Leafs Post Game – Leafs Win(!?) 2-1 in Shootout

This game as a true goaltending battle, in which James Reimer battled an onslaught of quality scoring chances, and Jimmy Howard battled crippling boredom. 

Truthfully, Howard probably could have cleared several worlds of Super Mario Bros. if he’d stashed a Game Boy in his hockey pants while the game was played out around him. It was that uneventful for him.

Still, the Leafs prevailed. They pulled down their blue and white balaclavas and absolutely robbed the Red Wings of two points, downing Detroit in the shootout and winning by a score of 2-1.

The Rundown

The Red Wings were pretty consistently great tonight, playing well on both sides of the puck. Most impressive was their incredibly aggressive defensive game. Detroit would often send three or even four players at the Leafs puck carrier, making it incredibly difficult for Toronto to generate anything off the rush or set up. The Leafs only generated 19 shots all game, and only a pitiful three shots in the second period.

But despite outplaying the Leafs so thoroughly, it still took nearly 40 minutes for the Red Wings to capitalize. With just a couple minutes left in the second period, Gustav Nyquist would finally put a puck past a sprawling Reimer to take a 1-0 lead. 

Amazingly, the Leafs would find a way back into it, with James van Riemsdyk throwing a beautiful (and pretty lucky) cross ice pass to Phil Kessel for a tap-in early in the third period.

The game would remain locked in a tie right through the end of regulation and overtime, where Pavel Datsyuk and Tyler Bozak would trade goals in the first round.

And then, for the win… SANTO.

Blue Warrior

It’s James Reimer, who really, really, really needed a good game. Jonathan Bernier is the team’s number one goalie (whether you like it or not), and Reimer’s appearances will likely be fewer and further between for the rest of the season. That’s why it’s so important that Reimer plays well when he’s called upon because, let’s face it, he’s playing for a number one job elsewhere next season.

And boy, did he deliver. Reimer would stop 41 of 42 shots on goal throughout regulation and overtime, then stopped two of Detroits three shooters in the shootout. 

Bernier has been great lately, but I sincerely doubt he would have been able to match Reimer tonight. That was an insane performance.

Hahahaha, gross.

TORvsDET

s/t War-On-Ice

Post Game Press Conference

Amazing. Randy, you’re alright sometimes.

Hold On, We’re Going Home

Drake reference! 

The Leafs will finish off their home-and-home with the Red Wings this coming Saturday in Toronto. Tune in to CBC at 7:00pm.

  • Poluza

    Once again Carlyle outcoaches and totally outclasses Babcock. The have a better and deeper talent. They are a possession powerhouse and Babcock has a very high pedigree/60 as a NHL coach.

    Carlyle was given the difficult position of a back to back with an inferior team and chose the right goalie in Reimer to play. Switched up Winnik to add better depth to try to match Detroits depth. And most importantly matched manically to keep the score close while lulling the Wings into a false sense of superiority before pouncing the Kessel line to tie the game when needed. Babcock owned.

  • TGT23

    Jimmy Reinman with one heck of a performance. Wow. Looking like the goalie who took the team to the playoffs two seasons ago, finally.

    He probably won’t see a whole lot of action going forward. 2nd night of back-to-backs and maybe a spare start here or there but if he keeps playing like this when he is called upon he’ll find himself with a starting gig somewhere next season. I can think of a few teams who could use a new goalie.

    The team didn’t look good, again, but Reimer stole them the game. Bernier stole a few recently, Reimer stole this one, sort of feels like last season… That can’t be good going forward… But, optimism! Two healthy goalies could help this team Colorado themselves into the playoffs!

    Funny quote by Carlyle. That was good, even the people who don’t like him have to admit (for which I am one).

  • Corno4

    I said in the last post game to watch for the highly offensive Leafs to come out completely dry for Reimer. That’s what happened, really, what’s up with this team?

    It’s literally up to Reimer in most of the games he plays to steal a win. Not to say it isn’t the same for Bernier most nights but at least the Leafs have scored 3 or more goals a game for him since the Predators game.

    Speaking of which had Bernier never been pulled that Predators game we might be talking about Reimer reclaiming his number one spot. Had Bernier stayed in the Leafs would have still lost terribly and Reimer would be the one getting a string of starts as a result. If the Leafs scored at the rate they have for Bernier since the Predators game, Reimer would have likely closed those games out with wwins and things would be very different right now.

    It’s an if but I still believe in Reimer as being a number one goalie. It’s just that it seems like everyone including his team is out to disappoint him.

  • Corno4

    We need some serious on-ice leadership, and James “Corsi Blackhole” Reimer just isn’t going to get it done for us. He’s weighing down the compete so much Davie Clarkman wasn’t even able to take a penalty! Why do we handicap ourselves by just letting Nelson “Jonny Hockey” Mandela waste away on the bench? We need to trade away Mr. “Corsi Blackhole”, and fast – maybe take some deadweight away from Tampa Bay; Steven Stamkos?

    ——

    No, but seriously. Why does it seem like the Leafs never want to compete or play when Reimer’s in net? It happened last year too down the stretch. We didn’t just stop playing hot, we stopped playing hot AND just seemed to give up. I mean, it happens with Bernier too, but for Reimer they just turn it up to 11 (down to -11?).

    Thank you Reimer for stealing that game, we didn’t deserve it.

  • Poluza

    I posted two statements about tonight’s great win. But obviously our little boy censors here can’t as Jack Nicholson so eloquently said to the midget Tom Cruise, ‘YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH”

  • Corno4

    Any generalization one might make of the Leafs this season soon turns out to be wrong.

    What a great game to watch…rope a dope indeed
    and the Leafs still score another goal one second after the end of the period.

    Not only do the Leafs have more depth than last season -they also have more experience. Phil Kessel is like a gopher who pops his head up one a game lately to score a goal-otherwise he is virtually
    invisible.

    Bernier may be more consistent and calm then Reimer
    but when Reimer is on his game he is a fantastic
    and superior goalie.

    Toronto bends and bends but they didn’t break.
    Carlyle is a very frustrating coach that he refuses to play 4 lines, yet in spite of this the Leafs are still winning.

    The Leafs have many faults but this is a great TEAM. So much character, depth and without their two most physical players the Leafs were still a punishing team tonight-look at the hits throughout the lineup to night.

    I say Toronto has a top 2 defenseman in Franson & Phaneuf. I would never have believed I would say this as I always thought Franson didn’t have what it takes….. But the Leafs have actually developed a #2 defenseman in Franson. And if they can develop a player who had to be sheltered in their lineup for 3 years, I am now confident Gardiner is next, with Rielly & Holzer & Percy not far behind.

    Things are looking up in Leaf Land-this is inexplicably true.

  • Jeremy Ian

    A relief to get the two points, for sure. Thanks to Reimer for these; to Bernier for the last four.

    Old habits are coming back to the surface.

    1. The disappearing 4th line.

    2. Puck-gazing under duress. (especially on defense)

    3. Stretch passing out of the defensive zone. The Red Wings figured this out within the first 5 minutes and choked off the hail mary’s, so Leafs shots plummeted.

    4. Goaltending saves the game.

    Possession be damned. The shot attempt graph is an atrocity.

    This team is improved over last year. But these habits are getting ingrained.

    I am a hopeful guy; but having hope and being naive are two different things. Only a naive could believe this formula will work.

  • ushaped

    They were a tired team but had sticks in shooting and passing lanes and played good positional defense. This is a good sign that what Horachek is teaching them is sinking in and becoming instinct. Fatigue was definitely the factor in the defense getting beat on rush chances. Although the Wings had very few breakdowns, the Leafs managed to take advantage of them.

    Good win.

  • Maximum Taco

    James Reimer, the Maple Thief.

    Seriously, these were stolen points. This team did not deserve even the 1 point, much less the 2. Reims put on his knit cap and grabbed his bag with a dollar sign on it and stole these points.

    I’m willing to cut them a break though, second half of a back-to-back, and they had to travel, and the game with Calgary was a close one and Detroit is the current leader of the East and Detroit hadn’t played since Sunday and was just cooling their heels at home waiting to pounce on this team.

    I fully expected the Leafs to get dominated here. This is one of those times I kinda agree with Randy Carlyle when he says “Don’t criticize a win too closely.”

    Saturday will be the real measuring stick. Our Leafs will be safe at home and rested up, and the Red Wings will be looking for revenge.

  • Corno4

    Imagine how terrifying this team would be if they were playing close to even corsi hockey. Not out-chancing teams, but just matching them…or coming close. My brain can’t deal with what that would mean.