Somehow, an understrength Toronto Maple Leafs squad overcame the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in overtime. *Checks calendar* Ah, it was the preseason. Well, that explains Mike Komisarek scoring the winning goal after absolutely dominating during his shift. Jonas Gustavsson made 26 saves on 29 shots to bumps his preseason totals to 82 on 91 for a .901 save percentage. It’s still not where it should be but it’s progress.
More thoughts after the jump
- Jake Gardiner is a magnificent skater. There was some question after the rookie tournament about whether his standout skating was a result of a weaker class of peers but he’s pretty much put an end to that talk. While it is just the preseason he certainly has definitely not looked out of place.
- Gardiner used that smooth stride to create the opening goal which also featured a nice shot as he overlapped on Clarke MacArthur high in the Wing’s zone.
- On the other hand, Gardiner and his partner Mike Komisarek had a few tough moments which, unfortunately, led to a couple of goals. They certainly didn’t get a lot of help from the forwards on the plays but they didn’t do themselves any favours by lollygagging with the puck for too long.
- Mike Brown played his first preseason game and looked pretty much like what you’d dream for from a fourth liner. He skated well, meshed with Philippe Dupuis, and managed to scramble a couple of flukey goals
- The Matt Frattin – Darryl Boyce – Colby Armstrong line didn’t make much of an impression tonight
- The Means of Production Line had a night of near misses. The chemistry from last year is still plainly evident although their desire to turn defence to offence cost the Leafs the second goal as Grabovski turned the puck over at the buds’ blueline leading to the team getting pinned. The long shift then led to a goal as Grabbo got beaten badly in the corner before Gustav Nyquist put one past Gustavsson short-side.
- Once the Wings took the lead on another bad goal the stage was set for Mike Brown’s moustache to send the game to overtime.
- The second period was tough for the Maple Leafs but I guess something quite powerful was said in the dressing room as the Leafs’ came out much stronger in the third period.
- Cody Franson and Carl Gunnarsson quietly had strong games.
- All Leafs fans were wondering what the hell Mike Komisarek was doing on the ice in overtime when it was 3-on-3. Turns out, he was out there to control the play before doing his best Dion Phaneuf impression before slotting the winner stick side on Jimmy Howard
Ron Wilson did a good job of using the preseason properly. Instead of changing the way he was using his defence, he kept going with Gardiner and Komisarek and let them work out the kinks. While Komisarek hasn’t had a bad preseason, he certainly hasn’t done anything approaching enough to remove the bad taste of the past two years from the mouths of Leafs fans. Although, if he keeps popping up with overtime winners maybe we’ll cut him some slack.