If only every game could be this easy. The Leafs roll past the (surprisingly) under-performing Tampa Bay Lightning 7-1, sound familiar? A very complete game from the Leafs tonight. Gustavsson only allows one and I would think he gets the start vs the Stars on Friday. So let’s get to all the Good and Bad stuff.
- Tim Connolly had a fantabulous game tonight with 1 goal and 2 assists and is now a point per game player with 10 points in 10 games played. If he can stay relatively healthy the rest of the year, he could put out a career year.
- Earlier I said that Tyler Bozak“has performed admirably”. Well I take that back after tonight. Tyler Bozak has been AWESOME. He had 2 goals and added an assist tonight. He has really stepped up in that 1st line role. He’s not the ideal #1 but if he keeps it up, he’ll change my mind.
- Matt Frattin was all over the ice tonight. He had 2 assists, including a beauty on Colborne’s first of his NHL career. He was using his speed very well all game and created many chances for him and Colborne and Crabb. He basically made Crabb’s goal as well.
- I’ll take a line out of Pierre McGuire’s book: “I can’t get enough of this (Jake Gardiner) kid!” He was great tonight. He showed off his puck moving ability, his smooth defensive game and his hockey smarts on Clarke MacAthur’s goal. He has been terrific this year and he continued it tonight.
- This is now 2 straight games in which Jonas Gustavsson has back-stopped the Leafs to a 7-1 win. Obviously he can’t get those 7 goals but he put in another strong game stopping 27 of 28 and was there when he was needed. Like I said before he deserves the start vs. Dallas on Friday.
- Luke Schenn put together yet another strong, quiet performance tonight. Getting 18:49 of ice-time and a +3. I said he could maintain his strong play and he did it again tonight.
- Congratulations to Joe Colborne on his first NHL goal. Not the nicest of goals (just ask Bozak about his), but hey, I don’t think he cares how he gets it. His family loves the Leafs and you can bet he’ll be making a few phone calls home.
- Welcome back, Clarke MacArthur! Back into the lineup after missing a couple due to injury. He deflected in his 7th of the year. Then he got a high-stick to the mouth from Victor Hedman. Welcome back, CMac…
- The whole damn team
- None. I don’t want to take anything bad from this game. Sure they gave up a goal, but it was on the PK so no one got a minus and Gustavsson got a huge piece of it. Maybe they could cut down the penalties? That’s about it, I guess…
Oh, one last thing. The play when Malone hit Gustavsson outside of the crease from behind, but there was no call. You could then see the ref saying to Gustavsson “No, no you were out of the crease” Didn’t they just change the rule? Correct me if I’m wrong, please. I was just confused. It wasn’t a hard hit, and the Leafs won anyway so, it’s not that big of a deal anymore but it just confused me is all.
Well, that’s all folks. A great game all around from the Leafs as they improve to 12-8-2 and are 1st in the Northeast division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference. Let’s hope that stands until Friday when the Leafs play again.
My Twitter: @BShawSports27.