Leafs Post-Game: Victory

drama

The Leafs wanted to get the same result that they did Wednesday, but this time they actually wanted to play well.  Mission accomplished: Toronto swept the home-and-home against the Red Wings and won themselves the season series with a big 4-1 win tonight against Detroit.

THE RUNDOWN

The Red Wings were probably the better team in the first period and they were rewarded for that.  Niklas Kronwall scored on a powerplay one-timer late in the period, with Darren Helm alone in front free to screen Bernier.  The Leafs had a quick answer though, with James van Riemsdyk tipping home a Phil Kessel shot on a man advantage of the Leafs’ own.

From then on, the Leafs really took it to Detroit.  They played strong in the second period carrying much of the play, and they capped it off late in the period with a nice little breakaway goal from Richard Panik.  Then early in the third the Leafs good fortune continued, this time Morgan Rielly providing a really nice end-to-end goal.  With Detroit already playing in the tail end of a back-to-back, that was enough to secure the Leafs another huge two points.  Nazem Kadri finished it off with an empty-netter to boot.

BLUE WARRIOR

19:26 of ice-time, 6 shots on goal, an empty-netter, and a Corsi% of 69, Nazem Kadri was fantastic tonight.  He’s your Blue Warrior.

NOTES

  • The Leafs win the season series against the Red Wings 3-1-1.
  • Team Corsi numbers tonight: Toronto 51%, Detroit 49%.
  • Toronto’s Corsi King: Trevor Smith, 80%.
  • Toronto’s Corsi Goat: Phil Kessel, 35%.
  • There was a debate as the game wore on about whether or not Jonathan Bernier should start again tomorrow.  Personally, I’d still go to Reimer.  He stole the Leafs the win on Wednesday and the numbers speak for themselves about goalies playing both games in a back-to-back.
  • The Winnik-Kadri-Santorelli line is pretty awesome.  They are a fancy stats machine.  Not liking Lupul with Holland and Clarkson though.
  • Korbinian Holzer has played pretty well since coming up.  I mean, I still think he’s a bottom-pairing guy at best, but he’s done his job.

SEE YOU TOMORROW

The Leafs will look to keep the good times rolling tomorrow against the Los Angeles Kings.  The game is in Toronto at 5PM Eastern on Sportsnet Ontario.

    • jasken

      I’m surprised that noone but this commenter is seeing the duel between the two great coaches going on here. With all the talk in the media of Babcock considering coming to Toronto shouldn’t we be looking at these matchups as Randy fighting to keep his job in Toronto and Babccok proving that he deserves to be sought after in Toronto? Randy did win the season series; he did outcoach Babcock. Datsyk and Zetterberg were neutralized in the last three games. The players are playing for him, doing things they are told to do. They are buying in. Her deserves some credit. I wonder what Shannahan and Dubas are going to do if Randy takes us deep into the playoffs this year.

  • Really I dont like to be too critical when the Leafs are on a roll, I mean if they win their 2 games in hand they are at the top of the division.
    But I would still be open to a trade to move our weakest links.

    I would consider trading 2 players for an upgrade
    targeting a center or a defenceman -depending what we move.

    Everyone is singing Kadri’s praises but he seems to have lost his scoring touch (yes I know he scored an empty net goal) he seems too predictable when he goes to the net.

    I love the forth line and they should be playing 10 mins a game.

    Rielly’s goal looked just like several of Kessel goals I’ve seen before -it was his best rush as a Leaf IMO.

  • Wasn’t the reason Reimer didn’t play this game due to him tweaking his groin?

    It’s best go with Reimer if he’s comfortable enough but otherwise it’ll have to be Bernier again.

    However if the Leafs continue to score 3 or more goals for Bernier he’ll probably win the game even if it is a back to back.

  • I’m glad to see you guys are not like HNIC who gave the first start to Bernier Mandela. This is why fancy stats is so much superior to box scores because not only does it demonstrate that Reimer is the better goalie.

    But it shows that Kadri is a dominant elite 1C in thsi league. And he is probably the best centre the leafs have had since Gilmour or Sittler.

  • TGT23

    I love Reimer, but it’s clear that the coaching staff wants Bernier to bear the brunt of the load this season, and I’m okay with that too. Bernier is awesome.

    I say, go with Bernier tommorrow. It has to be a test. It’s against his former team, and we need to find out if he can handle the workload.

    I really wish Reimer were the guy, but it appears it’s not in the cards. If we could keep him as an amazing backup that would be fantastic. Give Bernier the start, win or lose it will help determine just what he can do. We need a goalie that can play more than 40 games a season.

    Go with Jimmy Reiman for the next game. Tommorrow is a big test for the whole team.

    • TGT23

      To be fair, Reimer would have started tonight had he not been hurt in practice… The guy just can’t catch a break.

      He has a good year, but before he can finish it he gets hit in the head and gets a concussion. The next season he’s messed up. The year after that there is a lockout and he plays incredibly but in a shortened season so the team isn’t convinced. Then they trade for another goalie. That goalie gets hurt and Reimer has a chance to prove himself… Gets hit in the head, plays terribly. Now this…

      It’d be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

  • TGT23

    It’s to bad this happened to Reims…He finally got a start and blew it out of the water and was on his way to getting another start tonight when this happened…..doesn’t really matter anymore what Reims does or doesn’t do, his starter gig was long gone back last year and he either has to except that and embellish being the back-up and just sit back and reap the rewards of getting paid a good wage to not have to be THE GUY the started the one to carry this team,,,
    JUST Kidding… Reims really was great on Wed. and I was so looking forward to seeing him do it again, only this time have the team come to play the game with him,….I knew they would be better tonight after all their buddy is in net….doesn’t matter in my book Reims game on Wed. blows Bernier Game tonight out of the water, the team saved Bernier this game where Reims stole it for the team on Wed….

    Hope you will be back to your great self Reims, I hope you don’t get benched on Sunday, this was to be your game or at least one of these should…..but there s talk it could be Bernie again against his old team..

    Anyways here s to another win….

      • TGT23

        I agree that Bernier played well the game before, I referred to these 2 games last night and Wed. night because they both played the same team within a couple days of each other…Reims had it tougher, he had a fresher Red Wings team and a tired Leafs team to battle with and against…..Bernier had a fresh team to play with and a tired Red Wings team to play against, Reimer also faced over 41 shots Bernier 28 I believe, The team actually sucked with Reim’s but were a lot stronger and more stronger and outplayed the Wings with Bernier…

        That’s why I compared these 2 games……

        Reimer has always come back when everyone has counted him out, but I agree he just can’t get a break as when it looks good for him another boulder his through in his way and he has to battle though it…

  • jasken

    First Reims and Bernier are both good goalies however contrary to what some believe and based on games I have seen only Bernier is ready to be a starter. Not knocking Reims in anyway he just dont have the puck control that he needs. He gives off juicy rebounds his ability to redirect and absorb pucks needs to improve. These are necessities to be a starter and things Reims needs to work on. When Reims can easily direct a puck away into the corner, or out of play, or hold on to the puck for a whistle consistently and not scramble for the rebounds after the initial shot then he will be a starter.

    These guys can keep us guessing if anything on which team is going to show up each game that’s for sure. they played a nice solid game I like to see them put that kind of effort every game.

  • jasken

    Paniks goal was great. Notice how he picks up the puck at the blue line with one hand…. looking at his stats seems the man has some offensive skills, with only what 130 or so games in NHL and at 23 years, this guy may be more than we bargained for!

    Good all round effort from the boys,