The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their winning ways with their third straight win as they picked up a 4-3 decision over the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche basically gave up two months ago so this was once again a game against a plummeting that the Leafs needed to win. This time they started James Reimer and, shock of shocks, they won. Nikolai Kulemin potted two to get to 28 on the year, Tyler Bozak finished a beauty finish, and some kid named Phil Kessel potted the game winning goal on the powerplay. I might be crazy but I think that Kessel kid has potential.
A nice aspect of playing in Colorado is that we are treated to an in-person scouting report from The Goalie Guild:
Overall, despite the uncomfortable first period, Reimer came through with a number of positionally sound and timely saves when the game was on the line. And in my opinion, that is what makes Reimer such a clutch goalie right now. More importantly, after he gave up each of the three goals, he bounced right back with composed saves to keep Toronto in front. Aside from being down 1-0 just 5:55 in the game, they never trailed after Nikolai Kulemin tied the game less than five minutes later.
Gabe Desjardins had a good piece yesterday on the role that 'luck' plays in goal scoring at the micro level. Tonight was a good example as you could easily label all three goals as lucky bounces for the Avalanche. Ultimately, it wasn't enough as the buds pulled to within three points of the Buffalo Sabres for the last playoff spot.
Mike Komisarek Murders Mark Olver
This certainly wasn't a blindside hit no matter how many times Greg Millen suggests that it was. It was definitely a hit to Olver's head but it was not a hit aimed at his head. The MHH recap agrees and the worst I got in reply to my question on Twitter was that it was borderline. I'd agree. What isn't debatable is that he then beat the ever living shit out of that poor chump that tried to avenge Olver.
James Reimer Gave Avs A Curfew, Shuts The Door
Chemmy talked about it in our last podcast but when the Leafs have a lead in the third and Optimus Reim is in net you get the feeling that the buds are going to find a way to win.
Game In Six
Luke Schenn's shift leading up to Tyler Bozak's goal was beautiful to watch. The strength, the confidence, the vision...yeah, this kid is good. Joffrey Lupul's assist on Phil Kessel's winner was the kind of thing we need to see more of from him. He seems to be bedding in well with Kessel but there's still a long way for that line to come before it is as good as the team needs it to be.
James Reimber Humbles You To Death
"How did the game feel?"
"I thought I played great" /BIG SMILE
"Because Ron said he thought you struggled with your rebound control..."
"Well, if he says so then it's so" /BIG SMILE
I know that the way players are in the spotlight does not necessarily reflect who they are as people but I cannot help but love James Reimer and want him to succeed even putting aside that he's a Leaf.
Ron Wilson Speaks To The Media
Isn't it weird what a nice guy Ron Wilson is when the team is winning?