Don't Pinch Me! Leafs Squash Ducks 5-2
Is it time for me to admit that I was wrong about Tyler Bozak? Has the third year pro really turned the corner and become a productive player for the blue and white? With five goals and eleven points in his last ten games all signs would point to yes. I can't deny the fact that he is playing well. Like a jaded spouse though I haven't had my confidence in his abilities fully restored. On this night Bozak paced the Leafs with two more goals. With Mikhail Grabovski returning to the lineup tonight, the Leafs are beginning to have some good problems.
The Leafs took advantage of a reeling Ducks team tonight. Despite surrendering the first goal of the game to ex-Leaf Francois Beuchemin and the Ducks, Toronto dominated the first two periods. Bozak and Clarke MacArthur scored 19 seconds apart in the first period to neutralize the Beuchemin marker. Joey Crabb tipped in a Luke Schenn point shot early in the second following some great Leafs pressure. Joe Colborne and Jake Gardiner were both fantastic leading up to the Crabb marker. Colborne seems to be gaining confidence by the shift, and he floated a great pass to Schenn to set up that Crabb tip.
Jonas Gustavsson was solid in the net, making some big saves at the right time. Gustavsson stopped 26 of 28 shots and although he went down too early on both Ducks goals it was enough for the Leafs to get the W. Corey Perry scored the other Ducks goal, while Luke Schenn added an empty netter for his first of the season.
Both David Steckel and Carl Gunnarsson were unable to participate against the Ducks after blocking shots in Dallas. Grabovski took Steckel's spot on the fourth line. The centre had missed the previous five games with a lower body injury. Keith Aulie replaced Gunnarsson alongside Dion Phaneuf. Although Aulie looked a little out of position at times, the big stay at home blueliner had a solid night by using his size against the Ducks. Jake Gardiner once again had a great night, leading the Leafs with 25:15 of icetime tonight.
Men of the Match
Leafs: Tyler Bozak - The centre's two goals came at key moments in the game. He has been solid between Lupul and Kessel lately. Bozak also had a good night in his own zone.
Ducks: Cam Fowler - The 19 year old defenseman was solid for the Ducks. Fowler is creative offensively and possesses a cannon of a point shot. With Fowler, John Carlsson, Jake Gardiner, Ryan Suter, Jack Johnson and more the U.S is producing some great young defenseman.
Bowenism of the Night
"Ben Matlock would have gotten him off for that slashing penalty" You know you're old when you're referencing Matlock!
The Leafs head home to face the surging Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.