Leafs Postgame: Shutout Night In Canada

It’s fitting for a Halloween night game – a scary display of offensive ineptitude, defensive lapses, and ugly goaltending. The Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t do much right tonight in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. But hey, at least they kept Phil Kessel off the scoreboard. Small victories?

The Rundown

Sometimes, lopsided wins are fun to watch. Other times, it’s boring as hell. Tonight’s festivities leaned more towards the latter, with the Penguins’ four goals being rather unremarkable. The least we could have gotten was a Sidney Crosby or Phil Kessel highlight reel snipe, but Crosby didn’t even manage to put a single shot on net and Kessel only managed one.

Instead, it was a game of flukey bounces and bad goals. Chris Kunitz got the first one midway through the first period after a David Perron shot trickled through the legs of Jonathan Bernier and sat on the goal line for a few moments before being poked in.

Two more goals came in the second period when Eric Fehr and Matt Cullen somehow turned a two-on-two shorthanded rush into a goal. Even when Daniel Winnik caught up to the play, Fehr still managed to pick up a weak shot rebound and put the puck up and over a sprawling Bernier. A few minutes later, those two would team up again, with Cullen stealing a puck off Martin Marincin at the Pittsburgh blue line, racing down the wing and letting loose a very Kessel-esque shot that again found the back of the net.

Hornqvist would close things out early in the third period with a strange goal that saw the puck bounce off the end boards on a Pittsburgh dump. To be fair to Bernier, this was unlucky – the puck came back out into the slot, through the goaltender’s legs, and right onto the stick of Hornqvist. Quick snap, and it’s 4-0.

Blue Warrior

Nazem Kadri will get it by default. Kadri finished the game without a minus rating and lead all forwards in ice time and shots on goal with four. I wouldn’t exactly call this one of Kadri’s stronger games, but that’s just how bad the rest of the team looked tonight.

Monday’s Star-Studded Affair

Three games in four nights certainly make up for all of the five-day and six-day breaks earlier this season. Toronto is back at it on Monday night when they host the Dallas Stars at the ACC. Tune into Sportsnet Ontario at 7:30 pm. Bobby Cappucino and I will be there live – look for us on TV! We’ll be the ones crying.

  • Gary Empey

    Rookie game review here. Bernier was playing a second game of a back to back and the great eric t (who now works for an NHL team) has shown that goalies should almost never start the second game of a back to back.


    Babcock is making simple elementary mistakes (and Dubas’s analytic group seem to have forgotten the importance of starting the rested goalie now that dinosaur carlyle is no longer coaching).

    I don’t know how you can so nail the problems and issues that carlyle made last year and seem to miss the clear and obvious mistakes that babcock makes. Sadly the analysis and objectivity on this site has dropped significantly. As terrible coach as Carlyle was and lord was he bad, he at least split back to back games.

  • Markas

    one word to describe this game: barf. bernier was awful. the defence was awful. the special teams were awful. the stupid fans booing kessel were awful. everything was awful.

    • magesticRAGE

      Yeah, what was the booing about? The guy didn’t want to leave, leads in about offensive metrics, and and is very durable. We boo him cause we don’t mesh with his personality? Cause he doesn’t like to subject himself to the media? Cause he likes the street meat? Cause he doesn’t want to lead, but show up everyday and go about his business, whether he has bad bosses or not?
      He sounds like, oh I don’t know, a regular dude. A regular dude who is really good at hockey, which I guess is a crime. Not liking someone happens to us all, doesn’t mean I go to theirv workplace to harass them. People are stupid.

  • Gary Empey

    Things are bad enough now. I don’t see why we should be taking advice from the Philadelphia Flyers ” Goaltending Think Tank”

    The Flyers haven’t had a good goalie since 1986-1987 when Ron Hextall himself was in the nets.

        • Gary Empey

          You forgot Reimer:) as I recall hate him all you want, say he sucks all you want he’s the only one to take the Leafs to the playoffs…in the last 10 years….can’t say that about any one than or now…. and blame him for the lost if it helps you feel better but its not reality unless you were watching another game.

          • Gary Empey

            Reimer recently said he is quite content to sit on the bench and collect $2,000,000. He said there were not a lot of well paying jobs back home in Morweena, Manitobia.

            PS.. Don’t be so sensitive. Everybody here loves Reimer.

  • jimithy

    None of the players understand what Babs wants them to do. It’s too complicated for them. And all those future prospects training in the minors are not going to help judging by the current roster who were supposed to help but are not.

      • jimithy

        Putting so much faith in Shanahan and Babcock etc. to turn everything around seems a little silly, premature and far fetched. Already, the spin is, that the current players are capable, and Babs is going to make them change into the real hockey players that they never knew they were. This is ridiculous. Better scouts and less accepting fans could help change things.

        • Gary Empey

          You seem to be suggesting we get rid of Shanahan, Babcock, Lamoriello, Dubas, Hunter (and the scouting team). Plus all our present NHL players, our AHL prospects, and our junior prospects.

          I will have to think that over before I could agree. I am pleased to see you really do have a plan though.

  • Gary Empey

    I’m not sure why everyone has their knickers in a knot as we all knew that this team would be terrible. Each defeat is just one game closer to the organizations goal namely to get the highest draft pick in June 2016, 2017 and 2018.

    If the performances bother you that much simply watch an ever improving, exciting, entertaining and WINNING club namely the Toronto Raptors.

  • jasken

    Yes there will be pain and lots more to come. Superstar Kadri cant find the net since Carlyle’s firing. Puck Possession numbers increase so does their losses. Blaming lack offensive talent despite having players which last year or the year before were the same guys bloggers here said would accelerate because of the stats.

    Changing the coach would do wonders for the team and it has in possession wise but does that really lead to wins and scoring? The answer is obvious 10 wins in 52 games Kadri and Lupul’s shooting percentage are umm 5.19% Kadri and 6.15% Lupul since Carlyle was fired. They massed a whooping 12 goals together in 52 games. Bozak alone in the same time span has 11 goals and is shooting at 14.2% and his puck possession numbers only increased how ironic is that.

    Let’s go back here Clarkson had 15 points in 58 games and was what insulted and berated Kadri has 20 points in 52 Games and receives praise? No offence but this is irony at its best I guess points really dont matter to these bloggers if its their favorite players.

    • Gary Empey

      Jasken that was a Bautistasized bat throwing bomb of a posting. Dead on, truly a very accurate statement much more accurate than Lupul, Kadri or Bozak’s shooting.

  • Kanuunankuula

    I thought we established that sh% goes up and down, but averages out. So if Naz is shooting above average, and Bozie over, what is the likely conclusion? Is that A) Babs is a bad coach, Nazem is terrible, Bozak is great; or is it B) Nazem is good but unlucky, Babs is good, Bozak is lucky?

    The team is not as bad it’s record right now, just like team was not as good as it’s record last year.

    Give it a rest, this season was supposed to be lost.