Maple Leafs: If only Carlyle could figure out a way to score first every night
By Chris Savard
The Toronto Maple Leafs are now 11-0 when they score first. Tonight, they got on the board first and that paced them to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier made his eight consecutive start and it was likely his best game of the season. Bernier made 44 saves as he paced the Buds to their 14th win of the season.
Stoney Point - December 6, 2014 - The Toronto Maple Leafs are now 11-0 when they score first. Tonight, they got on the board first and that paced them to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier made his eight consecutive start and it was likely his best game of the season. Bernier made 44 saves as he paced the Buds to their 14th win of the season.
The Leafs got on the board first when Jake Gardiner was credited with a goal that Yannick Weber scored on his own net. Former Windsor Spitfire would make it 2-0 before then end of twenty minutes for the home team.
Peter Holland and Joffrey Lupul would make it 4-0 for Toronto before Vancouver would get their first goal from Daniel Sedin. The Leafs would take a 4-1 lead into the room after 40 minutes. The Canucks pulled starter Ryan Miller after Toronto's fourth goal, replacing him with Eddie Lack.
The Canucks would not roll over easily and made it a two goal game when Christopher Tanev would notch his first of the season at 8:45 into the third period. David Clarkson would seal the deal for the Maple Leafs with an empty net goal with 2:21 left in the game.
Vancouver outshot Toronto tonight 46-28. The Canucks went 0 for 6 with the man advantage and the Leafs went 0 for 3.
Leo Komarov and Brandon Kozun were the scratches for Toronto. Kozun did skate in the warm-up tonight for Toronto, leading to speculation that his return to the line-up is very close after his conditioning stint.
Phil Kessel had a productive game despite being rumoured to be playing through an injury. It is yet to be seen if Number 81 will get a few nights off to heal.
The Maple Leafs continue the homestand on Tuesday night when they play host to Bob Hartley’s Calgary Flames. The Canucks continue their road trip into the Nation’s Capital tomorrow when they take on the Ottawa Senators.
Toronto improved their season record to 14-9-3 on the season, moving their winning percentage to .580 on the year. If the playoffs were to begin today, the Leafs would sit in the first wildcard spot and would face the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh has swept the season series against Toronto, three games to none.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org