LEAFS POSTGAME – The Spiral Continues


This was a weird game, to say the least. I’m not even sure if I’m comfortable with saying that a team won this game; rather, one where one lost less than the other. The two teams took turns waking up, falling asleep, and going back to step one. In this case, the Leafs were a little bit better at messing up, and the Habs took home two regulation points.

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The Rundown

The Habs opened the scoring just five minutes into the game, with Max Pacioretty firing a one timer from the a little back top of the faceoff circle. He wasn’t really covered, but at the same time, it’s not an opportunity where one would expect him to be. It’s not the most lethal area in the world, and there wasn’t traffic in front. You do hope they’d watch out for guys who could be sprung for breakaways, however, and that wasn’t the case a minute later, as Rene Bourque set off and fired a snapshot from almost the exact same area.

The Leafs needed to turn things around fast, and a David Desharnais penalty gave them some time to regroup. There wasn’t any success on the powerplay, but Joffrey Lupul found a way to creep his way into a slightly closer area than his opponents and blast a Mason Raymond pass into the back of the net. With two minutes to go, Tyler Bozak was the recipient of a stellar individual effort by Phil Kessel, and the game was tied. However, with fifty seconds to go, a Bourque shot went off of Brian Gionta, off of Tim Gleason, and into the back of the net to put the Habs back up by one.

Not much happened in the second period. The two teams had their moments, but nobody scored or even took a penalty. Two minutes into the third period, Nazem Kadri equalized the game with a close range, unobstructed tap in, and we had a hockey game once again. But with nine minutes to go, Tomas Plekanec was left alone in the corner, for a seemingly risk-free shot. However, it trickled through number 34’s body and into the net, leaving the Leafs to trail once again. The Leafs tried their hardest to tie the game for a third time, but this time, the Habs held them at bay.

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Why The Leafs Lost


I’m not going to say that James Reimer is singlehandedly responsible for the Leafs losing this game. He’s not. They gave up a bunch of shots, made a bunch of mistakes, and had a sloppy night overall. But so did the Habs, and the first, second, and especially the fourth goal all looked like ones that he “could have had”. 

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Blue Warrior

I thought that Jake Gardiner had another solid outing. Didn’t get any points, but made a bunch of smart plays, helped the team play some of their best hockey of the night while he was on the ice, threw some hits, and took some shots. He had a couple iffy moments (the too many men mistake required more communication between himself and Morgan Rielly, no doubt), but it was a solid game overall on his part, and I haven’t given him enough credit for the last couple of efforts.

Also, I guess if we’re going to be a bit more literal about this “warrior” thing, David Bolland just came back from a long term injury, and that’s worth some credit. It’s going to be interesting how he plays moving forward.

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  • TGT23

    We need Bernier back… James Reimer needs Bernier back…

    And no, Reimerfan (who will soon be in this thread ranting about how we should feel bad that we blame Reimer and that he’s actually the greatest goalie ever and the team hates him and make him look bad), I don’t mean just because Bernier is, by all statistical and evidentiary standpoints a better goalie.

    I mean because no matter how hard Reimer may try, or how great a guy he is and teammate, he’s lost the trust of the team and they need a boost.

    Bernier is that boost.

    Despite being supposedly a bad team guy (according to some members of this forum who aren’t actually affiliated with the team), they believe in him. And they need that confidence back.

    They need to believe that when they make a mistake it isn’t the end of the world. They need a goalie who will make the big save when they need it.

    Reimer had that chance tonight. Three times. Three failures. Two of which were kind of weak and the breakaway wasn’t exactly a ten bell scoring chance… He shot from the hash marks… on the outside… After nearly losing the puck…

    We need Bernier back so the team can believe again.

    And JAMES REIMER needs Bernier back so he can get a chance to relax and not have to face the media every game to talk about every flaw and mistake.

    As for Carlyle… All I’m going to say is; Don’t you think he looks tired?

  • TGT23

    Wow two games in a row where the Leafs deserved the win. I hate to say it but Reimer has been terrible, and cost the Leafs the win tonight and against tbay. Much like Clarkson, the guys confidence is gone and he needs out. The Leafs dominated most of the game tonight but just didn’t get the bounces, hopefully they start getting w’s starting tomorrow.

  • Reminder that Reimer posted a .924 last year, brought the team to the playoffs, won Game 5 singlehandedly, and had a .947 midway through December.

    He took a bad time to stop making saves, but with the mismanaged salary cap situation, complete lack of production from the big free agent signing and how badly the team gets out-shot routinely, we’re going to pin this on the goalie?

  • A lot of people are forgetting that Reimer was a huge part of that ’18-wheeler falling off the cliff’ experience we went through the season before he took us to the playoffs. The guy is a decent goalie with flashes of great play but also some major fumbles. He is indeed ‘just ok’. I really don’t understand how anyone could consider him better or equal to Bernier. I think tonight we played a really good ‘Carlyle game’ with lots of scoring chances and good hits and a petty tight defensive structure keeping the opposition to the outside. The problem is Reimer can’t stop shots from the outside. He and a lot of Leafs fans have a very over-inflated sense of his worth. He should have been traded at the deadline while he was still worth something and when it became abundantly clear that h refuses to be a backup.

    • Reimer was concussed and was shut down for the final seven games. The Leafs won exactly two of them.

      In 2010-2011, the Leafs were third last in the East, and then they called up Reimer and went 24-15-7 the rest of the way and came as close as three points back. In 2013, Reimer and Phil Kessel dragged the team to the playoffs.

      Right now we’re in the worst slump of Reimer’s career. Nobody’s really disputing that. But maybe if the rest of the team didn’t suck, maybe if they had cap space to pick up reinforcements at the deadline and weren’t managed by idiots from the Toronto Sun comments section, they wouldn’t be in a position where a struggling goalie could dictate their playoff fortunes.