Red Wings vs Leafs Game Recap

Mike Komisarek's overtime winner capped off a roller coaster night for the veteran Leafs defenseman. His wrist shot from the slot eluded Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard giving the Leafs a 4-3 victory in the Motor City. Mike Brown playing in his first preseason game, surprisingly led the Leafs offense with two goals. While rookie Jake Gardiner continued to impress with a goal and an assist. Gardiner also led all Leafs players in ice time with 25:40. The 'great' Leafs broadcast crew were very realistic in their expectations for Gardiner, with Greg Millen calling him Phil Housley and Paul Hendrick comparing him to Brian Leetch.  Ron Wilson after the game said that he liked Gardiner's game, and that he was going to be a good defenseman in this game for a long time. I didn't hear Wilson call him Paul Coffee, but I'll listen again. Way to be grounded there Millen and Hendrick. The Red Wings got goals from Todd Bertuzzi, Gustav Nyquist and Johan Franzen. Nine different Wings players finished the game with a point. 

Komisarek and Gardiner were paired together for the night, and in the first period both looked good. In my opinion Komisarek's first period tonight was his best period as a Leaf. He was physical and immediately moved the puck to Gardiner as soon as he touched it. Komisarek also showed a quick stick at the blueline, which allowed him to swat away the puck multiple times. However the wheels fell off after that. Komisarek took a couple of penalties that demonstrated he still doesn't (and probably never will) have the foot speed to keep up with quick, skilled forwards. The Leafs defenseman was guilty of running around a little bit when the Wings put the pressure on, resulting in him being on the ice for two of Detroit's goals. The last image of this game was his winner, so hopefully he can build on that. 

Men of the Match 

Leafs: Carl Gunnarsson - The under appreciated Leafs defenseman had another solid game. Having played 21:39 on the night, the big Sweede is a calm and steady pillar of strength on a nightly basis. He wasn't fazed at all by the Wings speed and cycling on the night. 

Red Wings: Henrik Zetterburg - One of the game's best forwards is a treat to watch. Strong like a bull, he keeps the puck away with ease and makes fantastic plays at both ends of the rink. He led Wings forwards with over 23 minutes of ice time. 

Next Game: The Leafs and Wings are back at it Saturday night at 7:00 at the Air Canada Centre. 

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