A season and a half of pent up frustration was unleashed last night, as the Maple Leafs pasted the Atlanta Thrashers 9-3 on the road. Not only did the Grabovski line pot six of those nine goals, but James Reimer was solid in net yet again, stopping 41 of 44 shots for a .932 save percentage. The "Statue" kept the Leafs in the game during the first period before Ben Eager completely lost his mind. If Colby Armstrong has to take a sucker punch every night for the Leafs to score nine goals, I think I can live with that (sorry dude).
Speaking of Reimer, the young Manitoban has stopped 108 of 114 shots in a little over three games. He has looked much more comfortable in net than Gustavsson. As Vintage Leaf Memories points out:
Reimer stopped Byfuglien on a power-play when it was still 2-1 part-way through the second period. Byfuglien had bulled his way around Phaneuf but Reimer made a big save.
The Leafs went on to take control of the game. Sometimes those moments that could have changed the momentum of the game get lost when the final score is so lopsided.
This is what I saw as well. Reimer was excellent, the Leafs took notice, and then were able to capitalize on the powerplay(s) to run away with it.
Tidbits and morning links after the jump...
A few notes:
- The Leafs power play jumped from 21st to 11th (16.5% to 18.8%). That's insane.
- The Leafs are the only team with six players who have at least 28 points.
- The Buds are averaging over a goal more per game since December 7th.
- Dion Phaneuf continues to struggle. He has been neither an offensive or defensive threat since arriving from Calgary. The prospect of paying $11 million per season until 2013 for Phaneuf and Komisarek is depressing.
- The Leafs could easily have three 30 goal scorers this season in Kessel (17), Grabovski (17), and Kulemin (15).
Quick recap over at LeafsHQ
Shoalts sums up the blowout for the G&M
Fear the Fin thinks the Sharks could have interest in three Leafs
The Hockey News reports on last night's AHL match
MLHS has an eye toward the trade deadline as well
** Morning Additions **
MLHS asks what the Leafs should do with the surging Belarusian