Leafs Post-Game: Leafs Lose!

The Leafs gave us a scare at the end, but the New York Rangers were able to hold on for a big 5-4 win against the Leafs Tuesday night at Air Canada Center.

THE RUNDOWN

I’ll be frank here, I didn’t watch the game.  Don’t blame me, I warned you in my pregame today that there was no more point in watching the Leafs this season.  In fact, the handsome Justin Fisher was originally supposed to do today’s post-game.  Unfortunately, his computer is all out of whack and he’s currently unable to get connected to the servers to write the article.  What I can tell you is that he did watch tonight’s game, so everyone should give him an A for effort and one gold star.  

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s what I can tell you about tonight’s game… the Leafs were outshot 17-6 and outscored 2-1 through 20 minutes.  I can also tell you that Toronto was outshot 14-10 in the 2nd period and trailed 4-2 after 40 minutes.  In the 3rd period, Toronto managed to tie it up just 7 minutes in.  Luckily for those of us a part of tank nation, Mats Zucarrello scored with just 6 minutes left in the game to give the Rangers a definitive 5-4 lead and win.

BLUE WARRIOR

The boxscore tells me Morgan Rielly scored twice tonight.  TWICE!  That’s a lot of goals for a defenseman, especially such a good and young one like Morgan Rielly.  He was probably the best Leaf tonight.  He’s your Blue Warrior.

NOTES

Some other things I can tell you about this game from looking at the boxscore:

  • Toronto came back to outshoot the Rangers 18-6 in the 3rd period.  The shots were 39-32 for the Rangers overall.
  • As you might expect, this was the first two-goal game of Morgan Rielly’s career.
  • Stephane Robidas also scored tonight.  It was his first of the season.
  • Daniel Winnik had a goal and an assist.  Good for his trade value hopefully maybe.
  • From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like this was James Reimer’s finest game.

SEE YOU THURSDAY

The Leafs face the Islanders in New York Thursday night at 7:00PM Eastern on TSN4.  Hopefully Justin figures out his computer issues by then.

  • Corno4

    Some observations:

    Kessel was 2nd last in all forwards in total ice time tonight (narrowly edging Booth due to increased time to finish off the game).

    Kessel was a -4 tonight.

    Kessel still only 2 goals in Horachek era.

    Winnik is now tied for team goal lead in the Horachek era, of 4, with JVR. He’s also somehow a +1 through these 15 games.

  • Corno4

    A truly fine tanking performance by the leafs. Shawn some of the crayon writers are going to be a tiny bit perturbed that you chose to watch the paint dry or watch the laundry go around and around instead of watching the leafs.

    But you did miss a lot of scouts seeing that Franson is a pylon and will at best obtain a second round pick.

    You missed that Phil Kessel has quit on this team a minus 15 since the new year with 3 goals and 3 assists in his last 17 games. He had the smallest ice time of any leaf forward but still managed an impressive minus 4 for the evening.

    But I’m sure some Rhodes scholar will come in here and remind us how Kessel over the past number of years ranks right up there in scoring. Too bad he doesn’t score many game winning clutch goals or o.t. goals.

    Why a lot of the media and fans didn’t comprehend his mission statement in training camp truly shows the ignorance of these people.

    First of all he simply threw his fellow team mates under the bus by simply stating and I’m paraphrasing here “Coach Carlyle has given me a long leash, I play my style”. The translation which he so eloquently displayed tonight was I won’t check at all and I’ll just float, I won’t take a hit to obtain the puck as I’m Phil the floater Kessel and you are not.”

    But there is an even more important aspect of Kessel’s words and that is what kind of example is he setting for the young players on the team.

    The bottom line is simply this you can’t have a guy on your team who will not play a team game. It is one thing when you can’t play the game HELLO DAVID CLARKSON. It is another thing when you refuse to play a complete game.

    Some how the leafs must get rid of him along with Phaneuf and Clarkson. Other wise you have an anchor that is going to just drag you to the bottom.

    I suppose, however that these three players just might be the key catalysts enabling the leafs to draft a number of high picks over the next four years.

    For leaf fans if either Kadri or Bernier are signed to long term no trade, iron clad contracts this summer you will know that the Jerry Jones wannabees of the M.L.S.E. board are still running the insane asylum. If that is the case the out come of even having high draft picks would likely result in the Edmonton Oiler spectacular failure over the past five years of drafting.

    For a Toronto sports fan Shawn might have the answer. Ignore watching the leafs and instead WATCH AN EXCITING, ENTERTAINING, WINNING NUMBER 2 TEAM IN THE EAST TORONTO RAPTORS.

    • Dawgfan1980

      Do you know who owns the Raptors out of just curiosity? I hate to ruin your narrative and your hottakes with facts, but the same ownership group (MLSE) owns the Raptors as well as the Leafs.

      You seem to want to basically blast anyone who has a differing opinion than you, but here’s some more of those damn facts you hate. Kessel has 4 GWG this season. Last season, Kessel had 6 GWG. In fact, if you look, in Toronto, he’s had 31 GWG in 419 games (1/13.51 games). Bozak, by comparison (and his line mate, and oh, BTW, the guy who was late back checking on at least one goal last night) has 13 GWG in 351 games (1/27 games). Perspective: Wendel Clark had 38 GWG in 608 games for the Leafs (1/16 games). Doug Gilmour had 13 GWG in 393 games (1/30.23) in the Blue and White. Sundin had 79 GWG in 981 games (1/12.4).

      If you rely on plus/minus, here are the top players the past ten years and their total:

      05-06: Wade Redden (35)
      06-07: Thomas Vanek (47)
      07-08: Pavel Datsyuk (41)
      08-09: David Krejci (37)
      09-10: Jeff Schultz (50)
      10-11: Zdeno Chara (33)
      11-12: Patrice Bergeron (36)
      12-13: Pascal Dupuis (31)
      13-14: David Krejci (39)
      14-15: Max Pacioretty (29)

      How many of those guys would you want to build a team around? Plus/Minus is a flawed stat at best that shows more about your teammates than much else. Jeff Schultz led the league one year. Why? His linemates.

      Toronto yearly leaders in that time:

      05-06: Alexei Ponikarovsky (15)
      06-07: Hal Gill (11)
      07-08: Mats Sundin (17)
      08-09: Alexei Ponikarovsky (6)
      09-10: Carl Gunnarsson (8) *note Gunnarsson played 43 games; Alexei Ponikarovsky had a +5 in 61 GP*
      10-11: Darryl Boyce (8) *note Boyce played 46 games; Nikolai Kulemin was a +7 in 82 GP*
      11-12: Clark MacArthur (3)
      12-13: Mark Fraser (18)
      13-14: Carl Gunnarsson (13)
      14-15: Daniel Winnik (13)

      So as we can see, +/- isn’t really the best measure of a hockey player, unless you thought Ponikarovsky was our best player those years.

      Oh, and JvR has a -20, so why does he escape your scorn? Gardiner is a -21, would you jettison him too?

      Oh, Kessel (12:57) played more time last night than the following forwards:

      Lupul (12:06)
      Booth (11:40)
      Smith (12:09)
      Holland (12:47)
      Komarov (12:51)

      So, evidently, you can’t bother to fact check before you write your comments.

      Was Kessel poor last game? Yes. Is he the problem? No. Is he part of the problem? Yes. Can he be part of the solution? I think so.

  • STAN

    that god awful 1st line has finally been benched. god is good! everyone kadri plays with is infinitely better and dominates the game. coincidence?? add solid guys like santorelli/winnik and they look elite compared to the bozo line. they were absoltuely pitiful. more so than usual. all 3 had no desire to attempt a pinch of defence at all. no wonder franson yelled at kessel on the ice in nashville. i love kessel/jvr but they need a 2 way centre to cover up their lack of overall sh*t defence because “2 way centre” tyler bozak ain’t cutting it while he floats around in the background ready to miss yet another perfect pass by jvr/phil feeding him the puck for a guaranteed goal.

  • Corno4

    poor reimer held them in the game as long as he could. idk why he even bothers to keep trying/caring when this team clearly stopped at least 20+ games ago. he didn’t have his best game at the end but he was strong for at least 40 minutes. outshot to hell & held the score pretty close in the 1st. 2nd period was a tire fire from the leafs. they only tried in the 3rd period after they dug themselves a hole too big to ultimately come back from (sounds familiar). that game should have been part 2 of the nashville debacle. reimer really saved them in the first half of the game. some terrible giveaways/no effort/poor coverage killed them especially by the 1st line & franson (he was bad tonight).

    at least the kadri line dominated (as usual) & our top 4 defencemen rielly/gardiner played well! booth/holland/komarov/panik played ok tonight too. burn the rest to the ground.

    • TGT23

      I agree with you….so sad for Reims to have such a great comeback on Saturday night against the oilers only to have this happen….

      That is why I feel so bad for Reims because he does care he wants this team to become a force to reckon with, for this team to tank means no matter how hard Reims work he and Bernier are going down with the ship and its awful because it does nothing for them in the end, except throw their stats and numbers all to hell for what? so maybe the team can get a good draft pick?????? you all honestly think that’s the answer??????

      Reims is the only player on this team that plays and competes every game he plays and in return he gets sh*t in front of him……

      The net minders are being wasted on this team and its a shame…….

      This is Reims is the Leader in this group although he will never wear the C but should, who better than Reims, he the only MAN to say it like it is and go out there and lives by his words and puts everything into it..yeah he has bad games, all goalies do…but they don’t have \Reims spirit or passion or desire to compete and put up with all the shi+ that he does…and doesn’t cry about it or make excuses….

      Go Reims GO!!!

  • STAN

    Mostly excellent points Whats48years.

    My only exception – Kadri. If the Leafs trash can be dumped (Phaneuf, Clarkson, Kessel) on another I think Kadri can take a leadership role and improve his game. He has some of the best hands around and sees the ice well. I think he just needs some better players around him.

    As for the attitude of this group, it just sucks. The alleged TOP LINE hasn’t been anywhere close to a TOP line in two months.

    Yes, Franson made a horrible fan on what was supposed to a pass which lead directly to a Rangers goal, but he’s still better than Pylon Phaneuf and should return more than a second round pick if they trade him.

    Here’s to Edmonton, Buffalo, Carolina and Arizona. WIN Boys. Leafs Nation needs it.

    • Corno4

      Stan I too hope Kadri could continue to develope, I sometimes forget he really has only been in the league a couple of years. But it just seems once a leaf player gets that huge contract they enjoy the cottage life.

      To me I would be holding on to Franson till near the trade dead line or when a serious contender for the cup possibly loses a top four defenceman. Hopefully a bidding war developes. I’ve watched a lot of slow a foot defensemen in the league who fit in perfectly with a club that plays a sound positional team game. The Larry Murphy situation is a classic case of this as he once again flourished in the Detroit system of hockey.

      A first round pick might be stretching it but there are indeed other organizations out there that have made some weird dealings at the trade dead line in the past.

  • Corno4

    Looking forward to the trade deadline. The speculations and rumours should be off the charts by then.

    This could be the most entertaining part of the season.

    Go Leafs!!

    p.s. What really has happened in the 30 years of Leaf hockey?

    The Leaf/Flyer and Leaf/Blues and Leaf/Red Wings playoff series’ was the last time many solid Leaf fans truly got excited imo.

    Alas, even pyramid power could not help them.

    Yet I do think Red Kelly was probably the best coach the Leafs have had since the Vietnam war era.

    If the Leafs moved back into MLG they would be a better team imo. Too much of a disconnect betweem the high earning players and the unwashed masses at the ACC mausoleum 😉

  • STAN

    One goal game. Kadri was pretty good again – drew a penalty and got involved physically on the boards. Rick Nash victimized Rilley but he was pretty sound throughout most of the game. The once highest scoring line in hockey got benched until the third period. The Leafs first goal came off of a Bozak face off on the power play. Rilley is becoming very potent offensively. The first line was very close to scoring again late in the third when Kessel came in for Booth or Panik or whoever was temporarily out there with Bozie and JVR. Talbot was bad. Reimer was ok. First line was giving up 3 on 5s in the middle of full strength stretches. Robidas scored and played well. It was a fast game. Winnik, Santorelli, Booth, Panik, Komarov Smith and Holland were all creating chances. Rangers are a really good team right now. The boys kept it close. The first line needs to score.

  • TGT23

    When your team gives up five the easy thing would be to blame the goalie. And when Reimer is in net, that’s been a safe bet lately.

    Tonight was not Reim’s fault. I’m usually the first to point out when he’s played bad, and while two of the goals were a little soft, the shots themselves were preventable.

    TSN illustrated it well showing the Kessel/Bozak line doing their best to look very busy while never actually pressuring anyone or being in the right position… They were -4… Is it a surprise Kessel saw reduced minutes?

    Gardiner and Reilly looked good, though. Looking forward to them developing together. Hard to believe but this is only Gardiner’s 3rd full-season with the Leafs and Reilly’s 2nd.

    Kadri was pretty solid, too. Could be on pace for another 50 point season if he can get hot the last 20+ games. If he played on a line with talent worthy of being on a 2nd Line he could be something special. The shell of Lupul and the myriad of 3rd and 4th liners he’s had on his wing are not good enough.

    Maybe consider moving Holland to wing? Or experimenting with Gardiner? Maybe put Kadri with Kessel for more than two consecutive shifts before splitting them up? Or maybe JVR, Kadri and Lupel the rest of the season? Find a way to get this kid some linemates, either way.

  • TGT23

    THE GOOD NEWS IS THISYEARS DRAFT IS PRETTY DEEP. THE WAY THE LEAFS ARE PLAYING THEY ARE GOING TO BE IN POSITION FOR A PRETTY GOOD PICK. WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE ON MAR.2 IS BIG, THE ASSESTS THEY HAVE NOW THAT ARE AVAILABLE WHICH IS ALMOST EVERYBODY THAT WORE A LEAFS JERSEY THIS SEASON. THEY HAVE NO 2ND ROUND CHOICE THIS YEAR BUT IF YOU CAN PICK UP A LATE 1ST YOU MIGHT BE BETTER OFF. SHIP OUT ANY OF THOSE BIG CONTRACTS THAT YOU CAN , GET PROSPECTS AND DRAFT CHOICES BACK IN RETURN. MANAGEMENT HAS TO BE SMART I KNOW THAT IS A TALL ORDER WITH THE PEOPLE THAT THEY HAVE IN PLACE. (NONIS) DOES ANYBODY KNOW THIS GUYS BACKROUND, WHATS HIS HOCKEY KNOWLEDGE, HE WAS A HANGER ON WITH BURKE IN VANCOUVER, ANAHEIM AND TORONTO. THOSE CONTRACTS HE HANDED OUT OR WAS A PART OF WERE SIMPLY BONKERS. I GUESS WHEN ITS NOT YOUR MONEY ITS PRETTY EASY. LEADERSHIP HAS TO BE A TOP PRIORITY WITH ANYBODY THAT THEY BRING IN.