Leafs Post-Game: Bounce Back

Losers of three straight, the Leafs were able to bounce back against the Stars in Dallas, beating them 4-0.

THE RUNDOWN

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.

BLUE WARRIOR

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.

NOTES

  • 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.

  • Letters

    A much needed win for the blue and white squad as they take their Christmas break before heading down to the alligator and Burmese python infested swamp land.

    I don’t lose sleep at night trying to figure out Bozak’s Corsi but I’ll give the stat geeks credit for exposing the basic fact that a team can’t consistently be out shot night after night with our goalies often being drilled with 40 plus shots of rubber.

    How the heck the leafs can’t figure out how to play a typical solid, grinding road game especially in the third period is beyond comprehension.

    A very merry, merry Christmas to all of you out there in leaf nation.

  • Letters

    1st and 2nd line traded places for one game – kadri/JVR scoring off the rush and getting killed in posession, Bozak and Kessel playing a little bit of defence but not scoring as much.

    Funny how the game against Chicago and this one were very similar, but the bounces went the opposite way – in Chicago we couldn’t buy a goal, tonight posts and crossbars were our friend and Dallas couldn’t get one to save their life.

    If Leafs can play like this consistently we’re good. Can they?

  • STAN

    Another YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY.

    This style of play is unsustainable. Sure, the Leafs have some very talented players, but it’s as though they are thrown out there with NO coaching, no plan.

    If management had the cajones to bring in a proper coaching staff AND jettison a couple of “core”, but grossly overpaid and over-valued players, something great could happen.