Leafs Postgame: Tennessee Shootout

reimernashville

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Two wins? In a row? Your eyes do not deceive you, Leafs fans. Toronto visited Nashville tonight and kept pace with a far better team, taking the Predators deep into the shootout and coming out the other side with an unexpected 2-1 win.

The Rundown

I could tell you about how boring the first period of tonight’s game was, or how the second period wasn’t much better. Instead, we’ll focus on the shot clock, where Toronto only managed 14 shots on net through the first 40 minutes, but held Nashville to only 12. That sounds pretty good (which it is), but this lovely all-situations Shot Attempts chart from War-on-Ice tells us that the Predators largely carried the play throughout the first and second frames.

shotattempts

In the third period, we’d see a little more back and forth action – and finally some damn goals. First, Shea Weber would put a snapshot past James Reimer on the powerplay just two-and-a-half minutes into the frame. Moments later, both Shawn Matthias and Tyler Bozak would get behind the Predators defence off a quick transition, and Matthias would slide the puck across for Bozak to bury behind Pekka Rinne.

That 1-1 would hold through the rest of the third period and all the way through overtime, which featured a lengthy 4-on-3 opportunity for Nashville after Michael Grabner took a rather weak hooking call. 

In fact, the tie would hold up all the way through the fifth round of the shootout, with Reimer and Rinne trading saves until Peter Holland would finally win it for the good guys.


Blue Warrior

For the third game in a row, James Reimer gets the Blue Warrior honours. Making the most out of his run of starts with Jonathan Bernier on the mend, Reimer made 21 of 22 saves and was perfect on five shootout attempts. Want to hear the craziest part, though? Reimer now holds a .920 SV% and a 2.33 GAA through ten games, officially making him an above average NHL goaltender! 

Seriously, even if Bernier is ready to go… You have to keep rolling with Reimer, no?

Canucks Army Invades Toronto

Ew, gross. The Vancouver Canucks visit the Leafs in Toronto this coming Saturday night, and that means we’ll have to put up with their lame team and their lame fans and their lame blogs, too. Tune in to CBC at 7:00pm for Hockey Night in Canada.

  • Gary Empey

    I love to see the Leafs win. It is even nicer when it is against one of the top rated teams.

    Leafs are 5 points away from a playoff spot. They are four points away from 30th place as well.

    Unfortunately Kadri has scored only one goal in 16 games. Will Babcock move him off the #1 line to squeeze a little more scoring, or will he stay with the status quo?

    Reimer plays a very scrambley style, (reminiscent of Dominik Hašek). That, often gives coaches the “willies”. Just like Hašek though he always seems to pull the rabbit out of the hat. I also think Reimer will be one of the goalies to benefit next year when the goalie equipment will be reduced in size.

    • Kanuunankuula

      And who do you Replace him with? Kadri’s line has been the only one above 50% last few games, just because he is snake bitten does not mean he does not generate offence. I’d be more inclined to switch out any of the other 3 Cs with Holland and Arcobello.

      And for god’s sake let Corrado have one game.

      • Gary Empey

        Well the obvious, would be to switch Kadri with Bozak. I really like Kadri’s play this year. Forchecking has improved. Faceoffs have improved. Backchecking has improved. Ever facet of his game has improved except his scoring, and that has taken a dive. Lack of scoring from your number one center can not be ignored forever.

        Re-Corrado… It is starting to look like Babcock unlike other coaches is not very concerned who the GM’s bring in on waivers or trades. He is going to play the best players he feels he can win the game with. At the moment he likes Harrinton and Polak for his bottom six. As we can all see the Leafs have in almost every game, right to the end, this year. We may have to wait for an injury before we get a look at him. Even then Martin Marincin may be the next in line. Remember at the start of the year Babcock stated ” when you are good enough to take someone’s job then you will be in the lineup”.

  • Gary Empey

    Wow six games and counting, so happy for Reims and for the team…..they have really worked great together this season and Reims I never doubted he had it in him…yet during every interview never pumps himself up or takes the credit he’s always so humble and gives alot of credit to his team….
    I hope he will continue to get the plays as he’s earned the net and that he and the team continue to roll together..
    After 2 + seasons he’s has worked hard and played hard and this season he looks great as he did a few years back…..

    • Gary Empey

      Dear Reimerfan,

      Thank you for the support you have always shown in my ability to play goal.

      When the good ship MapleLeaf was floundering in the recent storm, and about to sink to the bottom, you and only, you continued to believe in me. When you were trashed by many, and bombarded with stats by the rest of the nation, you and only you, continued to support me in my quest to be considered a number on goalie in the NHL. Even when people clamored to “Get Rid of Reimer”, you and only you, had faith, and remained a loyal fan.

      I see the 4 million dollar man is back so I expect I will soon be asked to warm the bench once again. I thank you for remaining a true fan and I hope I can continue to make you proud when I get my chance.

      Respectfully yours,

      JAMES REIMER

      PS. Keep your eye on that young kid Antoine Bibeau. I watched him in practice and I think he will soon be a great goalie in this league.

  • Gary Empey

    I now fully agree with Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson, 3-on-3 format is ‘boring’, and Dustin Byfuglien’s calling 3-on-3 “stupid”.

    Coaches have quickly figured it out. It has turned into a complete waste of time. If the NHL really doesn’t want games to end in a tie, then just go straight to the shoot-out. (which I also don’t care for very much).

    Save OT for the playoffs. “Sudden Death Overtime”. Now there is excitement.

    I give the NHL “E” for effort but “F” for fail.