Maple Leafs remain in Playoff conversation with trouncing of Capitals
By Chris Savard
Jonathan Bernier got his fifth consecutive start on Saturday night as the Toronto Maple Leafs played host to the Washington Capitals. Bernier has had some slow starts to games this season as he has given up a goal in the first two minutes of the game on four different occasions. On this night, Bernier wouldn’t give up an early goal and made 35 saves as the Leafs pounded the Caps 6-2.
Stoney Point - November 30, 2014 - Jonathan Bernier got his fifth consecutive start on Saturday night as the Toronto Maple Leafs played host to the Washington Capitals. Bernier has had some slow starts to games this season as he has given up a goal in the first two minutes of the game on four different occasions. On this night, Bernier wouldn’t give up an early goal and made 35 saves as the Leafs pounded the Caps 6-2.
Head coach Randy Carlyle made some adjustments to his powerplay and it paid dividends as the Buds went 3 for 4 with the man advantage. Cody Franson, Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul each tallied while Washington was a man down.
Morgan Rielly opened the scoring for the Leafs at 14:15 of the first frame with his third of the year. Franson would score his goal as mentioned earlier to give the home team a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Toronto continued their strong play in the second outscoring Washington 3-1 in the period. Bozak had two goals in the frame, while David Clarkson notched his seventh of the season. Troy Brouwer scored on the powerplay for the Capitals.
The Caps pushed hard in the third, outshooting the Maple Leafs 14-5. Tom Wilson scored to make the game 5-2 and then Lupul scored on a third period powerplay to secure the victory for the Blue and White.
The Leafs’ homestand continues when they host the Dallas Stars at the ACC on Tuesday night.
Randy Carlyle - When the Leafs started the season 0-2, there were a lot of people calling for Carlyle’s head. In October, I wrote that Carlyle would need 12 wins by November 30th to keep his job. I am sure it is strictly coincidence but last night was the Leafs twelfth win of the season on November 29th.
Playoff Hunt - This morning the Maple Leafs sit in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, however their .586 record would currently secure them the second wildcard spot. If the playoffs were to start today, the Leafs would take on the Pittsburgh Penguins who have already swept the season series against Toronto.
Pat Quinn - The Maple Leafs held a nice tribute before the game to former Head coach Pat Quinn who passed away this week due to illness. The irish music was a nice backdrop to the video tribute. Nicely done…you will be missed Pat.
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 email@example.com