The Leafs came out of the gate with some jump last night and did a decent job taking it to Vancouver. Toronto outshot Vancouver 36-25 despite the Canucks having six power plays to Toronto's three. In the first period Toronto served four minor penalties to Vancouver's zero and still outshot the Canucks 13-12.
In the third period Toronto boxed Vancouver in their zone, cycled the puck well and looked to have Vancouver on the ropes. Wayne Primeau took a brainless boarding penalty but the Leafs maintained puck possession on the PK and continued hammering away at Luongo right up to the moment that Joey Mac was pulled at which point the Leafs gave up. Vancouver missed the net three times and hit the post twice with the empty net and Toronto still couldn't capitalize on their good luck and set up in the Canucks' zone.
Joey MacDonald looked solid last night, for our third string goaltender he gave us 60 minutes of serviceable goaltending with a few great saves sprinkled in. That paid immediate benefits for our PK who gave up two power play goals at the end of the first when the Leafs were assessed four minor penalties in a span of about eleven minutes.
For the second time this season, the Leafs were still in a game as the clock ran out and a night like tonight makes Burke's acquisition of Phil Kessel obvious. Luongo and the Canucks defense didn't have anything to worry about from the Leafs. Phil Kessel would have played six minutes on the PP last night and in all likelihood would have changed the outcome of last night's game dramatically.
Let's hope the Leafs build on this effort and at least work hard and battle to stay in games. The start of this season was hard because the Leafs looked untalented and unmotivated. With any luck the Leafs are turning a corner. They've been playing better with every game but now need to look towards Monday's opponent: Anaheim. The Leafs will be shooting on another stingy netminder in Jonas Hiller. Let's hope the offense starts firing.