Leafs Lose 4-2 to Close Out the Preseason

The Leafs lose to Ty Conklin and the Red Wings, 4-2. The only thing left between now and the regular season is a handful of roster cuts, as Ron Wilson needs to "make some tough decisions," which have probably been made easier given some injuries to the team. After the jump, some thoughts on tonight's game:

  • Welcome Back, Matt! 353 days after his injury, Matthew Lombardi took the ice. He didn't make any awful mistakes, but was weak on the faceoffs. He mentioned during an intermission interview that he's looking forwards to getting "back into game shape," so after a little conditioning, it looks like we'll have another useful forward from trading Brett Lebda's buyout. 
  • Early in the game, Keith Aulie and Jay Rosehill both crunched Fabian Brunnstrom on hard, but penalty-free hits. If you're still worried about not getting big hits during the reign of Shanaban, you should be okay.
  • After fighting Mike "The Moustache" Brown, Garnett Exelby took a penalty leading to a PPG off the faceoff by John-Michael Liles. It felt weird to be on the other side of this.
  • If anyone knows Joffrey Lupul or Phil Kessel, please let them know that now is a good time to start trying. With any luck, Kessel's performance is related to his groin issue (in which case, why is he playing now?), and should clear up when the game matters. I'm a little concerned that Lupul may not have the same excuse available.
  • Mikhail Grabovski took a shot off the foot. No word on whether there's an injury, but it put an end to his night - hopefully just for precautionary reasons.
  • Glenn Healy was under the impression that this preseason game meant something. It's so nice that he provides such unique insight white noise.
  • Goodbye, Matt. In a contract year, Matt Lashoff looked more the musician than the NHL player tonight. He might see some ice time as a buffer between injured players and prospects in the Marlies, but unless he really tuns around from his performance in camp, it's hard to see the Leafs re-signing him at the end of this year

My take on the four goals against Reimer: You'd like to see Reimer come away with one of these, but each had some massive defensive breakdowns. I'm not too worried. Yet.

 

  1. On the first goal, Helm crashes the net with speed, Reimer makes the first save, and Abdelkader gets inside Gardiner to bang home the rebound. Lashoff was on ice, but nowhere to be seen on the play. 
  2. A bounce off the end boards kills Reimer on the Wings' second goal against. Helm picks up the rebound, Reimer, down from the initial shot, slides to cover the short post, then gets beat on the wraparound. Detroit, whose home rink has some very active end boards, does a lot of work with play off the kickplate. 
  3. On the third goal, Gardiner and Komisarek are on the PK helping Patrick Eaves screen Reimer, who makes the initial save, but Eaves feasts on the juicy rebound, which bounces to the off side of Gardiner. Komisarek should strap on some pads - if he cut down the angle a little less, he could be Reimer's backup. 
  4. On the fourth goal, Aulie failed to win the puck and failed to tie anyone up or to take away the passing line. Reimer scrambles after making the first save, and the rebound heads out to a wide open Tatar. Aulie simply hasn't looked NHL-caliber through this pre-season. He's only 22, and there's no shame in him starting another season in the AHL. Besides, the Sun could recycle a tabloid cover.
  5. Game In Six Highlights

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