When you're hot, you're hot, and right now the Leafs as a whole are like the tip of a blue flame. Not only has the team won five games in a row, but several of the players are also firing on all cylinders right now. Phil Kessel extended his personal point streak to 6 games scoring at an even 2.0 ppg pace in that span, and everyone's favorite trade piece Nazem Kadri now has 5pts in the last 3 games. Not too shabby. With that win, the Leafs are now on pace for 92pts and looking to look up that second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Everyone's second favorite trade piece, Jake Gardiner, opened the scoring about jumping up into the play and putting home a rebound from a Phil Kessel shot. You gotta like seeing Gardiner getting active in the offense like this considering all the talk from Carlyle about wanting Jake to simplify his game. Late in the first, Kessel came off the half boards on the powerplay and put a nice wrister through the wickets of both JVR and Olympian Mike Smith.
In the second, Carl Gunnarsson scored his first of the season (leaving Mark Fraser the only Leafs dman with at least 10 games played and no goals. Shocking.) after leaving the points and jumping up into the zone once he recognized the Coyotes had a delayed penalty. Really heady play by Gunnarsson. That's the kind of stuff coaches love to point out to their players.
After that, the Leafs went into full on shell mode (after a pretty even first 25 minutes), and we bailed out by Bernier in the final 35 minutes of hockey. The third period saw 4 Phoenix penalties take away their chance at a win, with Nazem Kadri making it 4-1 on the third Coyote penalty. On their fourth penalty, the Coyotes scored a shortie to make it 4-2, and a had a few flourishes in the closing minutes but Bernier shut the door.
All in all, a prototypical win for the 2013-14; score early, score often, hang on to your stellar goaltending for dear life.