This one wasn’t too enjoyable, was it? The Leafs had been in a freefall and their week had them playing some of the top teams in the league in Boston, LA, St. Louis, Chicago and the Pens on Monday. They had lost every game so far coming into tonight. In the first, the Leafs managed some good possession shifts (shockingly) and took advantage of the second penalty from Chicago of the night, a stupid trip in front the net from Shaw. The Hawks would equalize on a power play of their own when a crossing pass from Kane deflected off Phaneuf and snuck in.
In the second, the wheels just came off. The Leafs put 14 shots on net and 4 of them found their way past Raanta, chasing him for the third. We won’t go through all of them on an individual basis since it was disaster and we’ve all get better things to do on this Saturday night. Sam wrote in the preview it would take something unpredictable for the Leafs to pull one out. I’d say 7 goals on 32 shots is pretty unpredictable from a team that averages 2.74 and 27 (third worse in the league). This sucks but lets move on and get ready for the Kings tomorrow.
- Get ready for lots of people claiming the Hawks were just flat. TWTW just wasn’t there tonight for anyone.
- Anyone other than Kane that is. He continues to play above anything we’ve ever seen. Since the game was pretty much over at the start of the third it gave Pat and Eddie plenty of time to heap some praise on Kane’s year so far. It’s been pretty incredible to watch him. He’s still sitting two points behind Crosby but could be closing in fast. Perhaps even that 100 point season if everything goes his way. He led the team with 8 shots tonight. Even in a lousy effort, he was fun to watch.
- Has Kostka always tapped his stick on the ice as much as he did last night and I just never realized it? He was always looking for the puck in the offensive zone tonight. I know you got the game winner in the last Toronto game but don’t let it go to your head. Just try to keep up with Leddy.
- Is there really a good reason why some plays are reviewable and others aren’t? Hossa’s goal… or rather Phaneuf’s second… looked good on just about every replay we were shown. But since the ref thought Hossa had gloved it in, it wasn’t eligible for review. But if they thought the goal was no good because it being played with a high stick, they’d take a look?
- That’s also after the Hawks were penalized for a delay of game when it also appeared Kostka was clearly in front of the blue line. I’m definitely not blaming the officiating for the loss, the Hawks did just a fine job shitting the bed on their own, but I really don’t see why replay is used in just select situations. There was already plenty of time to review the plays on the broadcast… why can’t anyone else check them?
- From my view, Keith had another solid game. Breaking up key plays, making some great passes.. but he still ended up a -4 for the night, worst of any of the Hawks.
- Toews continues to take fewer faceoffs than normal but it didn’t impact the numbers too much. The Hawks still took the edge there. Toronto not having their top 2 centers might have something to do with that though… even if one of those centers is Dave Bolland.
- Kent Simpson, yikes. Clearly, 20 minutes isn’t anything to judge an entire career on but that was not great. He’s way over his head at this point and needs time to improve. He’s not going to get that here. Expect LaBarbera as the back up soon. Not that a 33 year old with only 182 games in his career on his 6th team is going to really be an answer. Just a stop gap. Get well soon Crow.
- That’s enough for now. Tomorrow’s another day. And it’s the Hawks 34th back-to-back this year.