The Good, The Bad And Scrivens Pops His Cherry

Really not a great game from the Leafs tonight, Ben Scrivens aside. Midway through the 3rd they had just 14 shots, and had generated none at all in the 3rd frame. That was a pretty common theme all night, but they were bailed out by some bad goaltending from Steve Mason and solid play from Scrivens in their own net. Despite the lack of shots, the Leafs did do a pretty good job of keeping things under control in their own end, and did an even better job of controlling their breakouts nicely, finding open ice rarhter than trying to force it through oncoming forechecks.

The Good

  • Clarke MacArthur seems to have woken up from his early season slumbers. 6 goals in his last 5 games, and suddenly that 2nd line is getting production again. His goals haven’t been the nicest, but you’ll never hear a hockey player complain about getting a few freebies. Now if Nikolai Kulemin could get back up to speed…
  • Joey Crabb making it hard on the Leafs’ management to send him back to the AHL whenever Colby Armstrong is ready to go again. Two goals in two nights, both of them opening the Leafs’ scoring, and he looks good at both ends of the ice.
  • Phil Kessel added to his league leading point total with, what for now, stands as an assist on John-Michael Liles’ first goal of the year, but could end up being changed to Kessel’s goal, since it appeared to deflect off his stick in front of the net. Either way, he’s still on a tear.
  • Hell of a debut for Ben Scrivens. We all knew he was solid, and after a very strong performance in the preseason, alot of people were clamoring for him to be Reimer’s backup. Now, granted, this game was against the league’s worst team, and one of the least potent offenses on record, but 38 saves on 39 shots is nothing to shake your head at. Where Gustavsson seems to be somewhat of an opposite to Reimer, Scrivens looks more like a carbon copy. Quiet in net, calm, calculated movements and very solid positionally all night long. And for all you Reimer-naysayers out there, (mehhh, he’s got a slow glove, teams will figure him out, blah, blah) I saw more than a few quality glove saves from Scrivens tonight.
  • I’ve bitched about the Leafs’ PK the whole season, so it would be rude not to give them some kudos when they have some success. 4-4 on the evening, although there was one shot on the first powerplay that hit the post.
  • The Leafs are, at this exact moment in time, the top team in the league with 19 points and a 9-3-1 record, pending the Penguins-Sharks result tonight. PLAN THE PARADE!
The Bad
  • Just 4 shots in the first period, and only 4 in the 3rd. Good thing Steve Mason laid another egg, or this game coulda been ugly.
  • You wanna know who played the least amount of ice time all night? Cody Bass, the Blue Jackets’ fourth line center. You know who played just 4 seconds more than Bass, the former Senator who has 2 goals and 5 points in just 42 games over the last 4 years? Luke Schenn. Sit him in the press box for a game and let Cody Franson get a few games in. Schenn needs to get whatever is going on with him fixed, and fast.
  • There wasn’t much denying that tonight was a trap game, with the Bruins coming to town on Saturday, and the Leafs didn’t really play well enough to beat most teams in the league. Still, I’ll take the two points.
The Cherry Popping

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Tags: Ben Scrivens Clarke MacArthur Cody Bass Cody Franson Columbus Blue Jackets James Reimer Joey Crabb John-Michael Liles Jonas Gustavsson Luke Schenn Nikolai Kulemin Phil Kessel Steve Mason Toronto Maple Leafs

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