Leafs Postgame: Isles Exact Revenge


Dan Hamilton – USA TODAY Sports

Whatever mojo Jonathan Bernier had going a couple days ago when he stumped New York Islanders shooters in a 2-1 victory… Well, he lost it. 

The Isles came right back at the Leafs tonight with the fury of 20 or so mildly angry dudes, putting just a handful of pucks on net and still coming out the other side with a lopsided 6-3 victory. Here’s the rundown…

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The Rundown

Do you really want to relive this game? Ugh, fine

Nazem Kadri won the opening faceoff against John Tavares and it was pretty much downhill from there. Brock Nelson would open the scoring just two minutes into the game (Classic Bernier!), though Brad Boyes would answer just 39 seconds later. Half of you were probably grabbing something from the fridge and it was already 1-1 by the time you actually sat down.

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Despite outshooting the Islanders in the first period 12-7, Toronto would head to the first intermission down by a score of 3-1 following goals from John Tavares and Frans Neilsen. 

In the second period, the Leafs again outshot the Islanders, this time 13-8. And again, the Leafs would only score one goal. And again, the Islanders would score three. Nik Kulemin, Matt Martin and Anders Lee would all find the back of the net to put New York up 6-2, with P.A. Parenteau picking up the Toronto marker.

The third period wouldn’t really be worth watching. James Reimer replaced Jonathan Bernier and stopped six-of-six shots (thank goodness he’s back in net tomorrow), and Shawn Matthias would pick up a meaningless goal with just a few minutes to spare before the Islanders would leave the ice with a 6-3 victory.

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Why The Leafs Lost


The all-situations chart above from war-on-ice shows us pretty clearly that Toronto carried the play throughout the entire game. So how do you explain the loss? Allowing six goals on just 15 shots sure seems to sum things up nicely. 

This defeat lands on Bernier’s shoulders. Sure, the Leafs did little to help their goaltender at times, but you can’t sugarcoat that many goals on that few shots. Goaltending failed Toronto tonight.

Blue Warrior

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Tonight we’re giving it to Brad Boyes, who not only picked up the first Toronto goal, but also assisted on Shawn Matthias’s third period marker. The Leafs’ fourth line of Matthias-Froese-Boyes was very good tonight, with Boyes alone picking up an 88% Corsi For rating. The eyeballs and numbers agreed on Boyes tonight – he was solid.

Back At It Tomorrow

The Leafs will hop on a quick flight to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for tomorrow night’s matchup against the Penguins and old friend Phil Kessel. Tune in to Sportsnet at 7:00pm.

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  • V

    I’m sure the Bernier hating trolls will be out in full force tonight. You will try to point out that in 7 of his last 15 games he has allowed 4 or more goals. Well all I say to that is picky, picky, picky.

    He just had some tough luck tonight and a few bad bounces and, and, and where was the captain tonight or Gardiner who seemed to be afraid of his own shadow again.

    You just remember you Bernier haters that fine writers like Mirtle and his comrades were pushing for Jonathan to be the third goalie for team Canada in 2014.

    I mean look how the players support Bernier as only Bozak came out and gave him the stick tap on the pads at the end of the second period while the rest of the team tried to get away from him as far as possible

    • Gary Empey

      On the other hand this was another important defeat that enables the leafs to remain in the hunt for the number one pick and the Matthews sweep stakes. Then again the 4th or 5th pick might be some young kid named Nylander from Sweden who might just work out with a couple other Swedes the leafs have drafted.

      Bottom line similar to Clarkson, Bernier will soon be a distant nightmare.

    • TGT23

      Because the 2013-14 season is the same as the 2015-16 season and not putting him on the roster was the right decision because what has happened two years later……………….

      FWIW, I didn’t think he should be on it but I thought he deserved some consideration considering how great he had been playing to that point. He was one of the hottest Canadian born goalies in the NHL up to that point.

  • Gary Empey

    as i predicted last game, an ex-leaf would score and produce points against us… grabovski with an assist, kulemin with another goal LOL. 4th line was excellent tonight. they were the best line by far especially boyes. he needs to play more. holland was great tonight as well. phaneuf was awful defensively. hunwick was to blame for goal #2. pap can easily get a 2nd round pick for us if he keeps playing this well. bernier is horrific again but what else is new. bench him unless it’s a 2nd back to back game. it’s reim time again!!! bernier wouldn’t get claimed if waived. too bad we’re stuck with a useless goalie on the bench. reimer may get run into the ground again because no one has confidence in him. not babcock, his teammates or himself. let the tank roll on…

  • Gary Empey

    I thought Boyce also played a great game the first time they played the Islanders.

    I wondered if Babcock was going to pull Bernier after the third goal.

    PS…Watching the Montreal disaster is becoming, morbidly fascinating.

  • V

    I was at this game. (First live leafs lost I’ve been to)
    The leafs (minus bernier) didn’t play bad. Not overly dominant, but they had Many more close chances than the islanders. The difference was that every good chance they got, they buried it. Every leafs line got pretty solid chances. I was really impressed with Froese.

    Also, the reffs really need to use the jumbotron for video review. I have no idea how punching a goalie in the head doesn’t get a goal called back. (Leafs D pushed the islanders player into Bernier after, as the puck was crossing the line, but a punch was thrown first.)

  • ThatMapleLeafsFan

    i was at the game too (last time i saw the leafs live, sundin and pohl were the goal scorers… times have changed). only goals ill cut bernier slack on are the tavares and lee goals… tavares had a perfect cross crease tip and the lee goal was the one that went up and over him if im not mistaken so hey what can ya do…

    i was really impressed with gardiner and rielly on d (i love guys that can skate) and there transition games from offense to defense. gardiner had a few of his moments but had some nice breakout passes and was for the most part calm with the puck. i loved seeing rielly jump up into the play and he played tavares’ line hard tonight (aside from the 2 goals they got).

    i wasnt impressed with phaneuf tonight. the nielsen goal saw phaneuf just let him walk right by him and yeah sure bernier didnt bail him out but that could’ve been avoided if phaneuf had played nielsen better. also upset phaneuf didnt shoot as much on the pp tonight… he’s got a great shot i just wish parenteau would feed him one timers a little bit more

    overall it was tough to watch just simply because the islanders played like the leafs of years past: get outshot to oblivion and rely on high shooting % and save % to win

    • Gary Empey

      Good comments. On the Nielsen goal it was Nick Leddy who first slowed the play to allow Islanders to finish a line change. He then made a perfect pass to Nielsen at top flight. Looking at the replay one really couldn’t fault Phaneuf on that one.

  • TGT23

    This was not a good game. Bernier was bad. I mean, sure, a bad bounce here and there and how that 6th goal wasn’t called back on goalie interference I’ll never know… but even so… not good. Not even a little.

    I don’t think he is done but there is a very good chance he is done in Toronto. Will depend on how Reimer responds as he’ll likely get the next few starts.

    Have we ever seen someone just lose it so quickly? Besides Ricky Romero, I mean.

  • TGT23

    If nothing else, Bernier is helping the tank. Which really is a big help seeing as how Babcock has actually made the leafs a competitive team in front of the goalie now. As much as it’s great to see the Leafs playing a system that works, we still need to lose games because this is not the year to be a bubble team. The game against Pittsburgh tonight is huge, and any Leafs fan who is actually a fan should be inwardly rooting for the pens. The Pens need to make the playoffs this year so we get their first and give back THEIR second. Otherwise, next year it becomes our second, which will likely be close to the 31st pick. Ideal situation, Pittsburgh limps into playoffs and gets knocked out first round.

    • Gary Empey

      How anyone today, could think that playing the game to lose has any beneficial effects on the team, is ignoring reality. There has been a numerous of articles written explaining why tanking has never helped any team win yet. The latest one I read, was recently in the Toronto Sun.

      • TGT23

        The Sun article cites the Oilers… I’ll cite the Pens who tanked to get Crosby, Malkin, and Fleury. I’ll cite the Colts who tanked and got Andrew Luck who led them to the AFCCG last season. Cavs tanked and got LeBron, did it again and got Wiggins who led to Love.

        So, I suppose it depends on how you define a tank but finishing with a good draft pick leads to better players being drafted and increases the chance the team might be good eventually.

        It hasn’t worked for the Oilers because they don’t know what they are doing with any pick but their 1st. Sabres tanked and still suck, sure… They are also going to have Eichel for a long while and can build around him.

        I’d rather finish with a Top 3 draft pick than finish 9th in the East, miss the playoffs, and get the 12th pick.

        Though, I suppose if you draft properly and develop prospects… the 12th pick and your picks in the other round can amount to something very good, all the same.

      • Gary Empey

        Get your head out of your ass Gary. And whatever you’re reading…stop reading it. There are other factors that come into play to make your team successful, but drafting impact and skilled players, that are found in high concentrations at the top of the draft, never hurt a team.