Recap: Toronto Maple Leafs v.s. New York Rangers
It’s a good thing there are no shootouts during the playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have yet to win a game in shootouts this year. For the fifth time this season, they lost in shootouts Wednesday night, and, they did so without even scoring a goal.
The New York Rangers must have known they were about to win. All they had to do was hold on during overtime. Then it was a gimmie.
But since there aren’t any shootouts in the playoffs, let’s just forget them altogether. Instead, let’s take note that Phil Kessel scored twice, again.
Kessel had both goals for the Leafs Wednesday night in their 3-2 loss to the Rangers in New York, which followed their 4-3 win at home two nights before. Kessel had two goals then, too.
Clearly, he’s on one of his little streaks. My hope is that this one does not die out and lead into one of his countless droughts, especially with the playoffs around the corner.
The Leafs will be in good shape if they can count on goals coming from Kessel in the playoffs. But how likely is that? I’m not too sure. He’s a weak player and the playoffs are tough. Not for the faint of heart.
The game itself? Well, let’s just skip the first period altogether, as well. What a bore, right?
Things picked up a bit in the second period, with two goals from the Rangers after Kessel, I mean the Leafs, took a 1-0 lead.
But that second goal from the Rangers, to go up 2-1, well, c’mon! ref, get out of the way! You can’t blame the ref too much, though, when you really think about it.
Those guys got a tough gig, he had nowhere to go, and Liles shot it right at him. It happens. It’s what you do afterwards that counts and the Leafs did nothing. The Rangers had the better chances nearing the end of the game.
But there was Reimer doing his thing again to get the Leafs at least a point. Too bad he’s horrible in the shootouts and gets absolutely no support in them, either.
Even though we lost, there’s some hope to be found in this game for the Leafs: Kessel is streaking, and may even carry it into the playoffs. Reimer, meanwhile, is continuing to show that he’s the man for the job.
I’m feeling more and more comfortable with him backstopping the buds as we head into the playoffs.
Reimer stopped 26 of 28 shots. On his first goal allowed, his team was running around like chickens with their heads cut off. He made multiple saves before Hagelin was left with an open net.
On the Rangers’ second, the “ref goal,” the Leafs had another defensive zone breakdown – and, on top of it, screened their own goalie! That helps. Not.
It’s OK, though – although the season is almost done, we still have plenty of time to pull these loose ends (and by that I mean our D-zone collapses) together.
Go Leafs Go. Cheers.
The lapses, and the "ref goal."....