Well, the Leafs’ goaltender controversy continues, as James Reimer powered the Leafs to their second straight win since the All-Star break with the first shutout of his brief, but illustrious NHL career. Reimer made 27 saves, including 12 in the final frame, while the Leafs put out a solid all-around effort.
Jay Rosehill put a pretty good beatdown on Tim Gleason for his sucker punch on Nik Kulemin in the clubs’ last meeting, although Gleason took it like a man. Either way, the Leafs played with alot of energy tonight, putting a total of 41 shots on Cam Ward. The first pick of this year’s All-Star Fantasy Draft showed some Gustavsson-like frustration in the 3rd period, after his ridiculous save on Tim Brent was quickly followed by a goal from Kris Versteeg.
Brent may not have scored, but he did play a huge role in the win, winning 8 of his 11 faceoffs and blocking 4 shots, including 2 in a row from point blank range during a critical 5-on-3 that the Leafs successfully killed in the 2nd.
“Mac ‘n the USSR” had another great game. Grabovski was held pointless, but totalled 6 shots and a +1 rating. MacArthur ended up with the game winning goal, assisted on by Kulemin. Darryl Boyce netted the Leafs’ 2nd tally, stripping Joni Pitkanen in his own end and dangling Ward to put the Leafs up 2-0.
Tonight’s win follows on the heels of Toronto’s win over the Panthers on Tuesday, and the All Star break seems to have done the Leafs a bit of good, at least for now. The latest snow storm to pound the Northeast took me out of commission this week, and the weather seems to have held up Randall for a bit as well, but we should be good to go for the rest of the week. With the trade deadline less than a month away and a genuine goaltender controversy brewing, there will be no shortage of things to talk about in the coming weeks. Go Leafs!