Well, after a three-game stretch where the Leafs did not really Leaf, the Leafs will decided that once again, they will Leaf. And oh, Leaf they did, giving up the winning goal in the final minute of regulation on a poor rebound play. In a somewhat promising game, a pair of glaring Jonathan Bernier errors spolied the Leafs’ chances at picking up points, ultimately leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many in a 4-3 loss at Madison Square Garden to the Rangers.
Jonathan Bernier is not playing great hockey right now.
Jonathan Bernier drops to 0-7-1 this season. Has registered one win in his last 18 appearances.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) November 16, 2015
After Peter Holland opened the scoring for the Leafs in the first, Ryan MacDonagh equalized on a nice 2-on-1 goal 4 seconds into the second period. Though Bernier couldn’t really be faulted for the Rangers first goal, two of the Rangers’ next three were the result of his poor play.
First, there was this:
Despite this transgression, Joffrey Lupul was able to even the score 17:38 into the second period, and putting the Leafs tied into the final 20. Outshooting the Rangers 21-19, things were looking okay.
Derick Brassard (have you ever noticed how strangely his first name is spelled? He’s apparently the second-most popular Derick according to Google search priority) put the Rangers back in front.
But not to fear, Tyler Bozak then showed his speciality faceoff skills, passing the puck back to Dion Phaneuf. I’m a big fan of most hockey goals, but straight-off-of-the-faceoff goals by defencemen have to be a top-5 way to score. They’re rare enough that you appreciate them when they happen, and they’re unexpected enough to make you jump a little when they actually do go in.
This fairly even game appeared headed for overtime, and the Leafs looked destined to pick up points for their sixth straight game. Then, there was this, the aforementioned game-winning goal:
Bernier certainly didn’t throw away a dominant Leaf performance away by any means, but a better response time and better rebound control would’ve more than likely led to a Leaf point. Ahh, the Toronto Maple Leafs I know and love.
Byron Froese had 66% of his career points tonight with two assists. Neither were spectacular plays, but rather a “get-your-stick-on-the-puck” kind of play expected from a bottom-six player that were the result of solid forechecking efforts near the goalmouth. Honourable mention to Bob Cole. Love hearing that man call a game.
Snow day on Tuesday
Just a lone day off on Monday, as the Leafs are playing a lot of hockey these days, it seems. The Avalanche are coming to town on Tuesday for a 7:30 puck drop. If you’re an elementary school-aged child reading this, you probably still have to go to school, as it isn’t an actual snow day. Sorry, but I’m impressed you found your way onto this website.