Post Game: 1 Phil, 2 Cups

Two red hot teams went face to face tonight, to see who would continue their hot streak, and who would have, at the very least, a slight delay. It’s the battle between the Buds and Phil “I have two Cups” Kessel’s team tonight.

1st Period

The first was a hectic one, to say the least. It was that back and forth, frantic hockey that you’ve grown to love from the Leafs, but the Penguins are also good at it, so as a result, there were many goals. The Penguins capitalized first, scoring the opener just three and a half minutes in, as a Rust shot was deflected in by Hagelin. Not to fret though, as three minutes later, JVR would center the puck from behind the net, and Connor Brown would one time in the slot to tie the game at one apiece.

Only four minutes later, and a shot from Dermott would rebound right onto the stick of Bozak, and it would be an easy tap in to make it 2-1 Leafs.

Of course, the Penguins weren’t letting them get off that easy. A bit over a minute later, Gardiner attempted to clear the puck, which was caught by Malkin and after bouncing around a few times, ended back on Malkin’s stick and in the back of the net.

2nd Period

Yeah, this was a pretty forgettable period. The Leafs played terrible the first half of it, ended up down 3-2 thanks to a goal fro Aston-Reese, and then they played a bit better in the second half.

And everyone’s favourite Dad scores for the Buds to tie the game at 3-3, with the slowest one tier you’ll ever see.

3rd Period

Yeeeeeah, this wasn’t much better. The Leafs played less than ideal throughout the third, and after Olli Maata scored early on in the third, they didn’t even play with much pressure, despite trailing for most of it, and then Rust scored to give the Pens a two goal lead, and basically close the game. It was very ungood, as the Leafs lost 5-3.

Twitter Tweets

And finally, a dream that will remain a dream

Up Next

Hey, you won’t have to wait too long for another Buds win, as they’ll be playing the Red Wings in Detroit tomorrow at 7. Don’t worry about the back-to-backs though, as Detroit will be coming in after playing Nashville last night.


  • jimithy

    Ungood is only a word made from letters of the alphabet. So what’s new. The Leafs were reeling from a day nursing Gardiner back to reality with a lavish display of baby talk in the first person with an accent on the whimper.
    Nothing worked.

  • Matmarwill

    The first line couldnt finish on its opportunities and that was the difference in this game. One goal from them would’ve put this to OT. Hyman on the open net right at the start of the first, next sequence the pens scored. Matthews in alone, goes to is backhand and misses the net. Nylander slides the puck across the goal mouth and matthews misses it. That’s your game in a nutshell.

  • lukewarmwater

    It felt like a playoff game with the leafs missing several glorious opportunities or only to be thwarted by Murray coming up big. Those cramps should have kept Jake out of the game, that’s right I’m talking about brain cramps. Look Subban and Karlson are master of give aways but the least Gardiner can do is attempt to undo his damage. Nope not Jake the Snake, he just stood there while Kadri frantically dove head first trying to stop Malkin.
    But it was the second bone head give away by the Snake that turned the momentum of the game. The good thing about Gardiner is that he has piled up the offensive points and I’m sure Lou will be looking for some stat driven young G.M., hello Arizona, Florida, and unload Gardiner as the next super star power play specialist in the off season. Lou should get a fairly good return for the one dimensional Gardiner.
    Just another learning curb for the leafs who have beaten all of the top teams at least once.
    Obviously work is needed on the fourth line which was pushed around all game and coughed up the puck on the winning goal. Babs is a stubborn coach as Uncle Leo was invisible all night but when Hyman got nailed and yep Mike Stephens, intended or not there has to be at least a double minor for that type of trip, good old Uncle Leo got moved up to the top line and had a splendid opportunity to tie up the game but he now has hands of stone. In fact Hyman is progressing as a goal scorer. Babs finally figured the old man who already had a goal might be an idea to play with 34 and 29.
    Heh we were 3 to 3 mid way through the third as we battled the two time Stanley cup champs with their three big forwards.
    Take care of the Wings tomorrow night leafs. Keep your hot goal tending going Curtis.

    • Glen

      Thanks Luke I wasn’t able to see the game but now I almost feel like I have. You are honest and if the Leafs or a player suck you aren’t afraid to say so. I hate the notion that cheering for the Leafs means you can never be critical. Anyways the big picture is good and lets hope for a win and a big game from “The Big Mac”.

    • Niceguytrieshardlovesthegame

      Bang on! Gardiner, ugh, no words, but man I hope you’re onto something with shipping him out.
      I won’t blame the game on the first line not converting (although who didn’t yell at their screen?). Three goals is enough for Freddie to win the game, Jake was at an all time Jakeness. Plain and simple, if he wasn’t playing last night we would’ve won. He’s been playing well lately and even limiting his mistakes, but last night was atrocious.

      Great synopsis Luke

    • leafdreamer

      I wonder what it is that makes Rielly immune to criticism – he had virtually identical game to Gardiner’s (same stats, minus 1, and looking lost defensively with Hainsey in 5 minutes less of icetime) but noone’s saying a word. Wittle Morgie above criticism?

    • Kanuunankuula

      I’d have better time taking you seriosly, if you only ever criticized a D-man not named Gardiner. Nothing on Hainsey or Zaitsev after this game? Whoo boy, talk about biases.

      • lukewarmwater

        You are right none of the D stood out and maybe Hainsey is showing his 36, Rielly doesn’t look right out there coming off the injury and I winced as hard as Matthews when he went back to the bench bent over in pain.
        The difference is Rielly or Zaitsev will make a mistake but will give the effort to try to correct their mistake. Not Jake who wanders around with his stick dragging on the ice after a typical bone head play. Btw the whole momentum of the game changed, as Jake had one of his brain cramps and the Pens buzzed around the leaf net, the next line change saw a fired up Pittsburgh continue the pressure and they scored. Jake was resting on the bench after an exhaustive previous shift of coughing up the puck and then wandering around in a fog, or to put it his way and I paraphrase, “Im not sure how I make those bone head plays”. Well going on 28 he will never figure it out. Thank goodness leaping Lou will move him in the off season.

  • Bob Canuck

    “I like Jake a lot just because he makes such elite plays and he is not in scoring chances against,” Babcock said. “Sometimes you don’t know what he is doing, but he is not in the scoring chances against. He makes elite plays. We seem to play in the offensive zone when he is out there, so that is good with me.”

    Mike Babcock
    January 22, 2018

    Jake Gardiner was terrible last night. I am a fan of his but oof.

    Nevertheless, I think it is important to look at Gardiner’s contribution to this season as a whole. When he is on the ice on at 5v5, there are more expected goals for than there are expected goals against. I think expected goals is a good measure to use because it eliminates the randomness of shooting percentage and save percentage; it accounts for the quality of unblocked shot attempts. All data per Corsica.hockey and it is for the current season up to and including February 17. I wanted to eliminate small sample sizes so the minimum time on ice (“TOI”) is 100 minutes for any pair.

    For each of the pairs listed below, their respective TOI together, xGF60 Team Rank, xGA60 Team Rank, xGF60%, and O-Zone Starts Percentage are as follows:

    Gardiner & Carrick – 163.25; 3; 2; 54.04%; 62.10%
    Gardiner & Hainsey – 110.22; 6; 1; 52.34%; 29.33%
    Gardiner & Zaitsev – 624.32; 2; 5; 50.94%; 45.88%
    Borgman & Carrick – 214.52; 5; 3; 50.90%; 61.29%
    Borgman & Polak – 269.2; 4; 4; 50.29%; 47.80%
    Reilly & Hainsey – 734.5; 1; 6; 49.14%; 42.50%
    Dermott & Polak – 104.77; 7; 7; 39.70%; 44.26%

    I think the data shows that Jake Gardiner is a very effective defenceman. He has been on the Leafs top three pairs in terms of xGF60%, including when he was paired with Ron Hainsey and they had a low percentage of O-zone starts and were facing the tougher opposition.

    • lukewarmwater

      The problem Bob is similar to the Raptors problem. In the regular season and against a non contender, you will forget the bone head plays of Gardiner, many which are caused by him not willing to take a hit. Come the playoffs you have a very much more physical game. This is where opposing teams delight in rattling Gardiner’s cage as he coughs up the puck from the fear of being stapled through the boards. The same has applied to DeRozan and Lowry as the N.B.A. refs put the whistle away and let Australian football rules apply.
      He even admitted himself after the game he doesn’t know why he makes so many blunders. Well as I stated you have to be able to handle the physicality especially in the playoffs.
      The good news is leaping Lou will likely con some young mangement team, hello Florida and Coyotes into taking Gardiner as Lou refers to him as this hall of fame power play quarter back. We should be able to get a 200 foot playing defenceman back.
      You see the problem with Corsi is you can’t measure the heart of a guy or if all of a sudden your goalie gets red light itis in the playoffs.
      The leafs won two games against the Preds and Columbus where the play was in the leaf zone a lot more than the game last night but thanks to Andersen standing on his head we got two wins. Stats are part of the game, no one is denying that, but it has gotten so bad in baseball that these whiz kids claim that a guy can be figured as to how many extra wins he will bring to a team. Come on leave fantasy land to Disney as a lot of baseball statistic gurus won’t even mention a pitchers record in wins and defeats.
      One year the Jays Hutchinson was almost unbeatable at home, not because he pitched well but because he got incredible run support. On the road he simply didn’t get that run production and he was terrible away from the Jays home barn.
      Heh more power to those who want to spend half a day devouring stats. Me I’ll just look at who coughed up the puck, which goalie stood on his head more. What player sparked his team with some solid hits, which defenceman made the brilliant play breaking up a two on one, etc. etc. etc.

      • Kanuunankuula

        This whole heart and caring is pretty pointless debate, since neither I or you can’t really tell what’s going on inside Jake’s head. I’ll take Jake 5/5 times over Zaitsev. At least Jake tries to make play. Zaitsev has all the tools, but is still playing like Polak, back up into his goalie, glass and outing when he has time to pass/skate it out. You can think what you want about Jake (though it’s getting close to the treatment Phil got here), but he’s effective at defense, the results show this.