Rangers 3 Leafs 4-0-0

It wasn't until November 21st 2009 that the Leafs earned their fourth win of the 09-10 season: a 3-2 shootout decision over the Washington Capitals. It was their 21st game of the season and they already had 11 regulation losses and 6 overtime losses.

Vesa Toskala is pretty much entirely the reason last season's start was so bad. Jean-Sebastien Giguere didn't have a great night on paper tonight but there's a difference. I think the goals scored on Giguere tonight were pretty iffy but in each of them you could tell it was a weird play that couldn't be accounted for.

The Rangers first goal comes on a lobbed in puck that goes between Mike Komisarek and Tyler Bozak:


It's not great but that's what happens when your goaltender can't see. Notice the difference between this year's team and last year's: this year the Leafs didn't give up because a weird goal went in early. Last year this team would have packed its bags and given up.

Instead this squadron came out guns blazing in the second period. Henrik Lundqvist was putting on a clinic in net so the Leafs got down and dirty. A Kulemin shot hit the post and Clarke MacArthur went to the dirty part of the ice to smash it home.


The Leafs kept the pressure up, they played most of the 2nd period in the Rangers' zone, before Kessel moved the puck to Mike Komisarek who put a wrist shot on New York's shell shocked goalie:


I predicted Mike Komisarek would score 2 goals this year and Clarke MacArthur would add 15. Call Pro-line and bet the over.

Another three minutes later Tyler Bozak set up a two on one with Phil Kessel:


Tyler Bozak demonstrates why laying down on the ice is a horrible defensive play. He stops and sets up a tap in goal to put the Leafs up 3-1. At the end of the second the Leafs were outshooting New York 30-12.

The third period saw super douche Sean Avery two hand Mike Komisarek twice behind the play after Colby Armstrong was boarded. The Leafs had a 5 on 3 power play, mustered only one shot and as soon as they came out of the box the Rangers scored:


As Brian Boyle shoots the puck tips off Dion Phaneuf's stick and goes right into the net. Not Giguere's finest moment but a difficult shot to handle given how little work he'd seen all night. Four minutes later Brian Boyle scored again when J.S. Giguere lost the puck behind the net:


I'd like to point out a few things. The first is how awful that line change is by the Leafs. The second is that Brian Boyle is human garbage. I guess we should thank him for making things interesting.

Remember last year's Leafs? If you do you know they would have lost in regulation tonight and if they didn't they would have scored an own goal in overtime. This year's Leafs dug deep in OT and drew an interference penalty and our best player did what he's here for:


Kessel sent the home fans home empty handed. They rallied but couldn't overcome the Leafs' relentless forecheck even with three fluky goals. This team didn't pack it in when they could have. Believe.

Notes:

  • Our first line was electric. Kessel could have scored four goals if the puck bounced his way.
  • Colby Armstrong faked the hell out of Sean Avery in the second; he got Avery to drop his gloves and then just stood there. Avery went to the box and Armstrong went to his bench. Ouch.
  • Our defense looked solid, an unfortunate tip and odd screen aside.
  • Colby Armstrong broke Marian Gaborik and Chris Drury broke himself. 
  • Don't worry about Giguere. None of the goals on him are anything other than "sometimes things don't go your way". Giggy bailed us out big time at the end of the third and OT.
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