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Maple Leafs 3 v. Islanders 4 (OT): Unacceptable

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Glove save too.
Glove save too.

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

Game Summary | Event Summary | Lighthouse Hockey Recap


The best thing that can be said about tonight's game is that the Maple Leafs picked up a point before losing 4-3 to the New York Islanders. James Reimer made 36 saves to save a point for a listless team. He got a fair bit of luck as the Islanders hit four goalposts. He also stopped a Matt Martin penalty shot right after he had stopped Matt Martin's breakaway. Funny how he got his chance off and still got a penalty shot but that's what happens when Gord Dwyer and Stephen Walkom do Leafs' games.

The post-game interviews with the players were instructive, encouraging, and disillusioning all at once. Ron Wilson noted that already slim playoff hopes were dented as a result of the team's best players not being their best players on the night. The players, including Clarke MacArthur and Keith Aulie were visibly upset (not that they were crying like the Heat) at the team's performance. Those that spoke to the media made it clear that they realised that they knew that their performance was unacceptable. The dispiriting part is obviously that they were so poor to begin with. After they tied the game at 2-2 late in the second they came out strong in the third...for about five minutes. Then they went back to being overrun by the Islanders until they were once again behind. At the end of the day, the Leafs were lucky to get a point. The Sabres opened the door with a loss but all the Leafs could do was squeeze a foot in for now.

Quick Hits

  1. Carl Gunnarsson played 29:44 which was the most of any defenceman. That includes 8 minutes against John Tavares. That's also the most of any defenceman. He ended the night with 2 hits, 4 blocked shots, and an even rating.
  2. Phil Kessel's two game point drought ended with an assist on Nikolai Kulemin's 25th goal of the season. He was also a + 2. Doug McLean will be happy to see Kessel 'salvaged'.
  3. Brett Lebda and Mike Komisarek ice-time in single digits. Until the end of the seaon the real defencemen can handle the load. Next year is an entirely different proposition. Burke's summer job has to involve finding NHL defencemen for the third pairing.
  4. The Leafs now have three forwards in the top 25 for goals. Their ages: 23 (Kessel), 24 (Kulemin), 27 (Grabovski).
  5. The Leafs now have three forwards in the top 50 for scoring. Their ages: 23 (Kessel), 25 (MacArthur), 27 (Grabovski).
  6. For all of Steve Buffery's talk of James Reimer being tired he certainly didn't look it.
  7. I don't know what it'll take for Tyler Bozak to shoot but the Leafs have to figure it out. He's far too predictable.
  8. Keith Aulie's first career NHL goal came on a pretty smart play. It gave him some visible confidence with the puck as he pulled a Kaberle spin in the third to pull away from a forechecker.
  9. The Leafs responded to the Isles' first and third goals very quickly. It's a shame they decided they were better than the Islanders for most of the game.

Game in Six and Wilson's presser after the jump.

Game In Six

Ron Wilson Press Conference