Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs Postgame: Lu-one-goal

Sometimes, the goalies put on a show. Frederik Andersen and Roberto Luongo stopped 70 of 71 shots combined, and as such makes this an easier than usual game to discuss. Little controversy, little fanfare, little highlights, but a well-earned two points


Hard to read much into this one, other than that it was a back and forth one.

1st period

Frederik Andersen began bailing the Leafs out early, with the Leafs falling behind 7-1 on the shot clock. The Leafs also got docked early for a too many men penalty, which is an egregious offence on the coaching staff and they should all be forced to sit

Through the first 19 minutes of the game

But in the words of every coach ever, you’ve got to be wary of those final minute goals!

2nd period

Goals? Who needs em?

In what was becoming a theme, Frederik Andersen and Roberto Luongo were on fire, and there was little to be too excited about either way. The Leafs had a pair of power plays they were unable to score on, and entered the final frame up by a goal.

3rd period

Goals? Who needs em?

For the second period in a row, no one would score.

Patrick Marleau took an early interference penalty… and the Panthers couldn’t convert, obviously.

Leo Komarov had a late chance coming in on a wide-open net via a Tyler Bozak pass, and hit the dang post.

The Leafs zigged and boy did they zag, but they’d be forced to settle with just the one goal.

On the final “we pulled our goalie and are firing everything at the net” push by the Panthers, Auston Matthews decided that he would not only be on the ice for it, but also BLOCK A SHOT. He went down momentarily, and then the final buzzer went just seconds later.

Oh hey, we won!


Hail the king and queen!

Thoughtful analysis!

Deep thoughts!

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  • lukewarmwater

    A Virtuous win by the red hot leafs who are 12 and 2 in their last 14, while the Habs are Moired in a season long slump. Steady Freddy gets the well earned shut out and J.V.R. just keeps a scoring, which leads me to believe that leaping Lou just might wheel and deal be able to keep James for say a 4 to 5 year contract. Sure he doesn’t play the 200 foot game as never has and never will but man he has scored some big goals for the team.
    Saturday the over rated sweaty wrestling Bruins who the leafs have beaten 2 out of 3 times this year. Make it 3 out of 4 leafs. Go leafs Go.

  • leafdreamer

    I suspected we won the Corsi battle in that one – we had most of the run of play and so many shots directed towards the net and rebound opportunities.

    Leo’s getting closer in his tap-in opportunities – he was way wide against Pittsburgh, a few inches off on Detroit and tonight he hit the iron. Next game it’s for sure going in.

    All four lines were dangerous tonight. Our pk was excellent. We’re so lucky to have Komarov and Hyman, Brown and Kapanen as well as Hainsey and Polak to do it right every night. I wish the statistically inclined were tracking how many times Komarov breaks up the plays and sends the puck out of the zone or how many times Polak breaks the cycle by stapling someone to the boards and liberating the puck to be grabbed by one of our guys. Or, how many goals is Komarov on for on a PK? I bet you him and Hainsey are leading the league in goals allowed on PK. Maybe some day. Tell your friends at corsi league to get going on this.

    If Matthews isn’t on they score sheet that’s usually because his shot went off the post or was inches wide or his goal got disallowed for some stupid reason that had nothing to do with him. Sure enough, tonight he hit the post as well. As the clock was clicking time we didn’t need a goal tonight but rather to shut ‘er down so Papi blocked the last shot of the game and limped off the ice. Why Babs had him out there blocking shots in the dying seconds is the obvious question everyone’s too scared to ask Babs about. Crazy.

    True – Zaitsev had a good game getting his stick in the way and being physical. Our defence as a whole appears to be back into the groove of things. Gardiner is a dangerous offensive threat – he’s been in on most of our offense lately – he just skated so well and sees the game at such a high level – he’s straight-up looking like Karlsson did last year. In flashes. Not at all times. It’s nice to see him back after a few much publicized not great players over the last few games. The guy is as special in my books as the holy trinity. Exceptional talent he is. Imagine if he had a solid defensive no. 1 RD by his side.

    Andersen is the MVP and the only one that gets to hear his name chanted at the ACC. I have 8 words on that: Lou Lamoriello, Jacques Caron, Steve Briere, Martin Brodeur. Andersen has all the coaching he needs and all the ingredients required to be like the great Brodeur – he’s already carrying the same heavy workload the legend was famous for and he’s handling the puck much like Brodeur did.

    We are one hell of a team. I’m also looking forward to Bruins on Saturday. Looking forward to the challenge. It feels good to feel no fear of anyone anymore. We are a good team.

    • Bob Canuck

      To answer your question regarding the penalty kill, there is publicly-available data at http://corsica.hockey/team-stats/.

      At that site, you can see that the Leafs have the third best goals against per 60 minutes (5.88). What I find interesting is that the Leafs relative excellence is largely driven by the third best save percentage at 89.66% (all data through February 20 games). Their expected goals against per 60 ranks 18th (7.78).

      Another website, Naturalstattrick.com, does not show expected goals but does provide shots, scoring chances and high danger chances data. In terms of shots against per 60, scoring chances against per 60, and high danger chances against per 60, the Leafs rank 18th, 17th, and 7th, respectively.

      With respect to the defensemen, of the 141 players who have a minimum of 50 minutes of penalty kill time, the Corsica rankings of the Leafs defencemen in terms of goals against per 60 minutes and expected goals against per 60 minutes are as follows:

      Reilly – 83; 53
      Zaitsev – 23; 106
      Polak – 18; 75
      Hainsey – 36; 104

      With respect to the forwards, of the 165 players who have a minimum of 50 minutes of penalty kill time, the Corsica rankings of the Leafs forwards in terms of goals against per 60 minutes and expected goals against per 60 minutes are as follows:

      Brown – 80; 137
      Moore – 113; 79
      Komarov – 26; 100
      Hyman – 14; 61

      The data tells me that the Leafs are a mid-level team when it comes to limiting penalty kill scoring chances; their goalies are the reason for their overall excellence. So I disagree that the Leafs skaters (Komarov et al) are “doing it right” on the penalty kill.

        • Bob Canuck

          I am not aware of any publicly-available data that tracks “how many times Komarov breaks up the plays and sends the puck out of the zone or how many times Polak breaks the cycle by stapling someone to the boards and liberating the puck to be grabbed by one of our guys.” Therefore, you are correct that I did not answer those particular questions that you asked.

          I can answer two of your questions, which you could have found out for yourself with the Corsica link that I provided. Of the 165 forwards noted in my initial response, Komarov has been on the ice for 14 goals against, which places him in a tie with 7 other forwards for 120th (38 forwards have been on the ice for more goals against). Ron Hainsey has been on the ice for 24 goals against, which is a tie with another defencemen for 136th (only four defencemen have been on the ice for more goals against). Given that Hainsey has the most TOI for defencemen on the penalty kill and Komarov is the TOI leader for forwards, my initial reply included goals against per 60 in order to account for TOI differences.

          More importantly, my response addressed your comment that the penalty kill skaters “do it right every night”. The data shows that the penalty kill skaters are mid-tier in terms of limiting scoring opportunities; the Leafs goalies are the primary reason why the Leafs are a superior penalty killing team.

  • Glen

    Hail to Freddy the best Leaf goalie since Bower. Hard to see them trading JVR. Let the good times roll. The Leafs are excellent in one goal games this year and that is very important. Hats off to Virtue and Moir.