I had no idea what to expect Thursday night at the ACC. I mean, the Leafs were hardly coming into this one on a roll. But Lupul guaranteed a win, right? So you had to know he and his teammates at least intended to come out flying.
They started nicely, only giving up a handful of shots in the opening frame, and getting a goal from their fourth line (Bodie). Now, as the evening progressed, we started giving up some time and space. They were still playing reasonably well, but Toronto did slip into a bit of the ‘Keystone Kops’ routine in our own zone at times.
Reimer was suddenly seeing more shots, and eventually Gunner couldn't get the puck out. We started running around, fatigued, and Reimer gave up one (was it deflected somehow?) that he may well have wanted back with about five minutes left.
But let’s focus on some positives:
- I thought Franson showed some of the offensive spark that we all know he can provide from the back end
- You’ve got to be a confident player to try what Kadri did late in the third period when he dangled and set up Kessel for what was nearly the game-winner. Wow.
- While I’ve seen Reimer put up some more dynamic performances (and yes, that late goal stung), c’mon, given that he ended up facing 35 shots and the team was coming off a miserable week of games—the win against Chicago aside—I feel he more than did his job.
- Clarkson must have been doing something right—the coach played him for close to 22 minutes.
- It’s becoming hard to ignore that if Holland gets to play, he can make a contribution.
- Phaneuf played 28 minutes and led the team in hits by a wide margin.
- I’m always confident with Reimer in a shoot-out. We won’t always win, but I always feel as though he will give us a chance to win.
It’s a time to think positively, so there you have it. It was a win—and two badly needed points.
By all means share some of the positives you noticed (and anything else on your mind)…