Pens Vs Leafs Grades
Thatâ€™s a great way to thank the fans for their patience.
Even Strength Offense: F
Absolutely nothing was working. The transition game was especially brutal. They just never could get through center ice with any speed. One pass after another went awry, leading to at least two goals by Toronto. This was one of those game where youâ€™d be tempted to just use the third and fourth lines because at least they were working hard and doing things the right way. They did manage one even strength goal on a beautiful outlet pass from the Duperstar to Sid. Other than that, it was pretty much fruitless flailing the rest of the night..
Even Strength Defense: D
The overall defense was bad, but some of that was because of the horrendous giveaways that led to scoring chances. Everything they did well the first two games went right out the window last night. Most of the forwards were not defensively responsible last night, keyed by the Malkin line which was a combined -9.
Power Play: C
The power play was generally awful all night, though they did manage to score in the first period. They only managed 8 shots in almost 8 minutes of time, and few of those were high quality. The leafs seemed to force Neal more toward the point, rather than the high slot, and heâ€™s not as effective back there. But for the most part, it was an effort thing. They again just never managed to get things set up because they were losing all the puck battles.
Penalty Kill: B
They gave up a garbage time power play goal late, but otherwise looked good. They killed 50 seconds of 5-on-3, and generally kept the Toronto PP at bay all night.
Fleury really didnâ€™t have much chance on any of the goals and did make a couple of dazzling saves as his team sleep-walked through the second period.
What an embarrassing way to start the home season. While they excelled on the road playing simplified hockey, they decided they had to put on a show for the home crowd. That played right into Torontoâ€™s hands. The pens continually turned the puck over in bad areas, and the Leafs used their speed to take advantage of it. The effort wasnâ€™t there. The concentration wasnâ€™t there. Nothing was there.
And now, the rest of the storyâ€¦
He scored one and set up one, but his play on the power play wasnâ€™t good at all. He had several wayward passes.
He also scored one and set up one. oh wait, the one he set up was a Toronto goal by VanRiemsdyk. That was one beautiful pass he made. That play was just one of many on the way to a -3 night.
Kris Letang: C
VanRiemsdyk blew by him along the boards to set up Torontoâ€™s second goal. I have no idea what he was thinking there.
James Neal: AF
Invisible, except in the minus column, where he showed up three times.
Brandon Sutter: C
Heâ€™s gonna fit right in. He had a great backcheck to prevent a likely goal, but he also had a wide open shot where he decided to pass. That, my friends, is Pittsburgh Penguin Ice Hockey. It only took him three games to catch on.
Eric Tangradi: GR
Thatâ€™s for good riddance. Talk about making the least of a great opportunity. He had the horrible giveaway at the blue line that led to the first goal and got only two shifts the rest of the game. Thatâ€™s two more than he should ever get in this organization from this day forward. The guy cannot skate well enough to play on this team. And he certainly doesnâ€™t think the game well enough to overcome that deficiency.
Chris Kunitz: F
While both the penalties were debatable in my mind, to hit the second guy the same way that drew the penalty is just plain stupid.
The Third D Pairing: F
Iâ€™m sorry, but itâ€™s obvious Bylsma has no trust in either Engelland or Despres. They are both averaging about 10 minutes a game, while the top four are at 20 to 26 minutes. Those guys will wear down if they have to play that much.
Did you know the first Super Bowl was played the same year as the Leafs last won the Cup?
Nazem Kadri: D
For diver. He drew one penalty on Engelland when Engo barely touched him with his stick. Then his stick went flying when Cooke hacked down on it a little bit.
There was a seasonâ€™s worth of Buffoonery in this one. Apparently there is a rule change that allows you to tackle star players during scoring chances, as happened to geno at least twice. I must have missed that one. Then, after that happens, we go to the other end, where if you dared to breathe on a saintly Maple Leaf, off you go.
Bibsyâ€™s Tortured English
â€œCrosby is 10 for 5 on faceoffs. Oh wait, he just lost that one so heâ€™s now 9 and 6.â€ I donâ€™t even want to try to decipher that.
Ice Clown of the Game
Mike Komisarek. he has mastered the art of letting someone hit him from behind then flopping into the boards.
He buried Komisarek twice, only to get penalized both times.
Tanner Glass nailed some guy named Komarov.
To all the fans who stayed to the bitter end.
Iâ€™m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.