Mike Babcock made his return to the Motor City Friday night along with his new team, but it was his old team that spoiled the party. In a highly anticipated matchup, the Detroit Red Wings hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Joe Louis Arena and came out on the winning end of a 4-0 score.
Windsor - October 10, 2015 - Mike Babcock made his return to the Motor City Friday night along with his new team, but it was his old team that spoiled the party. In a highly anticipated matchup, the Detroit Red Wings hosted the Leafs at the Joe Louis Arena and came out on the winning end of a 4-0 score. The Leafs, who competed hard against the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night, couldn’t get anything going Friday night. While there were bright spots throughout the game, it was pretty evident that Babcock and his coaching staff have a lot of work to do.
For the second time in two games, Jonathan Bernier gave up a goal on the first shot of the contest. If the Leafs are going to right the ship, that needs to stop. Bernier needs to improve, and while he played well against the Habs, he’s going to need to play like a number one goalie. After giving up an early goal (20 seconds in) to start the second, on the first shot of the period(again), Bernier was thankfully pulled in favor of James Reimer. Reimer surrendered only one goal in the nearly two periods he played.
There were many defensive gaffes throughout the game. Gardiner, Marincin, Reilly, and Harrington all made bad decisions, pinching without coverage, and turning the puck over, leading to two Wings goals. Most of the Leafs looked uninspired, and for this game, I expected a much better effort. The Leafs took undisciplined penalties (Lupul, Phaneuf), and that needs to be addressed as well.
On the bright side, Leafs forwards Shawn Matthias and Peter Holland played well, and had some good scoring chances but just couldn’t capitalize. Leafs fans will need to find some positives, and should look forward to watching both of them develop. We were warned that it’s going to be painful, so let’s hope that over the next few games the positives will start to outweigh the negatives that we saw Friday night.
Otherwise, it’s going to be a long season.