Leafs Vs Panthers Talk Through

(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLInteractive)

I wanted to try something a little different, so this is a bit of an experiment. It didn’t turn out as well as I thought, but it’s a start and may end up leading to better analysis in the long run so bear with me.

I’ve been playing around with voice to text software, in an effort to make notes easier and especially to take advantage so I don’t have to take my eyes off the game. What I tried to do here is just talk my way through last night’s Leafs and Panthers game. I’ve restricted edits to spelling mistakes and player names. One element I do regret is not pointing out the time of these thoughts. That may be the next step.


  • Cody Franson pinches in early in the first and the pressure starts the other way leading to Panthers scoring chances.
  • Grabovski with the big giveaway right in the middle of the slot at the top of his zone led to another chance.
  • A good stop early in this game to Ben Scrivens a good feel of the puck early on.
  • Impressive solo rush but Kadri as he tip-toed through group of defenders standing at the blue line.
  • The first staged fight takes place early as it gets out-of-the-way. There was no question that Colton Orr had only one thing on his mind.
  • Franson and Mark Fraser have already been on the ice for multiple shifts early in the first period.
  • Holzer with a good effort to protect the puck absorbing a hit in the corner in the defensive zone. The time that he bought allowed for an outlet to be found to move the puck around the boards. Smart play.
  • Phil Kessel takes the shift replacing Colton Orr as the latter sits out his fighting major. Two great saves already by Ben Scrivens.
  • Carl Gunnarsson looks to be fully recovered. Struggled to find an outlet right before the second TV timeout that almost led to a turnover before he ended up taking the puck behind his own net to move it out from a formal breakout. Of note what he was on a pairing with Mike Kostka, on the ice with the Leafs fourth line.
  • I have a lot of reservations over Kostka being an impact player at the NHL level. Jumping into the rush and being able to fire a good shot is replaceable. I just feel his decision-making and his pace don’t fit. If it was not on a team with a distinct need for a body on the blue line, I doubt he would’ve made an NHL roster.
  • Good forechecking pressure by Kadri.
  • I’ve noticed improved area of coverage where there aren’t too many opposition sweaters without a Leafs player very close to them in the defensive zone.
  • Another good forechecking effort by the leafs first line. James van Riemsdyk made a good decision to go directly to the net and almost ended up with a scoring chance.
  • Two more big saves by Scrivens halfway through the first period.
  • Once again the Franson/Fraser are on the ice.
  • Good burst of speed from the outside leaning to the inside by Mikhail Grabovski. There is definite intention in his tone driving straight to the net. You knew there wasn’t going to be a pass across on that play.
  • Clarke MacArthur with a good job of staying close to his man up at the point with some chaos down low on the defensive zone. Took him away as an option entirely.
  • Cody Franson has been on the ice forever it seems. He’s done a good job of finding long outlets and not trying to over handle the puck, something he was very good at in Nashville. Instead of making risky rushes straight up through the neutral zone he’s finding a good outlet.
  • Holzer has a very good defensive mentality, tapping into innate decision-making that lead to good positioning on the ice.
  • Grabovski with another shot on goal. That one felt a little labored as he clearly seems to want a break this goal scoring slump.
  • There’s the vintage Phil Kessel shooting ability. That started on a very nice pass by van Riemsdyk knowing that Phil had some speed going up ice he just needed to headman the puck.
  • Problems with the glass.
  • Broken glass everywhere people pissing on the stairs, you know they just dont care I cant take the smell, I cant take the noise got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice – Grandmaster Flash ‘The Message’
  • Dion Phaneuf seems to try to make plays when there’s no more space available. He attracts attention in the neutral zone before making a short pass earlier in the period and with under 1 min. left in the first tried to make a play after a man is right on him. Surely he’s able to find better options with more space.


  • Announcers making fun of Doug MacLean, seems to bring a smile to my face. Have another chicken wing Doug.
  • 11 seconds into the second and already a shot from a big giveaway by Gunnarsson. There is still some rust in those Swedish hands after a lengthy absence.
  • Such great anticipation by Grabovski to get into the neutral zone as the puck left the Leafs zone creating a two-on-one. Once again he went straight for the shot.
  • I wonder if the brainiac Ben Scrivens can calculate his own regression. I kid, but he’s a very intelligent young man.
  • I like the way that Kadri has simplified his play looking for good outlets and trying to skate rather than trying to force plays as he would in previous seasons.
  • I’m apprehensive hearing of the defensive improvements in Kadri’s game and this isn’t entirely applicable. I think while eliminating questionable decisions in risky parts of the ice the natural extension is better overall defensive play. Coaches did a good job sanding down some edges, but some of this is strictly on his shoulders. He has learned to adapt to the professional game.
  • As I made reference in a tweet on Saturday Ive somewhat soured on Nik Kulemin.
  • Haven’t looked at the numbers yet but it looks like the Leafs are losing a lot of face-offs with about 5 min. elapsed in the second. Just checked now and as it stands the Leafs are behind 7-13 in face-offs.
  • Very good outlet by Holzer to find Jay McClement streaking as they were shorthanded.
  • Komarov called for dive after being tripped up at the blue line. He was obviously checked but the refs feel he embellished falling over. I might blame skating or trying too hard to get a burst of acceleration in the first few steps.
  • Some interesting strategy to have Komarov out as a penalty killer, maybe not any stranger than having van Riemsdyk who had played very little as a penalty killer in Philadelphia. It looks like McClement is been out in this entire penalty kill. Of note the penalty kill has been incredible over this last little stretch.
  • Puck scramble on the power play starting with Franson jumping into a soft area of the ice to take a big shot that ended up in a goalpost and a goalmouth scramble. That backdoor play is very similar to the old Mike Green in Washington when he was scoring.
  • Kadri takes advantage in the slot making no mistakes and burying it for a 2-0 lead. Phaneuf once again behind the goal line on that play getting the puck to the slot for Kadri.
  • Kadri with a fine feed to Clarke MacArthur for the 3-0 goal. Franson finds the outlet in Kadri who has attracted red sweaters to that side of the ice while finding MacArthur streaking through the slot.
  • Florida Panthers call their time out. There’s no magic in Sunrise this season.
  • Phaneuf is more involved on the offense side. He’s involved physically throwing his weight around. I find that he is more effective when playing a nasty physical game, as long as he’s not overstepping the aggressiveness sacrificing positioning, something I felt he did early in his career.
  • Lo and behold right after the TV timeout, another staged fight this time between Frazer McLaren and Tyson Strachan. Let’s see what kind of momentum swing that gives the Panthers. Also of note, McLaren tried to get a couple shots in as Strachan was falling to the ice. Remember Zach Rinaldo and that kerfuffle? Will this be questioned as well? This is at 4:35 of this video.

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  • McClement is such a cerebral player.
  • Komarov with the hit from behind gets the initial penalty while Erik Gudbranson with the retaliation crosscheck. This is where that line between frustration and knowing there’s a point where you can turn the game around by not retaliating giving your team the power-play opportunity is so important.
  • The way Kadri protects the puck, makes it easy to believe that he’s able to draw so many penalties. He always seems to have someone hanging off him before he’s making a play.
  • Bozak with the pick that allowed Kessel to move around Florida player with about 2 min. left in the second.
  • There’s that backdoor play, or at least an alternate version, or Clarke MacArthur’s trying to find Cody Franson for the quick shot off the rush.


  • Once again Phaneuf trying to make a play at the very last second with about 2 min gone in the third that almost led into a defensive zone turnover at the top of the Leafs zone.
  • A big scramble in front of the goal about five mins into the third was a result of a defensive effort from Kadri that started about five or 6 seconds previously in the event in the shift. He backchecked and took two Panthers in to the corner then went right to the front of the net. He took the first man that ended up there and tied up the stick enough to thwart a chance before falling to the ice – also caught in the Game in Six video above.
  • I haven’t seen enough of this just yet but I’ll note that I’m finding Phaneuf has troubles pivoting at times.
  • Grabo couldn’t take advantage of the falling Gudbranson taking a shot high over the net.
  • Nazem Kadri draws another penalty in the third on Alex Kovalev. The fact that he’s drawing so many penalties makes me start to wonder if that’s really a skill? I would figure it would be a derivative of puck possession. Quick feet, lateral shifts and breakaway speed are likely to draw a lot of penalties.
  • Great decision by Gunnarsson just to get the puck onto the net very close to the end of the power-play in the third.
  • Phil Kessel draws a penalty with about 6 min. left in the third, as the essence of this game is about getting the goose egg for Ben Scrivens. After all there still may be something to be worried about, that dreaded three-goal lead. Once again van Riemsdyk being used in a penalty kill role.
  • I’ve been really impressed with van Riemsdyk’s individual one-on-one skills. He does a good job protecting the puck using long reach and maintains inside momentum, try to get hard to the net. He rationalizes the space that he has and whether he’s able to proceed forward or to take a shot. If he’s able to hone those skills, along with being a really good net presence, he could be a very good goal scorer in this league.
  • If there’s anybody who recognizes triangulation it would be that scholar Ben Scrivens.
  • I’ve noticed linesmen taken the puck out of Scrivens after a stoppage in play actually chat with him. I wonder if he’s giving them physics lessons in between stoppages. Angle of incidence equals angle of reflection.
  • Theres exactly 2 min. and 46 seconds left in the third, 3-0. Shut out. There I said it.
  • Oh Kessel with another penalty with a few takes over 2 min. left in the third. Kessel got a skate in the face for that. May learn his lesson.
  • All five Panthers just standing around with 1 min. left nobody really taking in the initiative. It’s no wonder they are not able to score.
  • And that’s the game.
  • Back-to-back shutout minutes for Ben Scrivens. Looks like the leafs goaltending is improved dramatically year-over-year.

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