Losers of three straight, the Leafs were able to bounce back against the Stars in Dallas, beating them 4-0.
1st Period: The Leafs shook up their lines heading into tonight’s game and it paid off early. The new-look second line of James van Riemsdyk-Nazem Kadri-Mike Santorelli scored 55 seconds in after a centering pass from van Riemsdyk hit Kadri driving to the net. From there the Leafs played just okay, with Dallas having a territorial edge and coming close to drawing even more than once. The Leafs had some chances too, but not as many. Lucky for them, they left the first up 1-0.
2nd Period: The Leafs and Stars both traded some early chances in the middle frame. A few minutes in, Tyler Seguin dinged one off the post on a dangerous rush play. Coming back the other way, Kadri sprung van Riemsdyk for a breakaway where he buried one backhand to add to the Leafs edge. A few minutes later, a Leafs powerplay lead to Tyler Bozak batting in a Dion Phaneuf point shot with van Riemsdyk screening in front. The Leafs continued to give up some quality chances, but they got some for themselves too. 3-0 after 2.
3rd Period: The game continued to be played off the rush and like most of the game there wasn’t much defense. Both teams had their chances but Dallas yet again had an edge. Jonathan Bernier continued his strong play though and was able to hold down the fort until Dallas pulled their goalie late in the period where Santorelli potted some insurance. It wasn’t the greatest of efforts, but it was a much-needed 2 points. Final score: 4-0 Toronto.
It’s tough to argue with 43 saves on 43 shots. From start to finish, Jonathan Bernier made it look easy for the Leafs tonight when it was anything but. In fact, it may have quietly been his best game as a Toronto Maple Leaf. He’s your Blue Warrior tonight. Honorable mention to Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk who were the Leafs’ two best skaters tonight.
- Tyler Seguin hit the post 3 times tonight and he had tons of chances. He was absolutely fantastic.
- The Leafs updated record after scoring first: 15-1-0.
- van Riemsdyk and Kadri were good together tonight. The top line (Lupul-Bozak-Kessel) was not. I wonder if we might be getting closer to another look at a van Riemsdyk-Kadri-Kessel line.
- Team Corsi numbers tonight: Dallas 68.89 Corsi%, Toronto 31.11 Corsi%.
- Toronto’s Corsi King: Peter Holland, Tyler Bozak, and Phil Kessel all had a 45% Corsi tonight.
- Toronto’s Corsi Goat: Richard Panik and David Booth both have a 17% Corsi tonight.
SEE YOU SUNDAY
The Leafs are on a little holiday break and don’t return to action until Sunday when they visit the Panthers in Florida. The game can be seen at 5:00PM Eastern on Sportsnet Ontario. Oh, and one more thing…
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS
From the entire Leafs Nation family.