Game #3 Review - Leafs Extinguish Flames
The Toronto Maple Leafs overcame an early 2-0 deficit by scoring three unanswered goals to defeat the Calgary Flames Saturday night. After an entire week off in between games the Leafs, as expected, struggled to begin the game.
The Flames took advantage of the rusty Leafs with both Curtis Glencross and Scott Hannan pacing Calgary to an early lead. Glencross outfought both John Michael Liles and Nikolai Kulemin in tapping a Lee Stempniak pass into an empty net. While Hannan scored on a shot from the point off of a rush that was clearly offside. Following those two goals James Reimer shut the door the rest of the way, stopping thirty of thirty two shots for his third win of the season.
For the second consecutive game both Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel scored for the Leafs. The first two Leaf goals were picture perfect counter attacks. With the speed that this current Leaf team has, as well as their puck moving defenders, the Leafs should be able to expose many teams off of the counter this season. Lupul beat Mika Kiprusoff early in the second period after Reimer stopped a streaking Jarome Iginla, while Kessel gained a step on former Sabre Chris Butler, before putting a shoulder into him and roofing the puck over a helpless Kiprusoff. Kessel's game winner went in off of former Leaf Lee Stempniak. Stempniak who was a disappointment on the Leafs finally scored a big goal for the blue and white.
The Leafs struggled on the power play going 0-4 including wasting both a five on three, and a four minute double minor. It should be noted that Tim Connolly was expected to really boost the power play this season, and without him they have visibly struggled. Tyler Bozak proved last season that he is not a power play threat, so the sooner Nazem Kadri or Tim Connolly returns, the sooner the power play becomes a weapon. The Leafs were perfect on the penalty kill on the night, holding the Flames scoreless on their three opportunities. Toronto killed off a late Phil Kessel penalty with Kiprusoff on the bench to preserve the victory.
Men of the Match
Leafs: James Reimer - He was not at fault for the first goal, and while he should have stopped Hannan, the rush should have never continued following the offside. Reimer stoned the Flames the rest of the way making huge saves off of an Ollie Jokinen breakaway, a Lee Stempniak two on one one-timer, a Jarome Iginla point blank wrister and a game saving stop in the dying seconds on a Rene Bourque one timer. In fairness Bourque shot it at Reimer, but you have to be lucky to be good. The Leafs number one netminder battled the rest of the way, and allowed the Leafs the opportunity to come back for the W.
Flames: Curtis Glencross - The Flames winger battled all night, and outfought a couple of Leafs for the first goal of the game. Glencross was a threat most of the night, and was also a key member of the dominant Flames penalty kill.
A new feature that I will hope to include in all game recaps is a "Healyism, Bowenism or Millenism of the night". These three commentators are horrible at their jobs and make constant errors and odd statements, so I will hope to provide the most glaring one of the game nightly.
Tonight's "Healyism" of the Night
"He's got a couple of bag of tricks to add to his weaponry"
The Leafs continue this homestand by hosting the Colorado Avalanche Monday night at 7:00 PM.