Leafs Postgame – Leafs keep shots-against below 50, drop game to Bruins

The Leafs began the toughest stretch of what many are calling "Deathcember" with a rare Sunday tilt in Toronto against the Bruins tonight. With their next games against the Kings, Blues, Hawks and Penguins, two points against Boston would be big, especially since the Bruins are a team the Leafs played fairly well against in their first meeting this season.

The Rundown

The first period was a good one for the Leafs. They managed a few chances, did some scrambling in front of the Bruins net, and didn’t give up much in their own end. Peter Holland was buzzing in this game, and put the Leafs up by one early with his second goal of the season. 

Then the penalties happened.

Toronto opened the second period with penalties to Gunnarsson and Ashton, both of which the Bruins cashed in on to steal the lead with goals from Soderberg and Krug. Things unravelled a bit from there, with Boston outshooting the Leafs 17-8 in the middle frame and adding another goal to take a 3-1 advantage into the third. 

The Leafs had some jump to start the third, with McClement quickly making it 3-2 after driving to the net nicely on a Nik Kulemin shot. Two powerplay opportunities followed, but didn’t amount to anything, and though the Leafs had some good moments late, eventually Iginla put this one to bed.

Overall I didn’t think the Leafs had that bad of a game, at least compared to what we’ve been seeing recently. They did cough up a lot of shots-on-goal again, of course, but I thought they had some decent stretches of zone time in the Bruins’ end. Game summary at ExtraSkater here.

Why the Leafs lost

Tonight the Leafs just didn’t score enough. Yes, groundbreaking stuff I know. But seriously, they were facing the Bruins’ backup goaltender, and while they finally managed to get some secondary scoring from the likes of Holland and McClement, they didn’t get anything from the usual suspects on the top line. That isn’t to say Kessel and JVR played poorly, they just didn’t bury them tonight. The Leafs were 0-for-4 on the powerplay. 

Blue Warrior

Peter Holland. I know it’s sort of weird to give a guy with 10 minutes of ice time the player of the game, but I thought it was one of his best games so far, and he was noticeable any time he was on the ice, with a goal and assist to boot. Hopefully that translates to some more minutes for him, but we’ll see what Doctor Randy has in store.


  • Jake Gardiner led all Leafs with 25:21 on ice.
  • The difference between Fraser and Liles is substantial. Is Liles a star? Nope. Will he solve all the Leafs’ problems? Nope. But I still don’t ever want to see Fraser in a Leafs sweater again. Sorry Mark.
  • The Leafs didn’t give up 50 shots!


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  • STAN

    Phaneuf’s late hit on young Miller was brutal and a result of pure laziness.

    Phaneuf rarely goes for the puck along the boards, he just takes the body, usually with his stick up and nowhere near the puck, resulting too often in the other guys fishing it out, making a play and getting a great scoring chance.

    That, and he was the goat on at least two goals tonight – once failing to clear the puck during a power play and once when Lucic went around him like he was standing still.

    Raptors traded their highest paid, under performing guy today, maybe Nonis shoot take a page from Ujiri’s playbook.

    • STAN

      Wow, this is by far the most ignorant statement I hve ever heard. You clearly haven’t done your homework before making this statement publicly.

      I highly suggest you read Jeffler’s article about Phaneuf and resigning the Captain and figuring out what he is worth
      ( http://mapleleafsnation.com/2013/11/7/assessing-the-value-of-dion-phaneuf )
      . In which he details WITH FACT, that Phaneuf esentially has been top 10 in all defensive and offensive categories for a Defenceman in the post salary cap era. There is no part of his game where he has underperformed what so ever and if you were willing to do your homework you would know that instead of spewing the ignorant hate that you have clearly adopted from MSM.

      Get a mind of your own and do you homework before you spew hate ignorantly and publicly. Phaneuf has by far been the Leafs best all around player all year long, he logs a team high in minutes played almost every single night and he does it while playing against harder compitition than ANYONE ELSE in the NHL. Tharts not opinion, thats fact. Not too mention Phaneuf like a true leader blocked a brutal shot on Saturday night and was more than likely playing injured, so why do we give him a break instead of infecting other fans with your ignorance, this way you dont look like such a clueless Leaf fan to everyone who know what they’re talking about, which is most people who visit this site. Thanks for coming out, now have a seat.

    • STAN

      This is the closing statement from Jeffler’s article, in the second paragraph he’s talking exactly about fans like yourself.

      ” In Closing: The Leafs are really fortunate to have somebody as good as Dion Phaneuf on their back end. Acquired in one of the biggest trade wins in recent team history, Dion has evolved into a stellar all around defenceman who can put points up on the board, impose his will on his opponents, shut down star players, and tolerate playing with not so good ones. Off the ice, he maintains the room, says the right things, and is a great example of how an athlete should be in the community.

      Really, he’s too good for a market that likes to tear their talent down. Yet, somehow, he’s convinced himself that his preference is to put up with our crap for another seven years.

      Dion Phaneuf is the face of the modern-day Toronto Maple Leafs. It shouldn’t be any other way. Pay the man.”

      The Leafs already have enough fans, if this is the kind of fan you are going to be, why don’t you go cheer for the Scabs instead, im tire of people like you giving Leaf’s Nation a bad repuation.

  • STAN

    I would point out that the corsi events were much closer between the leafs/bruins then the shots may have you believe. I suppose however, some would argue that the bruins can manage shot quality.

    Also you missed regression of the leafs unsustainable goal tending.