Deja Vu - Leafs Beat Jackets 4-1
On a night when most Leafs fans were expected James Reimer to return to the net, they were instead surprised to see Ben Scrivens (Reimer 2.0) get the start instead. The former Hobey Baker finalist made his first career NHL start, and boy did he put on a show. The last place Jackets came out on fire, outshooting the blue and white 11-4 in the opening frame. Scrivens made some spectacular stops, but also made the routine ones look easy (something that Reimer excels at and Jonas Gustavsson struggles with).
Although the Leafs were under siege throughout the first period, they still managed to lead 2-0 on goals by Joey Crabb (his second in two games since being called up from the AHL), and Clarke MacArthur wrister with 14 seconds left in the first period. Having watched the Leafs struggle for the last six or seven years, it was hard to watch this Columbus team and not feel for them. A dominant home period, and yet you're down two with a soft back breaking goal allowed in the final minute. After the intermission the Jackets came out looking to get back into the game and goalie Steve Mason lets in a weak John Michael Liles wrister in the opening minute. The Leafs were in cruise control for the rest of the night. MacArthur added his second of the game, and sixth in five games. Rookie Ryan Johansen broke up Scrivens' shutout bid late in the second. I don't want to dump all over Mason, he had a bad night. I discussed the stupidity of not having a capable back up behind him in my game preview if you want to see my thoughts.
Men of the Match
Leafs: Ben Scrivens - Fully deserved by stopping 38 of 39 shots in his first NHL start. Scrivens made some big saves on a couple of early Blue Jackets power play chances. Considering his age and play, an NHL ready Scrivens makes an in form Gustavsson a great asset for the Leafs to trade.
Blue Jackets: RJ Umberger - Unlucky to not score tonight considering the plethora of chances he had. Danced around Dion Phaneuf in the first period, but Scrivens had his number all night. Umberger finished with seven shots in the game.
Next Game: The Leafs head home to face off against the Boston Bruins Saturday night.