Leafs: Lost in Chicago, Won vs. Ducks

The Maple Leafs now sit at 7-3 following their win tonight over the Anaheim Ducks. RW Phil Kessel scored 3 goals.

The Maple Leafs now sit at 7-3 following their win tonight over the Anaheim Ducks. RW Phil Kessel scored 3 goals.

BY:Jeff Schneberk

I am from Hamilton, but I act like I am from Toronto. When the Leafs win, I am on top of the world, when they lose, I would rather not talk about it. I still haven’t seen any replays of the goal that killed them in the Game 7 travesty in Beantown that night a long time ago.

When Leafs took a trip to Chicago on Saturday, I balanced with about 6 US College football games that were on that day. Surprisingly, Leafs were my only team that did not win their game that night. How it is possible that that team, as loaded as they are, could only muster up 1 measly goal, is beyond me.

What made it even worse is knowing that none of Chicago’s big guns did any damage. Three goals, no Kane or Toews, or Sharp, or Hossa. Just Nick Leddy with a couple assists and Brandon Purri with 1g, 1a.

Nothing wonderful happened that night, obviously, saw their record drop to 6-3. New goaltender Jonathan Bernier did not have one of those nights to remember like he did a week or so back in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Brian Bickell beat him on the insurance goal that never should have happened, but anyways, they lost, it’s over, let’s move on…
…to tonight, where the 6-3 Leafs came back home to re-acquaint themselves with the somewhat friendly confines of the ACC. It was anything but comfortable for the first 20 minutes or so. 1-0 Anaheim on a goal by Nick Bonino (who?) and then when it looked like it was gonna be a real long night for Leafs fans again, Matthieu Perrault scored to make it 2-0. Anyone who knows this Leafs team knows that, at times, when they trail by two goals or more, it may be a sign to head for the exits (not like I have ever done that of course 

Seriously, I haven’t, and I find it funny watching people who do because anyone who left tonight’s game this early because they feared the worst, probably feels like a complete idiot now….because….you missed a PHIL KESSEL HATTY!

A what? Who what why where when? Lol.

For the first time since last winter ( I was going to say 10-15 years but Nazem Kadri did it on Long Island last winter), a Maple Leafs players scored three goals…..in the same game!

I’m not sure what is the bigger highlight for the Buds…to have a player perform that feat, or to win the game??!

I’ll take both. Kessel’s trick did the trick and it was too much for the visiting Ducks to fight back, and they were moreless done like dinner from that point on. Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were basically non-existent tonight. The other Leaf to get his name on the score sheet was Captain Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf has been the victim of a lot of heat over the past couple days, couple weeks, even couple years. That is known to happen around Toronto. Kessel’s hatty gave him five goals on the season.

The other thing that doesn’t happen very often around Toronto unless it’s the other team doing it (talking about hatty’s) is the penalty shot. I just perfected my penalty-shot tactics on the Xbox 360, and it’s still hard to watch, but there was a penalty shot in Toronto tonight. James van Riemsdyk was the recipient. Joe Bowe, or whoever was calling the game from the pressbox, mentioned that he made a “cute move” when he went in for the shot.

Can anyone please tell me what the hell a “cute move” on a penalty shot is? A backhand effort is a perfectly legitimate choice when taking a penalty shot, isn’t it?

Maybe Mr. Announcer was as bored as some of us were after that dreadful opening period in which Leafs were outshot by a margin of 6-2. And they trailed 1-0.

Part of Anaheim’s self-destruction saw them blow a golden opportunity to go ahead when they were given a 5-on-3 opportunity for 87 seconds late in the second period.

It was the Ducks’ first defeat since a season-opening 6-1 loss in Colorado. Anaheim arrived in Toronto on a seven-game win streak, tied for the longest in club history (set previously between Feb. 20 and March 7, 1999). Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller had Leaf fans screaming at the TV sets for more than half of the game, but he was probably the one screaming as Leafs got the better of him in the end. The Ducks are now 3-12-4 at the ACC and Hiller is a dismal 0-4-0 against Toronto.
The last time the two clubs met, a 5-2 Toronto win at the Honda Center on Nov. 27, 2011, Randy Carlyle was behind the Ducks’ bench. He was fired three days later and replaced by Bruce Boudreau.

Steve Yzerman and Peter Chiarelli of the Canadian Olympic team brain trust took in the game. … Anaheim continues its road trip Thursday in Montreal and Friday in Ottawa. … The Leafs will finally get forward David Clarkson back from his 10-game suspension on Friday in Columbus.

Leafs next take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night at 7pm. The game is being broadcast on LeafsTV. The following night, Leafs return to the ACC to host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.



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