Leafs Postgame: Good Ass Game

The Leafs organization is probably okay with the season-wide concept of pain, suffering, and lots of losses, but on a game-by-game basis, they want the wins. Or, at the very least, the attempts at them. Mike Babcock might want them more than anybody in a suit or on skates, and with the game being played on his former home ice, you have to imagine the stakes were higher than every for him tonight. Thanks to a lucky goal and a stellar performance by Jonathan Bernier, he got his wish in what became a 1-0 Leafs victory.


Both teams were relentless in their efforts to get on the board first, with the Red Wings appearing to strike first early in the second period, but a review showed that the puck bounced off an arm on the way into the net. This gave the Leafs an unexpected lease on life, which nobody expected them to take advantage of.

Lo and behold, they actually took advantage of it. In the dying seconds of the second period, Michael Grabner dashed into the offensive zone with the puck and was hauled down while breaking away. Many hoped for a penalty shot but were even more pleased to find out that somehow, a falling Grabner and pushed the puck into the net with his backside without interfering with Petr Mrazek or his iron chamber. The play was ruled a goal, and it was the only one the Leafs needed as they let a scorching-hot Jonathan Bernier weather the remaining storm.

Play of the Game

You know the drill with Michael Grabner. All the speed in the world, but no hands to match it. I guess if you take the hands out of the equation, though, you end up with a masterpiece. It’s going to be bittersweet when ol’ Rocket Powered Stoney Hands leaves for unrestricted free agency in a few months, but we’ll always have ButtGoal to remember him by.

Blue Warrior

This may have been Jonathan Bernier’s best performance of the season. His eyes were never off the puck, and his limbs were always equal to his brainwaves. The reflexes were dialed in and the puck was constantly kept out. You can’t ask for much more than that, especially when it amounts to a 38 save shutout.

See You Next Time

Ladies and gentlemen, Tuesday’s game might just be the biggest one of the year. The standings basically don’t matter for the Leafs at this point, but Tuesday is your last chance to scream and cheer for Steven Stamkos before he becomes a free agent in July. If you want him, be there, be loud, and be proud.

Or, you know, don’t. It’s your life. Puck drop is at 7:30 PM.

    • Gary Empey

      Lots to like about this game
      1) Babcock wins a game in Detroit
      2) Leafs contribute to the Pens playoff run which means another 1st round pick for us.
      3) Some great poise and intensity by the team, even in the 3rd period when Detroit was all over us

      I’m fully supportive of the tank but I have to admit that I was fist-pumping when the final buzzer sounded.

  • jimithy

    Babcock obviously savoured this one as the goes back to the old barn. Bernier played one of his rare good games. This winning has to stop as there is only one desire for this squad and that is to finish dead last to at least insure a top 4 pick.

    Edmonton has simply quit which must rankle the fans as the quitters are of course the young core of the team. Don’t forget the leafs have played a couple games less than the Oilers. Don’t blow this leafs. Get on that tanking band wagon immediately.

    I will say that Detroit losing doesn’t hurt Pittsburgh chances. I’m sure that the great Phil the Thrill will show his true leadership for that out rageous contract he suckered the leaf management into granting him as he grabs the bull by the horns and fills in the vacuum left by a real hockey player Malkin.

  • jimithy

    Big deal. The leafs always win one every two or three weeks, that’s been proven over the last fifty years or so. And Gardiner and Rielly always get away with their weak coverage every three or five games. So what, big deal, Babcock wins one in his old crib and his new bunch of drones get away with two. The main thing is that for the next three to forty years we have to endure this never ending fiasco, and pay through the nose to witness it. You would think they would at least lower the ticket prices.

  • Gary Empey

    Anyone notice in the last few game Nylander has set up Parenteau with beautiful passes but Parenteau has been unable to score. I think if Babcock can get a real sniper on his wing we could be looking at a lot of goals.

  • jimithy

    You should really watch the games if you’re to write post-game pieces about them. There’s enough of you writing for this site – one good thing about this site is that you’re always posting something – someone must have watched. In case noone watched you can always spend 6 minutes and watch the ‘Game in 6’ and at least get the chronology of events right. Or, failing that, you can look up the stats sheet and declare the guy with the best Corsi to be the ‘blue warrior’. Step up up your game boys. It begins with watching the games.

  • Gary Empey

    just summarize th damn game stop writing essays. people stop paying attention when you write out every single detail about the games especially in a 1-0 game. I like everyone else’s recaps but yours and I avoid your stories.

    • Gary Empey

      I am not sure if your critique of Jeff Veillette’s article’s is justified. For those of us who were able to watch the game as you say there is no need to “write out every single detail about the games”. For those followers of the Leaf Nation who were not able to watch the game, the details are important. There are many Leaf fans from different time zones, shift work, etc., who visit here to catch up.

      And you mustn’t forget those guys who stopped in for a quick beer after work and missed the game altogether.