Leafs Postgame- Miller Falls Down A Lot

The last time the Leafs played the Canucks, Roberto Luongo was still their goaltender and Mason Raymond scored against his former team in a 3-1 Leafs victory. 

And while the aforementioned players may have since found new destinations, the result was still the same as the Leafs landed a 5-2 victory against their cross-country opponents on Saturday night.

Goaltending (or the absence of it) was the deciding factor in the matchup. 

Ryan Miller came into the game sporting an impressive 16-4 record in his first year with the Canucks, but just a .910 save percentage (hockey-reference.com has this year’s league average currently at .914.) Miller’s making $6 million per year as the sixth-highest paid goalie in the league, yet he was chased after giving up 4 goals on 14 shots, giving the Leafs a 4-0 lead just 5:39 into the second period. Miller’s save percentage dropped following the game to just .904- not exactly the best numbers, and he certainly didn’t look like the elite goaltender he was in many years with the Buffalo Sabres.  Eddie Lack then stopped all 13 he faced, but ultimately his performance didn’t mean much as his team was unable to mount a proper comeback.

Richard Panik’s goal perhaps best highlighted Miller’s woes, as he pulled the “Hans Moleman getting hit by football” method of defence on the second goal of the game.

On the other end, Jonathan Bernier made every save he needed to, making 44 saves on the night. Had Bernier faltered early, the game could have been a different story, but Bernier managed one of his strongest performances of the season.

The all-situations Corsi battle looked quite in Vancouver’s favour, shellacking Toronto 91-44. 

Ultimately, the Leafs came out a little lucky to earn the two points tonight, but earned them nonetheless. It’s hard to find too many negatives in a victory over a team tied for second in the Western Conference, but it isn’t tough to argue that without Bernier’s performance, this easily could’ve been a 6-5 game either way.

Blue Warrior

He’s already been mentioned, but with good reason. Jonathan Bernier- fresh off arguably the weirdest comments you’ll hear all year, was heavily supported by a strong offence, but still needed to be great to keep his team in it. (If you haven’t heard his comments, a good transcript is available here, as the YouTube link has been removed.

Notes

  • Though not exactly quite the same players as they once were, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin looked very solid tonight: posting 62 and 59 Corsi percentages at even strength. Daniel was rewarded with his seventh goal of the year, where Henrik (naturally) added an assist.
  • Joffery Lupul is hot, two points on the night and four goals now in his last four games. Plus minus isn’t a great stat by any means, but he was on the ice for all four Leafs goals at even strength.
  • Peter Holland’s sixth goal of the year marks a “career high”, albeit in limited action. When not playing with human anchors on the fourth line, Holland has shown glimpses of being a very solid depth hockey player. He also set a career high in points, with 11 (in 13 fewer games than last year.
  • David Booth managed an assist against his former team.
  • Jannik Hansen was the only Canucks player to have a possession number below 50 percent for the Canucks, despite 75% zone starts. Unsurprisingly, he saw himself on the ice for two goals against.

(Possession stats via hockeystats.ca)

  • Kanuunankuula

    Another entertaining Saturday night game.

    It’s very strange -the Leafs play better against better teams -or perhaps they just don’t play well against checking teams.

    Anyone see who the 2 players were involved in a big hit behind the Vancouver net over the mid way point in the third period .

    It looked like the Toronto player crushed the Vancouver player -I’m guessing it was Clarkson.

    And what caused Burrows to leave the game in the third?

    Anyway it would be nice to pick up a draft pick for Ashton -it looks like the Leafs have too much depth
    at the moment even with Komorov out .

    I wish when Kessel is hurt Carlyle would play the top line about 3 mins less-to let him heal.
    Let them focus on the power play as they seem to be a defensive liability at times.-as well all the other lines are playing very well.

  • Kanuunankuula

    I’m unsure what the Bernier comment was but come on dude how could you not give the blue warrior to HOlland. His line was +3 and he had a goal and assist while leading all forwards with TOI.

    And Bozak and that first line are a train wreck. I’m glad Carlyle is limiting the ice time of all of kessel, bozak, JVR because of injures and just lax defensive play.

  • I worry for next year. How are we going to sign franson? We are going to for have to trade reims to shed cap. Kadri is going to get 5250m, As is Berns, And franson is going to want the same thing. We either need the cap to rise 6.65m or we trade reims. Then santo and winnik we have to sign. I think it is going to be hard next year. I hope nylander become a centre. Would be a great fourth line centre or third line. Winnik and Santo we need to keep. I see santo asking for mason raymond money. So maybe around 2.9m. Key players need to be signed forsure next year.

  • CMpuck

    Bernier Mandela? Are you guys finally convinced that bernier is not only a bonafide (anal)idiot that he but not a #1 quality goaltender in the NHL like Reimer?

    • TGT23

      No… Why would THIS game, a 44 save game that he basically stole for the Leafs early on, be the one to “convince” anyone that he isn’t a bonafide #1?

      If Reimer’s awful .898 Save Percentage this season hasn’t convinced you that he ISN’T a #1 goalie, why would Bernier’s .916?

      If Reimer’s .894 Save Percentage over his last 13 games last season didn’t convince you he isn’t a #1, why would Bernier’s .916 over his last 7 this season? Or the .922 last season?

      Suddenly, looking at all these numbers, I’m beginning to wonder if Reimer is even a backup goalie the way he’s played over his last 25+ games.

      Now, it is fair to say Bernier… Maybe should have Google’d Mendela or something… But you don’t need to be a genius to stop a puck. And Bernier does it better than your boy.

      • Kanuunankuula

        Tbh Reimer’s sv% was sinked by those two games, before that he was about at where Bernier is now, and played to those two far better than Bernier. Both are good goalies that can have bad games. Defense is not helping.