February 09 2013 08:44PM
Image via Francois Lacasse/NHLInteractive
It's been quite a while since the Maple Leafs were on the right side of a win like this, a game where, from puck drop to final whistle, it was utter domination.
Toronto had a very strong third period in Winnipeg the other night in a comeback victory against the Jets, and they picked up that strong play in the first period in Montreal, scoring a pair of goals before le Club Hockey had bothered to try and start skating. The Leafs buzzed around the Habs' net all night, took a 4-0 lead into the third, and other than a brief special teams hiccup at the end of the second, put together a very complete performance from some of their depth players. Maybe there's something to this squad…
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 09 2013 03:58PM
It's good to see a new team in town. After all the Hamilton, Rochester, St. Johns, and other repetative matchups, its always nice to shake things up, and see what play styles you may have to compete against in the playoffs. With the next five home games coming against opponents who haven't played in Toronto this year, that's exactly what the Marlies appear to be doing for the next couple of weeks. That said, there's still standings implications. Take this game - the Chicago Wolves trailed them by just one point going into the opening faceoff. The Marlies hoped to make that number three, and di just that, winning 4-2.
February 09 2013 12:18PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in the opening game of the season, with Ben Scrivens of all people recording the opening night victory. Both clubs have been good since that night: Toronto having gone .500, escaping the fact that they only have three forward lines, and Montreal has gone 6-2-1, although they have the second highest team PDO ranking in the NHL as of February 4.
Montreal however look a lot better than most pundits predicted coming in to the season. They were horrible last season, particularly down the stretch and it was generally assumed that they weren't as bad as their record indicated. That said, they've been one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference this season, have seen the return of Andrei Markov, escaped holdouts from P.K. Subban and an injury from Max Pacioretty, and are getting excellent 5-on-5 goaltending. They are third in the East in "points per game" although it is still extremely early in the season.
February 08 2013 10:34AM
What a way to end a streak, eh? The Leafs, and Kessel, surge late in the third to take down the Jets.
February 08 2013 07:33AM
It is expected that the NHL will announce expansion of the league, presumably by two teams, at some point in the not so distant future. Markham and Quebec are the anticipated locations, with arenas being built, and an expansion draft to follow.