Leafs vs. Sens Re-cap: GRABBO


The Maple Leafs downed the Senators 5-3 in Kanata after falling behind 2-0 early. Some thoughts and news after the jump.

Full disclosure: I did not watch most of this game. I was participating in the PPP Keeper League Fantasy Draft.

Here are some things I remember:

  • Nikolai Kulemin and Grabovski are best friends and they are amazing hockey players. We are screwed if either one of them misses any time.
  • The Power-Play looked good early on with some solid puck movement. While they whole "Kaberle doesn’t shoot" meme has been proven false, Liles has done a good job getting pucks toward the net and having two legitimate shot options on the point will really help.
  • I like what Phillip Dupuis is selling. He has some hands and some faceoff ability and is exactly what you need in a 4th line C. 
  • The Leafs really need to do a better job of protecting Reimer. Sens players were all over him, with Condra essentially sitting on him. This has happened a few times this season. It might just be a novelty to have a goalie worth protecting for the D. 

As I’ve said before the pre-season is all about process. The Leafs have been playing good hockey more than bad. This bodes well moving forward. I expect Kadri to start with the team opening night and Frattin to be back with the Marlies, but who knows.

WHHHHYYYY did I pass on Crosby for Malkin??!!?!?!?!?!?! WHY OH WHY??!?!?!?! I handed him right to Chemmy I’m never going to live this down. 

Oh the other hand JP’s team was on autodraft and he drafted Al Montoya and Jose Theodore as his goalies. And Markov and Gonchar. 

So that eases my pain.

Go Leafs Go!

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  • What I’ve noticed on the PP is that Liles is moving towards the middle a lot and trying to drag the forwards inward. If they come, he sends it out wide, if not, he fires it on net.

    They are still working out a lot of kinks but there’s a lot of good movement though.

  • Individuals have been up and down, but if there’s been an overarching encouraging theme of the preseason, it’s the special teams. Dunno how the stats bear it out, but at least the PP is trying new things and looking dangerous.

    And the PK is finally doing what I’ve been yelling at my TV for them to do for about 3 years now — much more aggressive and mobile, taking away shooting and passing lanes.

    They used to go for shotblocks but I’ve always thought that’s a PK play of last resort. I’d rather the team not get a shot than have one of my skaters try to save it.

    Completely agree on Grabbo/Kulie. Those two are our two best players. But “we’d be screwed without X and Y” can probably be said of half the league.