Maple Leafs roll over Islanders in second, secure victory
By Chris Savard
While it might be cliché to call tonight’s game a must win for the Toronto Maple Leafs, however falling to 2-5 with a loss to the New York Islanders was not a desirable outcome. The Leafs powered by a four goal second period came out of Long Island with a 5-2 victory.
Stoney Point - October 21, 2014 - While it might be cliché to call tonight’s game a must win for the Toronto Maple Leafs, however falling to 2-5 with a loss to the New York Islanders was not a desirable outcome. The Leafs powered by a four goal second period came out of Long Island with a 5-2 victory.
This was a game that the Islanders seemed to control for all but about eight minutes in the second period. Last season, the Isles won only 13 games on home ice.
Line-Ups -Matt Frattin and Carter Ashton were healthy scratches for the Leafs tonight. The Buds dressed seven defencemen and 11 forwards. David Booth and Brandon Kozun are both on the IR list.
Phil Kessel - Tallied two goals and a assist and was flying most of the night. When Brian Burke traded for number 81, he was quoted as saying, “I don’t know what the draft picks will do but I know Kessel will score 30 every year.” True statement. He has 26 more to go this year.
Jonathan Bernier - Registered his first win of the season and stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced, including 17 in the third. Looked really confident between the pipes.
Roman Polak - Recorded his first goal in Blue and White and stood up for teammate Joffrey Lupul early in the second.
David Clarkson - Another solid night for Clarkson. He scored a nice goal off the cycle in the second and was a contributor all evening.
Mike Santorelli - Strong performance and picks up two assists.
What was he thinking? - Not only was Nazem Kadri invisible tonight in his 13 minutes of ice time, he made a stupid comment before the game, when talking about John Tavares. He was quoted as saying “Talent-wise, there’s not too much difference, to be honest.” The two former London Knight roommates are only 16 days different in age, but Isles fans are definitely more pleased with the development of number 91 versus that of number 43 in Toronto.
The Maple Leafs returned to a familiar pattern of giving up close to 40 shots in a game. New York registered 36 shots on net tonight.
Randy Carlyle will need to get his team better able to defend a lead. Up 5-2 in the third, the Leafs were outshot 17-5. Thankfully, Bernier had a good night.
Scary image of Thomas Hickey catching the skate in the face. Thankfully he was wearing a visor. Here’s hoping it is not as serious as it looked.
The slew foot attempt by Cal Clutterbuck on Lupul. I enjoy watching Clutterbuck throw his weight around but there is no room for these cheap shots.
Jaroslav Halak gave up four goals on 10 shots in eight minutes in the second. Tough night for the former Hab.
Game Notes -
John Tavares - buried his third goal of the year and league leading 10th point of the season. Over the summer, I received some ridicule from HometownHockey.ca readers for my suggestion that JT would be one of three 100 point scorers this season. With 10 points in 6 games, the former first overall pick is on pace for 137.
Brooklyn Islanders - This is the last season for the Isles in the Nassau County Coliseum. Lots of history in that old barn.
The first New York goal was offside. How do the linsemen keep missing these calls?
I am not a fan of the backlit rink boards – find them distracting. Leafs fans will likely see it again tomorrow night.
These New York Islanders are no longer one of the worst teams in the NHL. General Manager Garth Snow has done a good job assembling this team who will soon will have young OHL stars Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho Sang to add to the mix.
Next Game - The Maple Leafs continue their road trip with a game in the Nation’s Capital tomorrow night against the Ottawa Senators. Look for James Reimer to get the nod in net for this instalment of the Battle of Ontario.
In 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 firstname.lastname@example.org