February 16, 2012

Leafs Slip By The Oilers In OT

If you wanted to watch some old run 'n gun type of hockey lately then you should of focused on last night's game between the Leafs and Oilers. Nothing like stepping back in time and seeing two young teams who can skate like the wind and aren't afraid of making some mistakes along the way and play a fun game to watch.

With just 98 seconds into the game the Toronto Maple Leafs were up 2-0, more goals scored by them in the past two games (sorry Coach Wilson, just saying....). These beauties were scored by Jeffery Lupul, a nice snapper off the wing, and the second by Matthew Lombardi, who received a nice feed from Franson to break in on Oilers net minder Khabibulin and blow a shot by him at the 1:38 minute mark.

But only a minute or so later the Oilers Ben Eager snapped a shot past Reimer to narrow the lead to 2-1. Mr. Eager was a busy guy, for just 2 minutes later he was into some fisticuffs with the Leafs Mike Brown and by my view point he pulled that one off to for a winning TKO.

Going into the second wasn't much different than the second as both teams traded chances and came close to blowing the game wide open but with some stiller goal tending at both ends it remained 2-1 until roughly the half way mark when Taylor Hall blew by the Leafs who seemed to be standing watching this young gun take control as he shot his 20th of the year past a sprawling Reimer.

The Third period again wasn't much different as the first two periods, very entertaining to watch for the fans but for the coaches it was a nightmare filled with give aways thus causing any coach to throw in the towel and head for the nearest watering hole to sooth his sorrow. But the coaches remain behind their benches and watched the two teams battle and each score one a piece to keep it tied at 3-3. Jake Gardiner with a hard slapper from the point that blew through everyone including the K-wall. Then Jordon Eberle's snap shot tied it all up at the 15 minute mark to have the teams head into overtime.

The fast play didn't stop in overtime either and I felt it even picked up a bit more as both teams went end to end with their chances when finally at the 1:39 mark of OT after the Leafs Captain broke up a 3 on 1 by the Oilers, the Leafs turned it around and went back down the ice with their own 3 on 1 with Lupul leading the rush. As all the fans were standing and cheering the end to end action, Tim Connolly (remember him?) broke hard to the net and tipped in a perfect pass from Lupul to put the OT win away for your beloved Leafs.

Notes from the Game.

Oilers outshot the Leafs 32 to 26 while the Leafs went 1 for 4 on the power play. Mired in a 4 game losing streak and being outscored 10-1 the Leafs break out with 4 goals from 4 different players. With this victory for the Leafs it puts them in eighth three points ahead of ninth-place Washington.

Tim Connolly's dry spell of not scoring ended at the 17 game mark.

Jake Gardiner has played in 52 games so far this season the most in any of his career. Since John-Michael Liles has been back from injury he hasn't scored in 8 games and really hasn't helped on the power play for the Leafs either.

Final Note.

Past Leaf defenseman Bryan McCabe has decided to hang the blades up for good. Number 24 for the Leafs played 523 games for the Blue and White (most time spent with one club) mentioned the paperwork just needs to be filled out and will be doing some scouting for Florida.

Leafs are off to Vancouver to play the Canucks on Saturday 18th, game time 7pm eastern.

Until next time,

See you after the game

Coach Nye

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