two past their goaltender every season or so.
October 24 2015 01:34PM
If there's anything worse than watching the Leafs lose, it's watching the Habs win. At least in the case of the former, it's something that comes with a benefit. If Toronto loses, it makes them more likely to fire-sell for assets in February. It makes them more likely to get a shiny new draft pick. If Toronto loses, it's all just a part of a bumpy road that eventually leads to the finish line.
But the Habs winning? All that does is put Toronto's arch-nemesis slightly closer to winning Canada's first Stanley Cup since, well, the last time they did it. That, and make Habs fans, who are worse than the Habs themselves, even more obnoxious.
At least they like hockey too. That's their saving grace. Anyway, the Blue and White take on the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge tonight. Here's what's going down.
October 24 2015 12:52AM
When you're the best player in the league but can't legally drink in most of the arenas pic.twitter.com/rxk62qN72M— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) October 24, 2015
We've spent a decent amount of time talking about the top-end talent on the Toronto Marlies. The William Nylander, Connor Brown, Kasperi Kapanen types. When you talk about how good this team could be, it's easy to point to the big name prospects.
But what gets lost in the discussion is just how many players you can point to as being "too good" to be in the positions they are. If there was ever a night that proved it, it was tonight.