Maple Leafs 2 v. Islander 1: The Future Is Now...

Corsi and Fenwick | H2H Time On Ice | EV Face Offs

Game Summary | Event Summary | Lighthouse Hockey Recap

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Islanders 2-1 on the back of one more excellent performance by James Reimer. Whether he is actually the future of the team or Leafs fans are in for a disappointment next year, we're (me included!) happy to have a 22 year old goalie posting a .934 save percentage and a 2.12 goals against average through 16 appearances. You can hardly blame Leafs fans for not being too aware of Reimer before this season began. That he has always been an afterthought is well documented but I defy you to read his quotations from after tonight's game and not feel admiration for the way he has arrived at his new station in life.

At the other end of the ice, there was another goalie that had become more of a rumour than a reality. This one was actually a sixth overall pick by the New York Rangers. Funnily enough, the player he was traded for, Fredrik Sjostrom, was lining up for the Leafs. For the low-low price of a 6th round pick Garth Snow managed to give the franchise another young goaltender to battle for a spot as Goaltender of the Future When DiPietro Is Again Injured. Tonight he was the difference between the tight game that we saw and what could have easily been a laugher.

  1. Clarke MacArthur wants to stay, Mikhail Grabovski wants him to stay, his contract demands don't sound ridiculous (Jonas Siegel says he's looking for Grabbo money), and he set a career high in goals with his 18th to open the scoring.
  2. Brett Lebda and Mike Komisarek picked up a pair of stupid penalties and were most often seen pinned in their own zone. Those two are why Brian Burke is looking to add a defenceman.
  3. The other reason? The Maple Leafs' powerplay. I have no idea how long the Tim Brent Experiment will last, although Dave Shoalts wanted it ended after two powerplays, but it didn't get off to a good start. He has experience running the Marlies' powerplay but the Leafs' PP looked much more dangerous when PP2 was on the ice.
  4. Luke Schenn and Keith Aulie each laid five hits tonight. I'll just copy and paste this for the next 15 years.
  5. However, if not for those two boys crossing their wires and letting Matt Moulson score, the main PK forwards - Colby Armstrong, Tim Brent, Tyler Bozak, Fredrik Sjostrom, Nikolai Kulemin, and Mikhail Grabovski - would have had a textbook night.
  6. Colby Armstrong pasted Michael Haley. I'm not sure what Cheese says to the other teams but they universally want him dead and it makes them take dumb penalties. I really enjoy trying to figure out what he's done to these guys.
  7. Phil Kessel's game-winning goal was extra special because he picked up the puck in the Leafs' zone because he was covering for a marauding defenceman. His defensive frailty gets overblown mostly because smart plays like this one tend to go unnoticed since they don't end up in goals. This time Kessel flew down the wing, backed down the Islanders' defence, cut into the middle, and fired a wrister through a defender's legs and then Montoya's.
  8. The Buds then shut down the Islanders. An interesting aspect to who was on the ice to end the game: Kessel, Bozak, and Armstrong were the forwards.
  9. Tyler Bozak, much maligned for his pointless streak, set up Joffrey Lupul early on for what could have been a tap in but also played another strong game on the PK and won 13 of 17 face-offs.

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