It wasn’t the prettiest, but the Leafs came out of their 12th game of the year with another 2 points, this time on the back of Joffrey Lupul’s 2nd period hat trick. Jonas Gustavsson turned in a pretty solid effort in his 7th game of the season, and the Leafs will take a 3-3 road record into Columbus tomorrow night, where it’s expected that James Reimer will make his first start since being injured against Montreal.
- Let’s start with the obvious, Lupul had himself a hell of a game. A hell of a 2nd period, more specifically, but a great game all around.
- It’s nice to finally have a legitimate first line again. Tim Connolly is starting to gel nicely on that top unit. Doesn’t try to do too much, knows his role – getting pucks to the goal scorers on his wings. Both him and Kessel had 2 assists apiece, while Kessel had a +3 rating, along with Lupul.
- Gustavsson had another solid game, aside from the 3rd goal which I thought he maybe should have had, but being that it was on a breakaway, we’ll let it slide. The game’s not going to help his stat line any, as he finished with just 19 saves, but the most important stat in goaltending is wins, and he’s already got 4 of those this year.
- Another solid night from captain Dion Phaneuf. 4 blocked shots, 2 hits and good play at both ends of the ice. I thought most of the d-men played well, aside from a few miscues.
- Apparently Brad Mills didn’t watch Mike Brown’s last fight. Good to see the mustache back for Movember, and it’s always great watching him fight. It’s only a matter of time before he starts firing them high and hard. Good on Luke Schenn for sticking up for his teammate, as well. Too bad he cut his own nose with that visor, because he opened that fight by feeding David Clarkson a steady stream of rights before ending it by picking him up and tossing him aside.
- Great night for the Leafs in the faceoff circle, winning 30 of 48 draws. Tyler Bozak (5 of 7), Tim Connolly (8 of 12), Mikhail Grabovski (10 of 15) and David Steckel (6 of 10) gave the Leafs possession of the puck up and down the ice in just about every situation.
- SPECIAL TEAMS – for the love of GOD, please fix them. The Devils went 2-2 on the powerplay, while the Leafs went 0-2. As TSN so aptly put it, it was the movable object meeting the stoppable force with one of the league’s worst powerplays going 100% against the Leafs’ dismal penalty kill.
- Schenn continued to see the least amount of ice time on the team, playing just 10 minutes. He got burned by Clarkson even worse than he got beat by Colin Greening in the Sens game.
Topics: David Clarkson, David Steckel, Joffrey Lupul, Jonas Gustavsson, Luke Schenn, Martin Brodeur, Mike Brown, Mike Komisarek, Mikhail Grabovski, New Jersey Devils, Phil Kessel, Tim Connolly, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyler Bozak