Leafs Post-Game: Burnout

The Calgary Flames sat 6th in the tough Western Conference heading into tonight’s game against Toronto, but the Maple Leafs were able to hold them off for a big 4-1 win.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames were the better team in the first period, but the Leafs weren’t terrible.  Both teams got their chances, Calgary just had more.  The Leafs struck first though after Joffrey Lupul set up Peter Holland on a nice play off the rush following an insane save by Jonathan Bernier.  They left the first up 1-0.

Well what the Leafs lacked in good play in the first they made up for in the second.  They dominated Calgary in the frame early and thoroughly, outshooting them 13-4 in the middle frame.  James van Riesmdyk scored on a nice little feed from Nazem Kadri two minutes in.

In the third Markus Granland scored early on the powerplay but it was too little, too late.  The Flames did bring on a pretty heavy onslaught after that, but some big saves by Bernier and a couple of empty-netters from Phil Kessel and Mike Santorelli sealed the victory for the boys in the blue.

BLUE WARRIOR

He may not know who Nelson Mandela is, but Jonathan Bernier is a pretty good goalie.  He stopped 29 of 30 shots and is your Blue Warrior tonight.

NOTES

  • Daniel Winnik also had another strong game.  He was a staple in the top-six before he missed a couple of games with injury.  I’d like to see that again.  He’s just an efficient player.  Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul were also pretty awesome tonight.
  • I’ve been hard on Stephane Robidas this season, but he seems to have settled in a bit.  He’s still a bottom-pairing defenseman making $3M, but at least he’s been serviceable.
  • Just 9 of the Leafs 27 games and 1 of their last 10 have been decided by 1 goal.  That’s crazy.  That said, tonight was basically a one-goal game.  Calgary just somehow lost it 4-1.
  • Team Corsi numbers tonight: 60.38CF% for Calgary, 39.62CF% for Toronto.
  • Tonight’s Toronto Corsi King: Nazem Kadri at 59.46%.
  • Tonight’s Toronto Corsi Goat: Trevor Smith, who had a 0.00CF% tonight.  Damn.
  • Sounds like James Reimer will get his first start in ten games tomorrow night.  Speaking of which…

SEE YOU TOMORROW

The Leafs are in Detroit tomorrow to take on the Red Wings at 8:00PM Eastern on Sportsnet.

  • I’m not sure about your analysis of Bernier. Over on another site I frequent, its pretty clear that Bernier is ok as a goalie and he will probably make a good backup goalie. But Bernier is not nearly as good of a goalie as Reimer. LOL Robidas improving. That’s a joke right

    • TGT23

      The other site you frequent is wrong. You are wrong. Plain enough. Not even a matter of opinion. The stats prove you are wrong. I am not sorry to tell you.

      Bernier’s numbers are superior to Reimer’s, have been the last two seasons, there is nothing in the analysis that should lead anyone to believe the opposite is true. Bernier is the better goalie. Plain and simple. Reimer may be a swell guy, he’s not been the better goalie of the two.

  • IS it a feasible option to put leo playing centre on fourth line?

    JVR – Bozak – Kessel

    Winnik – Kadri – Santo

    Lupul – Holland – Clarkson

    Booth – Leo – Panik/Kozun

    I think we need to send the captain down to the AHL. He has done well but I don’t like the idea of the captain leaving his team. He is doing well though, but I think the addition of leo on the centre for the fourth line will drive that line to play with more grit and effort. Also would bump the time on ice for this line because leo is well leo.

    I am only considering leo as centre because he played that in the KHL

  • IS it a feasible option to put leo playing centre on fourth line?

    JVR – Bozak – Kessel

    Winnik – Kadri – Santo

    Lupul – Holland – Clarkson

    Booth – Leo – Panik/Kozun

    I think we need to send the captain down to the AHL. He has done well but I don’t like the idea of the captain leaving his team. He is doing well though, but I think the addition of leo on the centre for the fourth line will drive that line to play with more grit and effort. Also would bump the time on ice for this line because leo is well leo.

    I am only considering leo as centre because he played that in the KHL

  • Leafs play another strong game at home as they ruin the return of the unkempt bull in a china shop return to the big smoke. Good offensive movement of the puck tonight as the leafs should have had even more goals.

    Bernier has obviously been the better goalie and one has to wonder what kind of game Reimer will come up with if he gets the start. 12 goals allowed in 5 periods has to be weighing on him. I don’t think he is a goalie who can turn it on after not playing for a few weeks. The boys will definitely have to tighten up the defence on the road against the always prepared and well coached Red Wings.

  • It’s surprising how there’s no mention that the Leafs are now second in the league in goals for with two fewer games than the leader, Tampa Bay. This Leafs offense has really taken off since that Predators game.

    Now just look for it to completely dry up tomorrow when Reimer starts because this team just loves to let Reimer down….

  • I thought Gardiner had a great game but the fancy stats say he got killed. Bozak has been quiet offensively as of late but he saved the game tonight late when Calgary was pressing with some timely plays around our crease. The Leafs are playing very good, structured, defensively responsible hockey lately. Ultimately, Bernier stole us another one.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Great Game again tonight, way to go leafs……

    Good to see Bernier has gotten his game back, team will need that, as they have a long ways to go yet…..they will have to compete every game every night they play……

    As for my guy Reims…I hope that the team does come to play tonight should Reims get the start…after his last 2 games he was benched and not aloweded to mount any comeback as was Bernier……(Does remind me of last year, hope RC does not delibertly scew with Reims mental state again this year, can’t aford it, Reims needs to be healthy in everyway as does bernie if they are to get to the playoffs this year…..) Without BOTH goalies the team will have a slim chance if any to get there on their own merrits)

    Hope he can get past everything and mentally wipe the slate clean as he’s done many times and go out and play his game….

    He’s been a trooper through it all, but after not playing for 3 weeks and 2 bad games sending him to the bench is i’m sure not easy on the mind…but he’s a fighter and he can and will come back…

    NOT going to even get back into a goalie war as to who is better etc…..doesn’t matter what we think we don’t call the shots….I beleive in reims and again if not here which it isn’t then somewhere else…. But again 2 million to sit on a bench and not take all the flac a starter does nor the pruessure of being on top all the times,, not a bad thing….maybe stay here and keep collecting the money and will called upon perform best you can…..

    GO LEAFS, REIMS!! GO!!

  • Jeremy Ian

    Good game overall.

    Is anyone else worried that RC’s sliding into his old habits and relying on 3 lines?

    OK, so Smith isn’t a permanent solution to the 4C, but he’s flanked by strong wingers.

    This means that workmen like Winnik (boy, is he valuable) do over 20 minutes on the ice, which is not sustainable.

    If I didn’t see RC driving this model off the cliff last year, I would not worry. But if I have players like Panik and Booth who can make a storm out of a 4th line, play it more and make the the other lines aren’t gassed out in March!