You're the kid we want buddy!
The Toronto Maple Leafs' decent pre-season continued with a win at the ACC East. There was some good, some bad, some funny, and some frustrating aspects to the game. Or at least I assume so because I just got to watch the game in six so you'll have to fill me in on anything beyond what I gleaned:
- Nikolai Kulemin potted his fifth of the pre-season on a strong move past noted pylon and Team Canada waterboy Jared Cowen. Special kudos to Luca Caputi for properly playing his angles and keeping a clearing attempt in the offensive zone.
- Happy Trails doesn't just beat up enigmatic Russians, he can also enter the zone with speed and make great centring passes to future NHL All-Stars. Great vision by Nazem Kadri to find the soft spot in the Senators' coverage and a quick release.
- Now comes the bad: Milan Michalek, the sum total of the return on the Dany Heatley trade, rifled a snipe job just under the bar.
- This goal came as a result of unnoticed goaltender interference, terrible communication that led to broken down defensive coverage, and a really lucky bounce. There goes the two goal lead.
- This one was again terrible defence all around. Special kudos to John Mitchell for leaving the front of the net to chase the puck and Tomas Kaberle for lollygagging his way back into position.
- But the Leafs did not roll over. Daniel Alfredsson, scared of the incoming Dion Phaneuf and thinking back to getting filled in by Mike Komisarek, threw the puck away in a panic which led to a turnover at the offensive blueline and a KADRI! KADRI! KADRI! goal. He made a nice move around Chris "1st Round Draft Pick" Campoli, had his shot blocked, but was lucky enough to get it back.
- On the rush, Kadri picked the right play, hit Phaneuf in stride who snapped a low hard shot on net that Phil Kessel, who had driven to the net (weird to watch him score a goal against the Senators by driving the net rather than rifling them in) deflected it in.
Other notes: Mike Fisher, who I've always referred to as "sneaky" dirty, cross-checked Jay Rosehill in the face after he bowled Karlsson over. Not surprised in the least by that play. Alex Kovalev...LOL. And Francis Lessard continues to be gutless. He jumped Rosehill and then didn't fight. Who knew that Neilitis was contagious.
Game in Six after the jump.