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Title - Chris Savard
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Maple Leafs top line steps up, leads team to OT win
By Chris Savard
HometownHockey.ca

Maple Leafs top line steps up, leads team to OT win
The Colorado Avalanche went into tonight’s game looking for their fifth consecutive win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. It was not meant to be as Phil Kessel scored 34 seconds into overtime to give the Leafs their second win in as many games.
PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com

Stoney Point - October 14, 2014 - The Colorado Avalanche went into tonight’s game looking for their fifth consecutive win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. It was not meant to be as Phil Kessel scored 34 seconds into overtime to give the Leafs their second win in as many games.

Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov had the best road record in the 2013-14 Season and he was strong again tonight with a .949 save percentage. Last season, the Leafs were 2-28-3 when trailing after two periods and controlled both the third and overtime tonight.

The Maple Leafs are now 2-2 on the season and the Avalanche fall to 1-3. Colorado has struggled to score this season, registering just four goals in four games.

It was a very entertaining game and Toronto will carry some much needed momentum into their weekend set with Detroit. Of note, there were no jerseys thrown on the ice tonight.

Line-Ups -Defenseman Jake Gardiner was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. Carter Ashton and Matt Frattin were also scratched for Toronto. Jesse Winchester, Zach Redmond and Ryan Wilson didn’t dress for Colorado.

The Good

- Tyler Bozak. He has now registered at least a point in all four of the Maple Leafs games so far this season. Added a goal and an assist to his stats tonight.

- Joffrey Lupul. One of the best players in Blue and White tonight. Lead the team with 6 hits and tallied the tying goal.

- David Clarkson. He has switched to a full visor from the cage he wore in the first three games. He almost looked like the player that Toronto hoped he would be when they brought him in last year. His big hit in the third on Jan Hejda seemed to turn the momentum in Toronto’s favour.

- Morgan Rielly. Nothing major from a stats perspective, but this kid looks really good. A CHL draft pick, by the way Don.

- James Reimer. Solid night with 22 saves.

- Kessel and James Van Riemsdyk extend their scoring streak to two games. Not long streaks, but a step in the right direction

The Bad

- How does Matt Duchene get that open in the slot on the second Colorado goal? Kessel missed his assignment as he drifted back to his own zone and didn’t pick up Kessel.

- Stephane Robidas. Yikes! Thirteen seconds into the game he got caught and had to take a bad penalty. Three minutes into the third he gave up an ugly giveaway to Duchene. In his defence, he did throw a nice hit in the third.

- Powerplay. Maple Leafs went 0 for 5 with the man advantage. Clearly, work needs to be done here.

The Ugly

- Why did the linsemen break up the fight between Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla before it could get started? I doubt there were many who were not looking forward to seeing the tussle between the two former Calgary Flame teammates. Apparently, it is a new mandate for linsemen.

- Cody McLeod’s ugly attempt to injure, knee on knee against Rielly. Thankfully, he missed.

Game Notes:
- Leafs were out hit 26-25 through the first two periods. The hits ended up 37-34 in Toronto’s favour.
- Colorado seems to be missing C Paul Stastny. Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan O’Reilly spent a lot of time on the wings last season and that appears to be a void for Colorado thus far.


Next Game:
The Maple Leafs begin a home and home with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night when they host Detroit at the ACC. Saturday, the Buds travel to the Motor City for the back half of the series.

Follow Us on TwitterIn his lifetime, Chris Savard has spent time as both an elected official and a hot air balloon pilot. As such, FULL OF HOT AIR seemed to be an appropriate name for this column. Savard will provide his thoughts on a number of topics including hockey on this site, as well as politics and local issues on OurHometown.ca. His opinion combined with $1.60 will buy you a medium coffee at Tim's! You can email him at csavard@ourhometown.ca



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