Leafs Postgame: Tank back on track

babcock

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.

The Rundown

Jonathan Bernier is not playing great hockey right now.

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.

Blue Warrior

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.

  • Gary Empey

    I had to watch the NY feed here on my internet. The NY broadcasters had nothing but praise for the play of the Leafs and their future. They even admitted the difference was the Rangers cashing in on a couple of lucky bounces on the bad ice surface.

    For me, lately I have watched the Leafs play great hockey against some of the best teams in the NHL. There were no blowouts. Babcock has them playing better every game. I was more than disappointed with tonight’s late, winning goal, as well as Washington’s late goal five games ago.

    If justice was guaranteed the Leafs would of come home with at least one point for the hard work they put in tonight.

    Fact is not too many teams can hold the Ranger’s to a draw with less then a minute to go in the game.

    • Gary Empey

      Gary you were dead on with your comments as the leafs played a spirited game with this being the 3rd in 4 days. Jonas Seigel’s twitter said it all 1 FREAKING VICTORY IN HIS LAST 18 GAMES.

      Sooooo tired of seeing him give up team deflating soft goals.

      Just an abysmal rebound given up and then he spreads his leg to let the Ranger put it under him. I couldn’t help think does he know Pete Rose. Seriously that was garbage goaltending. But he is GONE after this year. Not that the hot and cold Reimer is the answer.

      • Gary Empey

        The team’s reaction to that centre ice goal was deflation and depression… the awful rebound goal gifted to Zuccarello was hatred and disgust from his entire team. The team must be turning on him. They must really not want him to play just like the fans. Him in net = an automatic loss… We need Matthews or Chychrun but #BernierMustGo

    • Gary Empey

      both him and rielly were horrific (-3) last night. he was especially bad on that 4 on 1 goal where only rielly was there to defend and he was pinching beside raanta and that zuccarello goal where he let in swoop right in. he’s usually been fast and positionally sound. babcock said he’s had his worse games vs his former team and it’s probably true.

  • CMpuck

    Hate this lottery system, it basically means I have to resent my teams success throughout the season.

    Why not have a lottery for every non playoff team pick, no guarantees of any pick, then have team who get top three picks have worse odds for the pick they won in following years (i.e. Oil have their 1st overall odds hurt each time they win it, so if you get 1st OA you odds are worse for the next two seasons in the lottery for that pick). That way you fairly circulate which teams top picks and force all teams to be competitive.