Leafs Postgame: Wish Upon A Star

“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you!”

“Even a Leafs win?” “Okay, almost anything.” “Please?”

Apparently the Hockey Gods were created by the Disney Corporation. The Leafs, somehow, beat the high-flying Dallas Stars, in a wildly and wacky game.

The Rundown

The Leafs got down to business pretty early, courtesy of everybody’s favourite misfit line of Michael Grabner, Byron Froese, and Brad Boyes. It was the latter who picked up the goal, taking Froese’s kinda-sorta fanned pass and jamming at the puck until it slipped past Antti Niemi to give the Leafs the lead.

That lead lasted less than a minute. The Stars came rushing back with their top line, leaving Tyler Seguin to set up Jamie Benn. Benn fooled Morgan Rielly with a wicked toe drag and roofed it past James Reimer to tie the game.

Normally, this would be time to panic. But Reimer absolutely stole the show from here, stopping pucks left and right while the Leafs went to work. Boyes appeared to pick up another goal, but a Coaches Challenge found that Byron Froese was offside in his carry-in. Joffrey Lupul avenged him just 21 seconds into the second period, however, and did so again at the period’s midway point, even giving Boyes an assist on the play.

Toronto’s productivity slowed down from here as the Stars flooded the offensive zone, to no avail. Recognizing that even thirteen seconds was still enough for a team with Tyler Seguin to come back from a 4-1 deficit, Morgan Rielly sniped a wrister as additional insurance. Also, as revenge for Jamie Benn spearing Nazem Kadri in the junk.

Blue Warrior

James Reimer wasn’t even supposed to play tonight; Jonathan Bernier was originally pegged as the starter. But he did, and he had arguably his best game of the calendar year, stopping 43 of 44 shots against. 

The Leafs now have a tough decision to make. Heading into tonight, Bernier was supposed to double up on Reimer’s games played count, and now they’re two apart. Reimer has a higher save percentage, lower GAA, and both of Toronto’s wins; tonight’s arguably a stolen one. Babcock has stated that Reimer has earned the chance to go back in net on Wednesday, but where do you go from there if he has even a remotely solid performance?

See You Next Time

The Leafs return to the ice on Wednesday night, when they take on the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg is theoretically flying high with a 7-4-1 record at the moment but are actually in 5th place in the super good (and also the Avalanche) Central Division. If the playoffs started right now, they’d make it based on being better than the 4th place team in the Pacific, though, in actuality, they’d be first in that division.

  • Gary Empey

    Gotta give credit where credit is due. REIMER! REIMER!!! REIMER!!!!!

    I had to watch the Fox/Dallas feed here. Two nice quotes from them near the end of the game.

    After that last penalty with Kamarov going for the open net,

    “The Leafs were rewarded for diving tonight”

    and after Reily’s goal,

    “Dallas didn’t really lose the game, Reimer stole it”

    Only the “Quislings” who have sold their soul for a #1 draft pick, will be disappointed the Leaf’s didn’t lose another one.

  • Gary Empey

    Finally, Babcock let the team just play their poor puck possession hockey and stopped preaching his inept system.

    Knowing Babcock, Bernier will get the start for the next game because…

  • Gary Empey

    Dion Phaneuf played 24:52 minutes. It seems all his coaches like to see him on the ice.

    Marincin played 12:31 minutes. I wonder if we are about to get our first look at Frank Corrado in a Leaf jersey. He was listed as a healthy scratch.

    Anyone notice Babcock doesn’t like his players to waste their time and energy taking fighting majors?

  • Gary Empey

    The importance of Late Entry Draft Selections

    Player Pick Year Drafted By

    Jonathan Ericsson 291st 2002 Detroit

    Brian Elliott 291st 2003 Ottawa

    Jannik Hansen 287th 2004 Vancouver

    Adam Burish 282nd 2002 Chicago

    Jaroslav Halak 271st 2003 Montreal

    Matt Moulson 263rd 2003 Pittsburgh

    Mark Streit 262nd 2004 Montreal

    Pekka Rinne 258th 2004 Nashville

    Dustin Byfuglien 245th 2003 Chicago

    Patric Hornqvist 230th 2005 Nashville

    Pavol Demitra 227th 1993 Ottawa

    Vladimir Konstantinov 221st 1989 Detroit

    Anson Carter 220th 1992 Quebec

    Johan Hedberg 218th 1994 Philadelphia

    Dave Taylor 210th 1975 Los Angeles

    Ondrej Palat 208th 2011 Tampa Bay

    Dominik Hasek 207th 1983 Chicago

    Anders Lindback 207th 2008 Nashville

    Henrik Lundqvist 205th 2000 New York Rangers

    Joe Pavelski 205th 2003 San Jose

    Sergei Kostitsyn 200th 2005 Montreal

    Arturs Irbe 196th 1989 Minnesota

    Brooks Laich 193rd 2001 Ottawa

    Vladimir Malakhov 191st 1989 NY Islanders

    Mark Stone 178th 2010 Ottawa

    Ryane Clowe 175th 2001 San Jose

    Luc Robitaille 171st 1984 Los Angeles

    Theoren Fleury 166th 1987 Calgary

    John-Michael Liles 159th 2000 Colorado

    Peter Bondra 156th 1990 Washington

    Brendan Gallagher 147th 2010 Montreal

    Andrew Shaw 139th 2011 Chicago

    Doug Gilmour 134th 1982 St. Louis

    Kris Versteeg 134th 2004 Boston

    Daniel Alfredsson 133rd 1994 Ottawa

    Jamie Benn 129th 2007 Dallas

    Steve Larmer 120th 1980 Chicago

    Brett Hull 117th 1984 Calgary

    Johnny Gaudreau 104th 2011 Calgary

    Johan Franzen 97th 2004 Detroit

    Valtteri Filppula 95th 2002 Detroit

    Jonathan Quick 72nd 2005 Los Angeles

    Cal Clutterbuck 72nd 2006 Minnesota

    Frederik Andersen 87th 2012 Anaheim