Toronto Maple Leafs Post-Game: The Resurgence of Tyler Bozak

Cry your heart out, Patrick Roy. 

The Rundown

In yet another game of slightly improved Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, the home team wiped the floor with Patrick Roy’s sad-sack Colorado Avalanche roster in a 5-1 victory.

It’s hard to tell whether the Leafs were consistently better than the Avalanche because they’ve continued to improve their own possession game or because these Avalanche are historically bad at holding on to the puck, but it’s pretty nifty watching the group of mismatched free agents completely wipe the ice with a lineup featuring Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Jarome Iginla, and Tyson Barrie. 

Nazem Kadri led the game in shots on goal – although he didn’t manage to score – and Tyler Bozak scored a beautiful hail mary goal from his spot on his ass on the ice during one of the team’s many power plays. Things looked fun for the Leafs tonight, and that’s refreshing. 

Stats

chart

The Avalanche actually spent the majority of the game outshooting the Leafs, but looked like a mess doing so. Another messy Avalanche game, and the Leafs capitalized. 

Blue Warrior

James Reimer

After getting crapped on by his new backup Jonathan Bernier earlier today, Reimer overcame the probable PTSD suffered from a reminder of the 2013 Game 7 by having a pretty impressive game against the Avalanche. 

Granted, the Avalanche didn’t have as many quality scoring chances as the Leafs – there was a surprisingly efficient defensive game being played by the home team – and Reimer’s ability to put himself in a sound position during a screen – but with goaltending out of Bernier looking like Ray Emery on his worst night, Reimer got the job done and walked away with another win. 

There’s the third star player we all know and love. 

East Coast Adventure

The Leafs will take what looked like a pretty impressively played game against the Avalanche and try to beat one of the other teams that honestly may be struggling more than either Colorado or Toronto – the Carolina Hurricanes, who can’t buy a win with the cap space they refuse to use. Toronto’s going on the road to play the conference rival, who they’ll face on on Friday. That’s ample time to rest, and hopefully figure out how to replicate their success from tonight. 

  • Gary Empey

    Sweet dreams for all Leaf fans tonight. I wish I could buy everyone a beer. We have waited for a long time to see such a well played “200 foot” game.

    At the start of the season Babcock worked on the overall defensive aspect of the game. When that was under control he started on the penalty kill. When that was under control he got the power play fine tuned. With all that in place he has been working on general offense. As we can see, Babcock likes each line to play together as a unit. It is all been slowly coming together one piece at a time.

    My Blue Warrior was the whole fr!gging team.

  • Gary Empey

    babs is working miracles… making bad look very competent. the trade value of the “untradeable” guys is rising! pap, bozak, even lupul and phaneuf! reimer the central division slayer!! keep this up and we can get some decent picks. reimer is amazing once again, the special teams were insane and boyes and holland should never be scratched again over spaling/froese.

  • STAN

    Loved the quick short passes that lead to 4 PP goals. Looks as though Holland, Bozak and Parenteau are locked in.

    Kadri continues to amaze – more than 80 shots and still looking for his second goal. That just can’t go on much longer. He’ll start finding the back of the net soon.

    Reimer? What can you say? The guy doesn’t quit. He’s likely due for stinker sooner or later, but the players seem to love him back there.

  • STAN

    Are the playoffs really such an impossibility?

    Earlier in the season no one could score , now everyone seems to be contributing.

    Can anyone doubt that Babcock is earning his money.

    Usually when the Leafs throw money at a problem the result is disastrous,but this time the results are paying major dividends.

  • STAN

    You advanced stas guys are clueless predicting that Bozak’s offence would dry up without Kessel. Where are those WOWY’s of Bozak’s offence with/without kessel.

    How about Bozak’s Corsi with and without Bozak. Fail.

    And who would have predicted that fate would deem that Kadri’s offence is what has dried up.

    • Gary Empey

      People didn’t take into account that Bozak often got put on the ice for random defensive faceoffs that were corsi black holes. Lose the faceoff and eat some some shots against. Win the faceoff, then leave the ice before your team gets any shots.

  • Gary Empey

    SHG – Leo Komarov (6) ASST: Shawn Matthias (4)

    PPG – Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (5) ASST: Peter Holland (3), Tyler Bozak (8)

    PPG – Tyler Bozak (3) ASST: Brad Boyes (6), Peter Holland (4)

    PPG – Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (6) ASST: Peter Holland (5), Tyler Bozak (9)

    TOR PPG – James van Riemsdyk (7) ASST: Matt Hunwick (1), Morgan Rielly (9)

    Roman Polak played the most minutes—23:17

    J. Reimer——SV%—.971

    Thanks for the Avalanche Warning. What’s the weather prediction for Friday?

  • Gary Empey

    This team has finally turned it around and now is playing the game.Babcock isn’t done with them yet and they can only get better.The entire team played great tonight and Riemer more than held his own again.

  • Andre Bradshaw

    To TANK OR NOT TO TANK, that indeed is the question. An impressive offensive display as that power play moved that puck around beautifully and bingo into the twine.

    Might as well refer to the Blue Warrior as the James Reimer player of the game award. 1.7l. g.a. and that awesome .949 save percentage. But the 34 shots a night kind of reminds me of past years when Reimer faced a lot of rubber on a given night.

    A lot of people getting all over Bernier. To be honest I don’t think this guy is a member of Mensa so I don’t think his comment was directed at Reimer.

    Case in point I recall a game in Montreal in which Bernier got this bright idea to race out of his crease and smoother a puck about 40 feet from his net. Tweet went the refs whistle, two minutes delay of the game at a crucial point of that hockey game.

    After the game Bernier commented that he never got penalized for that skate into the wind when he played at the midget level.

    But I got to admit Bernier does look good in that ball cap.

    The performance was even more appreciated as you just knew that the N.B.A. league would be directing the officiating in that last minute as they promote a very talented Golden States’s 13 game unbeaten streak. That last minute officiating reminds me of the usual officiating in Montreal. Expect the bizarre call to go against you. Heh it is the way it is.

    Raptors were given the short end of the stick as they basically have lived on the road in November while the leafs obviously the major draw has a much more reasonable schedule with a number of home games.

    That will change when the N.B.A. and all the hype invades the big smoke for the 2016 all-star game.

    Babcock has got the boys playing winning and entertaining hockey this month. OH WHAT THE HELL forget the tank and just keep it going leafs.

    • Gary Empey

      Re- TANK

      Anyone who wants to see more of that load of rubbish we watched under Peter Horachek last year, needs to take their helmet off. That war has been over for 6 months.

      April 12, 2015—- Leafs fired general manager Dave Nonis and interim coach Peter Horachek and his entire staff. Director of pro scouting Steve Kasper and director of player development Jim Hughes, coaches Steve Spott, Chris Dennis & Rick St. Croix (goaltending) were axed.

      If a top draft pick was a priority, Shanahan would sacrificed his own job and kept that pile of sh!te together for one more year, instead of hiring Babcock and company.

  • jasken

    If Riemer can maintain this play for 50-60 games I see no reason why he shouldn’t be a starter.

    Bozak what can you say about a consistent player he remains the same regardless of linemates, coaching or system changes he just manages to plug along grabbing points quitely and unnoticed.

    What can I say about Kadri so many things but I am trying to be positive here so atleast he has alot of shots.