After a disappointing stretch of losses, the Leafs earned a much-needed win against a Sabres team that took advantage of Toronto’s lack of discipline and poor penalty killing last week. The Leafs came out strong in the first, weathered another rash of penalties and a surge from Buffalo in the 2nd, and played a pretty tight 3rd period to hold on for the win after Kadri’s game winner. After dropping 3 straight games, the Leafs got back in the win column, and have a chance to get to 40 points before Christmas.
- Phil Kessel got his 20th goal of the year, and, surprise, it was assisted by Joffrey Lupul, as those two continue to be the most productive linemates in the league.
- James Reimer seems to be getting back to the goalie we all fell in love with last season, as he turned in another 40-save performance.
- Nazem Kadri made an immediate impact after a call-up that alot of people had been calling for for some time. Played a pretty solid game all-around, avoided stupid turnovers, and looked much more prepared to contribute at this level.
- Often the downfall of the Leafs, the penalty kill was actually pretty damn good tonight. The lone powerplay goal against took a crappy bounce off Luke Schenn’s leg, and the stretch of four penalties in a row at the start of the 2nd could have been a real wrong turn in terms of game momentum had they not performed.
- I thought Matt Frattin had another strong game, and he continues to be one of the strongest rookies I’ve seen in awhile, at least in a Leafs uniform. Add scumbag Patrick Kaleta to the list of players that have run Frattin and ended up on the wrong side of it.
- The Leafs went 0-6 on the powerplay tonight, and could have made things alot easier for themselves if they had been able to convert some of their opportunities.
- I didn’t think Cody Franson had that great of a game. Couple of shoddy passes and some poor puckhandling at both ends.
- The six penalties obviously didn’t help, but allowing 42 shots is never a good thing.