Last night's loss to the Hurricanes wasn't without positives; Kessel scored two goals and looked dangerous all game, Versteeg also had an excellent game and picked up an assist, and as usual, the MGK line was good. Overall, a good effort that saw the Hurricanes hemmed in their own end for significant stretches of time.
Unfortunately, John Mitchell and Brett Lebda continued to happen to us all over the place, and Jonas Gustavsson looked shaky on the opening goal. If the Leafs were tired from their expedition in the storm, it didn't show nearly as much as how tired many of us are at seeing Lebda and Mitchell (and for some, Orr) in the lineup.
Not helping matters was the solid performance of Cam Ward, who kept the game tied through a particularly strong second period by Toronto where the Leafs out-shot the Hurricanes 14-7.
Overall, the Leafs out-shot the 'Canes 37-27, went 1-for-6 on the PP, allowed one goal on 3 PKs, and went 27 - 30 on the faceoff dot.
Welp. I guess the only thing for the team to do is to take what they can from this game and keep truckin'. Hopefuly, they'll find themselves outside the bottom five.
Head over the Canes Country for a recap of the game from the opposition's perspective, as well as a few interesting tidbits of information regarding motivational tactics:
Eric Staal said after the game that Carolina GM Jim Rutherford came into the locker room during the second intermission and had some words for the team. He was not happy with their play in the second period.
A good quote from The Globe and Mail's inappropriately titled recap when they asked Mikhahail Grabovski if he felt tired through the game:
"I’m 26 years old," he said. "I had lots of energy."
There are a few other interesting links today, so head on over the jump.
Summer With Wings' Datsuyk Works Wonders For Grabovski
"We played tennis, go to skate, go to work out," explained Grabovski in a one-on-one conversation with AM640. "I learn a lot from him because he’s won Cups, he’s [played a] long time in the NHL, he helped me a lot." From Jonas Siegel.
Is Kessel destined to be Jason Spezza?
It's not such a straightforward comparison, but Michael Langlois draws some parallels between the two players.
Game In 10 – Game 35
Game recap via Xterratu at LeafsHQ.
Other Hockey Links:
Heroes in Rehab: Pierre McGuire: Blind or Just Obsequious?
Junior debates the matter.
Darryl Dismissed: An M&G Roundtable/A Series of Essays
Get some Flames' fans reactions on the move that was years coming.
Sabres owner denies sale of team
Dave Shoalts explains that previous reports were erroneous. Oh well.
Davos bounces Canada at Spengler Cup
I had completely forgotten that this tournament was even running right now. Recap from The Globe and Mail.
Tuesday's Three Stars From Puck Daddy
Sean Leahy gives a thumbs up to Crosby, Raycroft (!), and Weber. Check it out for other good tidbits from around the league.