Toronto Maple Leafs Post-Game: The Rise and Fall of Optimus Reim

PI-TY POINT!

PI-TY POINT!

PI-TY POINT!

*whispers* Optimus Reim! Optimus…

With a 4-3 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins picked up two points – but more importantly, the Leafs picked up one. They may have lost in the shootout, but hey… Reimer doesn’t win against Boston in extra time. 

The bottom line is that this time around, the Bruins were the team that started to slip once they’d pulled ahead in scoring… and while a loss is still a loss, this isn’t one the Leafs should be all that ashamed of.

Recap

I won’t lie to you; I made myself a pretty bomb homemade pizza tonight, so I’m a little sluggish. Forgive me; I’m still in a glass case of emotions from the first two periods of this game. 

Scoring opened with the most Boston Bruins thing ever – a short-handed goal, scored by Brad Marchand and assisted by Patrice Bergeron. The duo have become one of the most lethal two way pairs in the NHL over the last few years, and Toronto was reminded of that the hard way. 

Salt was just rubbed into the wound when none other than prime shitheel and perenially suspended goon Zac Rinaldo scored his first goal in a Boston Bruins uniform (bringing his career goal total up to 9); that was when the game could have very easily been Boston’s to run away with, a la last year’s Nashville massacre. 

Instead, though, the Leafs stormed back – first getting on the board with Joffrey Lupul’s eighth goal of the season, then with two more come-from-behind goals following Boston’s third and final tally in the second period. 

The third period was pretty exciting, but only because Tuukka Rask did his best Mike Smith impression and James Reimer decided he’d rather be Carey Price.

Did Brad Marchand score two goals, making every Toronto fan grit their teeth? Yeah. Did Zac Rinaldo score Boston’s third goal, creating the most aggravating and highly-hated trifecta of tallies in the history of Boston games? Yeah. 

Did Toronto still come back to tie it up and take it to a shootout? 

You betcha. 

Stats

chart (1)

Boston got pretty disgustingly outshot in this game, especially once they’d scored their three goals. It wasn’t exactly pretty hockey on either side, but Toronto certainly didn’t look like they were playing a team that was supposed to outclass them; that’s another of Toronto’s baby steps in the right direction. 

Blue Warrior

Tyler Bozak’s tying goal was his second point of the night, and it arguably shifted the momentum just enough to see the game head into extra time (and ultimately a shootout) – but this game was so much more than that for young Tyler Bozak. 

That’s right – with a two point night on Monday, Bozak pulled exactly even with former linemate Phil Kessel in the 2015-2016 scoring race that no one’s keeping track of outside of myself and Steve Simmons. The centre still doesn’t look like a top line guy, but his niche on the Leafs seems to finally be found; the energy guy who know how to score just enough that he’s able to tear it up as a middle six forward. 

I mean, we’ve been saying that should have been his role all along… but for now, let’s just revel in him having 14 points without Kessel, in just 19 games to boot. 

Capital Punishment

The Leafs pick up a point (further pulling ahead of the hapless Edmonton Oilers and the forgettable Columbus Blue Jackets) before going on a nice, five day vacation. They’ll next play against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, hosting the Metropolitan Division club at the ACC before hosting the Edmonton Oilers Monday; after that, they’ll take off for a Central Division road trip that can’t end well. 

    • Brooksterman

      Reimer just had an off night. Babcock sounded in his presser that he’d just chalk it up to a bad first 20 by Reimer. Seems like they’ll probably go back to him again the next game.

      • Brooksterman

        reimer is regressing to his career average SV%. all this faith in I believe in James Reimer is not strong enough to resist that hard reality of statistical fact

      • BarelyComments

        A road trip, a travelling back to back with only one day off and play again—I think it’s asking a bit too much. He was slightly injured during practice today and no wonder. I’ve never seen a schedule like this.

    • BarelyComments

      I figured it wouldn’t take long for this kind of comment….Reims should have had Saturday’s game, that was a crime to play as he did only to come out on the loss column…
      The team played poorly in period 1 and to relied on Reims game after game to pull them through is not a possible feat any Goalie to continue to do.

      This run Reims has had is awesome, and deserves credit for it…..he has stood tall all the way through it including last night. they all worked together in the last 40 mins…to bad the team couldn’t pull off the win in over time..now that was sad….Reims also as good as he is…isn’t going to win every shoot out…..

      I mean we don’t have that many great players/scorers to play the shoot out against good galies…Rask is good but Reims was just as good…

      As for Bernier….I like to see Reims back he still held them in for a point and deserves to stay in….But if it’s Berniers time so be it…..

  • BarelyComments

    That was a pretty good damn entertaining Hockey Game. Btw how come no one talks more about Leo Komarov he’s been amazing do far for the MapleLeafs this season. I think it’s safe to say he’s no longer overpaid & worth every penny the MapleLeafs are paying him.

  • Gary Empey

    Babcock says Uncle Leo has been his best forward this year.

    I would agree with him. Best for-checker, Best back-checker. Takes faceoffs when asked. Throws some nice body checks. Plays the power play. Plays the penalty kill. 7 goals, 4 assists. Never quits skating. Never gives up. Gets on opponents nerves. First one to buy a round after the game.

  • Gary Empey

    Mmmmm homemade pizza hot out of the oven. Now there is a lady who knows how to watch hockey. I use a blend of mozzarella, cheddar, and sometimes Gorgonzola or blue cheese.

  • Corno4

    Bozak actually has 14 points in 18 games, not 19. Projected out for all the remaining games, Bozak is on pace for 60 points in 78 games. Whether that will hold is another thing though.

    Bozak has a higher P/G than both Phil Kessel and… Steven Stamkos. I don’t think we need to spend that 10 million anymore /s

  • STAN

    I love the Leafs again.

    I can even stand to watch Phaneuf, who is playing within himself thanks to Babcock.

    There is structure, calm, the best passing I’ve seen in at least ten years and a bunch of guys who seem to care for each other.

    Leave Nylander, Kapanen, et al across town for the rest of this season. This motley crew, which will likely lose 4 or 5 guys before the trade deadline, is fun to watch and may even sniff the playoffs.