Who would have thought that this would be one of the biggest games of the year? Sure enough, the Leafs and Hurricanes are in a race for the bottom, and a big zero points tonight would be a big boost to the tank. Thankfully, that’s exactly what they got.
This was a period of brotherly love, as both Staals contributed to get the Hurricanes the lead. The first goal saw Justin Faulk take a point shot, only to be redirected by Eric. Brandon Kozun tied up the game three minutes later with his first NHL goal, beating Brad Malone (filling in while Cam Ward drifted several feet way) with a rebound. On the next shift, however, Jordan tipped Eric’s shot to restore the advantage for Carolina with two minutes to go in the third period.
Not much happened in the second period. The Leafs had three powerplay opportunities in the first ten minutes, but didn’t convert on any of them. Phil Kessel eventually headed to the box, but the Leafs killed it off. Carolina had the better period overall, but it wasn’t anything to phone home about overall.
The same could be said about the third period. The Leafs didn’t score on the lone powerplay, the two teams half-heartedly tried to score, and the buzzer sounded eventually. Yawn. Cool.
Lets go with Brandon Kozun! I don’t think he’s been particularly amazing since his ankle injury, but at the same time, it’s still nice to see him score his first NHL goal. As long as he doesn’t go all Boyd Devereaux and cost the Leafs spots in the draft rankings, he’s got a story that makes you want to root for him down the stretch.
- Fourteen road losses in a row!
- The Leafs are just two points ahead of Carolina now!
- Edmonton is probably going to lose tonight and so are the Sabres, so that’s a shame.
- Making 24 saves on 26 shots is a pretty solid showing for Jonathan Bernier.
- Despite that goal, Kozun played a team low 5:20; five minutes less than any forward. Morgan Rielly, on the other hand, was on the ice for 26:23.
- This really wasn’t a particularly bad game overall; most of the team was somewhat competitive in possession and there was no point where this game wasn’t close. The two teams combined for just 48 shots.
- Toronto will take a second swing at losing tomorrow night, against the Jets.