Maple Leafs 1 v. Flyers 3: God Loves A Trier

Unfortunately, the NHL standings only love winners and the Leafs are not likely to finish in that category very often over the final 17 games of the season. Right now the Toronto Maple Leafs are the Little Engine That Could before it could. They are the Big Bad Wolf in front of the brick house. They huff and they puff and only win if they play a perfect game. Tonight was far from perfect.

The first period was a gong show in large part because of Colton Orr. After two regular season games and a pre-season game I think it should be very clear that Daniel Carcillo is never going to engage in fisticuffs. Flyers fans can pretend that he was just being smart but Carcillo then tried to fight Jeff Finger later in the game because he knew Orr was stapled to the bench. The Leafs' successfully killed the bogus four minute powerplay but then Orr, on his release, decided that he had not felt enough shame. After creating a 2-on-1 he thought it made sense to plow over Michael Leighton. Combined with Phaneuf's high-sticking penalty it gave the Flyers their second 5-on-3 of the game and a 1-0 when Canadian hero Chris Pronger fed Jeff Carter at the side of the net for an empty net tap-in.

The Leafs tied it up after a neat bit of passing that sent in Nikolai Kulemin. After he was hooked off of the puck (no call of course) the puck came to Carl Gunnarsson who fired it on net. The loose puck fell to Kulemin and he knocked it in. The goal came as a result of the Leafs' forwards creating some chaos with their forecheck and traffic in front of the net. They created more chances along the way but the forwards are not particularly clinical. The difference in the game was that when the Leafs lost their men twice and the Flyers pushed their lead to 3-1.

Corsi and Fenwick | Head-to-Head TOI | EV Face-Offs | Shift Charts
Game Summary | Event Summary | Broad Street Hockey Game Recap

  • Dion Phaneuf, Viktor Stalberg, and John Mitchell led the way for the Leafs in the Corsi/Fenwick stats.
  • Surprisingly, considering how well the Luca Caputi - Stalberg - Christian Hanson line played the other two were almost even on shots.
  • That trio also got more offensive zone starts. For all of their good hustle and pressure they did not do enough to get pucks on the net.
  • Across the ice, the Flyers leaned heavily on Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, Jeff Carter, and Lucas Krajicek.
  • I'm not entirely sure why they selected them because the Flyers were getting killed in the face-off circle (64-36 TML). Christian Hanson led the way winning 8 of 9 draws and Tyler Bozak continued his strong play with a 15 of 22 mark.
  • The powerplay goal that the Leafs' allowed in the first period was just their third since the Phaneuf and Giguere trades. They are killing penalties at over 90% efficiency.

Now let's hear waht you have to say about tonight's game. Who stood out for you? Who could have done better?

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