Leafs Postgame: Collapse in Toronto

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators decided that the best way to keep the fans happy was to play two games in two cities at the exact same time. I don’t know if it did anything other than tutor everybody on the difference between TSN4 and TSN 5, but I digress. Ryan will hook you up with what you need to know about the game in the Canadian Tire Centre, but here’s what happened in Toronto:

The Rundown

They don’t call Nazem Kadri’s hands “Nifty Mittens” for nothing. Just two minutes in, the super skilled centre took a shot from the point, got blocked, and, well… just watch.

Gorgeous. But one of just four shots of the period for the Leafs, while the Sens just poured in on, chucking fourteen pucks at James Reimer in the opening twenty.

Midway through the second period, the Leafs found themselves on one of a handful of powerplays, thanks to a Patrick Wiercioch trip on Nazem Kadri. Thirty seconds into the man advantage, Jake Gardiner found himself with an opportunity to shoot and traffic in front of the net, and scored his first of the preseason. 

Things weren’t all roses, however. Late in the period, Jean-Gabriel Pageau blazed past Stuart Percy, and while Christopher Gibson (who swapped with Reimer midway through) stopped the first shot, he couldn’t handle Shane Prince’s rebound. 

The Leafs regained momentum to start the third period.  Just under five minutes in, Cody Franson accepted a pass from Phil Kessel and turned it into a slap pass that neatly found its way onto James van Riemsdyk’s stick, beating Robin Lehner to bring the lead back to two. A little over two minutes later, however, Franson handed Jake Gardiner a saucer pass that really shouldn’t have had any sauce on it. The puck bounced off of Gardiner’s stick and into the possession of Alex Chiasson, who scored a shorthanded breakaway goal.

With six and a half minutes to go, Nazem Kadri found himself stuck in a scramble and attempted to dump the puck. Unfortunately for him, it went straight into Darren Kramer’s chest, and eventually lead to Ryan Dzingel tying the game. Eventually, things headed to a shootout, where Connor Brown scored for the Leafs, but Chiasson repeated history and Milan Michalek eventually scored the game winner.

Blue Warrior

I really wanted to give this one to Nazem Kadri, but making the play that lead to the tying goal is a deal breaker. So instead, I’ll go to James Reimer, for stopping all eighteen shots in his half game. In typical Leafs fashion, Reimer was hung out to dry, but made due with what he had.

Notes

  • Nazem Kadri’s stretch pass to Phil Kessel in overtime was really nice, and almost won the Leafs the game.
  • Petri Kontiola got put into some big even strength situations, including the last few shifts of the game. Next to no special teams time, however.
  • William Nylander, while not as productive as last night, showed off some moments of skill once again.
  • Connor Brown was far and away the best possession player on the team tonight; the Leafs had six more attempted shots for (13) than against (7) with him on the ice. Jake Gardiner was closest with two, and only Kadri and Nylander were also positive.
  • The Leafs play again on Friday, taking on the Sabres in Buffalo.
  • Bertly83

    People are telling me “oh this is what the team is going to look like.” This is a pre-season game, that is why that goalie stayed in net. I am pretty sure we would have won it if Reimer was in net with his amazing history of saving everything the Sens can throw at him (Reimer is the best option in net if they are facing the Sens imo). Don’t care for Pre-season game, they did alright imo.

  • Bertly83

    Well it’s starting again with the Goalies being bombarded with to many SOG…I mean come on now this is just plain awful and the real season hasn’t even started…..

    GREAT JOB REIMS!!!! took a few minutes but he was back and did what he gets paid to do STOP PUCKS!!!! maybe he’s no piccasso so to speak but he’s all heart and did what he was paid to do, no matter how it he got it done….

    But once again the team hung him out to dry and thank God Reims continues to be the only one who came to compete because the rest of the team sucked….

    This is why I am not a real LEAFS FAN! because it’s so predictible how sad of a team this is…what’s changed???? if this is only the oreseason what will the real season be like?

    OH I FORGOT, Bernier will save the day…well I feel sorry for Bernier and Reimer this year because if this is what they have in front of them again this season, they are doomed to fail again…because no matter how good you think Bernier is or Reims is or isn’t these 2 Goalies are not going to be able to survive another year of this BULLS**T team in front of them………..

    EITHER THEY EARN THEIR MONY AND DAM WELL PLAY AND COMPETE AND WORK AS A TEAM AND REALIZE THAT THIS IS THEIR JOB TO COME TO WORK AND DO WHAT THEY GT PAID TO DO AND THATS….PLAY HOCKEY TO WIN NOT TO LOOSE OR PASS THE TIME…after all they get paid rather they do or they don’t…does your job do that? mine doesn’t I don’t go to work to work don’t get paid…..

    Anywasy it was just great to hear applause for Reims..he gets that alot…like hime or not he does have a huge fan base and deserves it.

    GOOD LUCK TO BOTH GOALIES THEY WILL NEED IT, BECUASE IT LOOKS LIKE THE SAME CRAP AS LAST SEASON…..

    Reims will do well to be in top form to become of interest to another team where he will have a chance to play with a team that wants to win….

  • Bertly83

    Got to give M.L.S.E. and the cash strapped Senators credit for having 2 games for the fans to enjoy emptying their wallets. Quite frankly you would have to go back to the early Ballard era to find the leafs this dysfunctional from ownership to management, Nonis sees his assistants fired. Coach, Carlyle also sees his staff fired and Shanahan has the same authority that Ken Dryden had years ago, where did that get the leafs?

    Leaf fans truly are the Chicago cub fans of hockey. For those 52 or younger, they basically have no recollection of a leaf captain holding the Stanley cup.

    But then again being number one in Steve Forbes book is what really matters as after all M.L.S.E. is all about winning at the bank.