Here’s the Game In Six from last night:
I didn’t see it happen live, but that goaltender interference call on James van Riemsdyk which erased Tyler Bozak’s goal looked pretty bogus. The Leafs probably deserved to get the regulation win, but they still got the two points in the shootout.
Eight of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 22 wins have come via the shootout. Their 14 regulation and overtime wins are tied for third-fewest in the Eastern Conference, which is a problem because ROW is the first tiebreaker in the standings.
The Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers are ahead of the Leafs by one point, while the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils are behind them by the same slim margin. With a road game against the tough Boston Bruins tomorrow, a home game against the not-so-tough Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday and a big Saturday night home game against the Montreal Canadiens all coming up, the Leafs need to string some wins together to keep up with the Joneses of the East.
Checking in with the Toronto Marlies, recently demoted Peter Holland scored three goals in two games against the St. John’s Ice Caps over the weekend. Unsurprisingly, he’s been given top-line minutes and thriving. He should be on the Leafs, but playing a bunch of minutes for the Marlies is better than four minutes per night on the big club.
One little Atlantic Division tidbit to munch on during your Monday afternoon: The Ottawa Senators signed general manager Bryan Murray to a two-year contract extension and named him president of hockey operations. Murray has done well keeping the team competitive through drafting, development and trading (the trade that brought Bobby Ryan to town comes to mind) while owner Eugene Melnyk’s financial issues ominously hang over the team.
Oh, and one more thing I just heard about now (but actually happened yesterday afternoon): The Winnipeg Jets fired head coach Claude Noel and replaced him with former Leafs and Marlies head coach and TSN analyst Paul Maurice. It’s a shame; I really enjoyed his insight on the TSN panel.