Leafs Postgame: Leafs Allowed Nice Things Sometimes

froese

Bernier saved the first shot… and the second shot… and the next 24 after that, too.

A 5-0 win against the Kings for Jonathan Bernier’s first victory of the season- just like everyone predicted.

Bernier (finally!) got the monkey off his back, earning his shutout of the year in impressive fashion.

Rundown

Through the opening 40 or so minutes, this game had the feeling of a 2-1 overtime loss for the Leafs, because that’d be so Toronto and also very LA. Leo Komarov’s goal 5:31 into the opening frame was the lone marker in the first two periods. 

While the goal ultimately proved decisive, a Michael Grabner pair in a ten-minute put the Leafs up three heading into the game’s final moments. Not to be outdone, Komarov banged home a rebound just over three minutes later, before Byron Froese saw this as good a game as any to register his first career NHL goal at the age of 24.

Stats

chart

The Leafs didn’t exactly overpower the Kings with chances, and the game really didn’t open up until the final ten minutes or so. However, the Leafs did stick toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the league for the whole contest- and were rewarded kindly for their efforts. The Leafs blocked 16 shots on the night, which definitely played a part in limiting LA’s opportunities. Bernier looked calm, cool, and collected in net, and was able to keep the contest close before the Leafs ended up running away with it.

Froese, Shawn Matthias, and Brad Boyes all registered over 70% Corsi despite all having 20 % offensive zone starts. That’s… weird, but the trio all had a very solid night and were noticeable throughout.

Blue Warrior

It’d be unfair to award anyone but Bernier this after the tough season he’s had, despite a pair of two-goal efforts from Leo Komarov and Michael Grabner, who also added a pair of assists. On any other night, the pair could probably split the honour, but Bernier’s victory overshadows the two strong efforts.

Up Next

The Leafs travel to Denver to take on the Avalanche Monday at 9 p.m. for their penultimate game before the holiday break.

  • STAN

    There was just one glaring brain f**t that I can recall – Phaneuf’s attempt to be Gretzky, but lost the puck and created a 2 on 1. Luckily his mates bailed him out.

    Other than that, it was the Leafs most professional win in a long, long time.

  • jimithy

    Nice Bernier narrative in that tweet by the namesake of this side by putting shade on the only game bernier has decent results to show.

    Let me ask, did he have statistics on how many first shots bernier saves relative to other goalies? That is, is his observation statistical significant or simply noise that your biases have you latch onto.

    You fancy stats folks think you are all smart but are really not much better then unsubstantiated stories about hot dogging eating kessel and weak glove hand reimer.

    You guys are capable of so much better and if I wanted to read mindless mittenstringer crap to insult my intelligence I could read a simmons column.

  • TGT23

    Wow. What a great team game. Top to bottom.

    BERNIER
    I said after last game it is hard to tell if he got his mind right because his first two games were full of fluke goals and bad defense.

    Team letting guys skate in alone, pucks going through four body screens, deflection off legs. 6 of the 8 weren’t his fault.

    This was a great game by the D and it made life a bit easier for him. But he still made some exceptional saves including the one leading to the 3rd goal.

    FROESE
    So happy for the kid getting his first NHL goal. Especially after how great his line played all night.

    Nice to have a good 4th line. Boyes-Froese-Matthias was great tonight.

    KADRI
    I just love any line combo that had him and Leo together. 9 points tonight, four goals, and he not only held his own vs Kopitar but they held him to 0 shots in 19+ minutes.

    When people talk about Kadri having to show up vs top line C’s in the game, this is what they mean.

    Honorable mention: Hunwick had a good game. After a few very bad ones he was outstanding.

  • Gary Empey

    Marlies – 6 – Hershy – 2

    1. TOR Arcobello, (12) (Brennan, Leipsic), 15:14 (PP)

    2. TOR Hyman, (5) (Carrick, Loov), 0:29

    2. TOR Leipsic, (6) (Frattin, R. Rupert), 8:11

    2. TOR Percy, (3) (Leivo, Arcobello), 9:31

    3. TOR Brennan, (10) (Arcobello, Findlay), 3:51 (PP)

    3. TOR Brennan, (11) (Hyman, Clune), 12:45

    Ray Emery in net

  • SEER

    A great overall team effort in this one..! WOOT! WOOT!

    Bernier played really good, but it was still a 26 shot shut-out, as opposed to the usual shot-counts… Still.., he played the best game I have seen him play in a year.., so I tip my hat to him..

    SO HAPPY that Froese finally bagged one.. and that Grabner seems to be finally on a roll..! Kudos to Komarov, too.., as he still sits at the top of the team, with most goals.. Sure hope they continue this kind of play…!!

    Had to memorialize this game, so have a look..

    Bernier Shut-Out: Leafs Dethrone Kings 5-0 – Dec. 19th 2015 – TML

    —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3difEE2N4L4

    • TGT23

      Is he a C, technically? He’s on a line with Kadri and Kadri is usually taking the faceoffs… I mean, I’ll take it. Go Uncle Leo! But, just technically speaking.

  • TGT23

    Nice to see Bernier get a win and a shut out to boot. Obviously the coach and players had to be relieved that for a night he was really on his game. No doubt as in most sports, confidence indeed plays a huge part for a player.

    The guy who was also outstanding was Grabner who was drafted by the Canuckleheads but fell out of favour with the Canuck management, especially when he broke his ankle fooling around with a soccer ball before a game. They dealt him away for a bag of pucks from Florida. Florida put him on waivers but Nonis who drafted him in Vancouver was tooo stupid to pick him up as the Islanders claimed him. He proceeded to have a 30 goal season for the Islanders but then got hit with injuries.

    Similar to Bernier he obviously lost his confidence. But this is a guy who can really skate and I think will continue to improve his game for the leafs. This is one player I would keep around as you can’t teach skating.