If you’re a Toronto Maple Leafs or Detroit Red Wings fan, you had Friday’s game circled on your calendar. The first of a home and home weekend series between two old rivals was sure to be an entertaining affair. The Leafs came out with all cylinders firing, and for a good part of the first period the play was in the Detroit zone.
Windsor - October 18, 2014 - If you’re a Leafs or Wings fan, you had Friday’s game circled on your calendar. The first of a home and home weekend series between two old rivals was sure to be an entertaining affair. And when the puck dropped, the waiting was over.
The Leafs came out with all cylinders firing, and for a good part of the first period the play was in the Detroit zone.
Then Henrik Zetterberg went to work.
On an innocent looking play, Leafs defender Roman Polak blew a tire, and by the time he recovered, Zetterberg made a perfect pass to the Mule, Johan Franzen. 1-0 Wings. Then he did it again; another pass to Franzen to make it 2-0. Hank Z would go on to set up two more goals, and end the night with four points. (quick, take him in your hockey pool.)
From the Leafs standpoint, they pretty much left goalie James Reimer to twist in the wind, not offering much defensive support. And speaking of Reimer, did anyone else notice Sportsnet commentator Paul Romanuk call him “Reemer” in the second period, or was it just me?
On a couple of positive notes, Jake Gardiner returned to the line-up after being a healthy scratch for two games, and he played well. And the third line of Clarkson, Santorelli, and Komarov was the best of the bunch, with Santorelli scoring the only Leafs goal. The top line of Kessel, Bozak and JVR had chances, but couldn’t beat Jimmy Howard, who played a great road game. As for the second line of Kadri, Lupul, and Winnik, let’s hope they have a little more success Saturday night. Otherwise, fans may be asking them to “Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
In a nutshell, this was a bad game for the Buds. Not only did they lose the game, it’s possible they’ve lost Brandon Kozun, who left the game in the second period. Kozun was hit cleanly by Kyle Quincy, and landed very awkwardly. Commentators called it the famous “lower body injury”, which is apparently the result of your leg being bent behind your left ear as you land on your backside. Here’s hoping Kozun is a fast healer.
Note to Cody Franson, who looked like he was daydreaming on a couple of the Wings goals: feel free to tie up anybody not wearing blue and white. Franson looked lost on at least two of Detroit’s goals, and if he’s not careful, he may find himself on the Randy Carlyle Tough Love Press Box Express.
In closing, don’t blame Reimer, he had no support on this night. It’s time for the Leafs to get it together. Otherwise, it’s no longer a rivalry. It’s just another game.
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