In somewhat of an understatement, the current Toronto Maple Leafs road trip has not been kind to the boys. After the sixth of a seven game road trip, their longest of the season, the Buds have only managed four of a possible twelve points. In their defense, this road trip has been brutal, and after a match in Winnipeg Saturday night, they will have played five games in seven nights.
Windsor - January 3, 2015 - In somewhat of an understatement, the current Maple Leafs road trip has not been kind to the boys. After the sixth of a seven game road trip, their longest of the season, the Buds have only managed four of a possible twelve points. In their defense, this road trip has been brutal, and after a match in Winnipeg Saturday night, they will have played five games in seven nights.
Starting in goal Friday night in Minnesota were Jonathan Bernier (15-9-3) and Darcy Kuemper (13-11-0) a couple of evenly matched goalies in the GAA and SP departments. Both played well in the first, and kept the game scoreless. One of the Leafs highlights came when Bernier robbed Marco Scandella with a great glove save during a Minnesota power play.
Early in the second period it looked like the Leafs had gone ahead 1-0 on a Mike Santorelli shot, but the referee ruled that Leafs forward David Clarkson interfered with Kuemper, and the goal was waved off. Minnesota scored when Charlie Coyle directed a shot towards the Leafs net that bounced off Kyle Brodziak’s skate, and the teams went to the dressing rooms with the Wild leading 1-0 after two.
Nearly three minutes into the third, the Leafs made the best of a two man advantage, tying the game when Cody Franson scored on the power play. Assists went to James van Riemsdyk and Dion Phaneuf. That would be as close as the Leafs would get, as a few minutes later, Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon caught the Leafs snoozing, pinched into the play, and blasted a slapshot past Bernier to make it 2-1. Mikko Koivu added a power play goal to give the Wild a 3-1 win.
Random Game Notes
Leafs were without Joffrey Lupul (this is a recording), Peter Holland, and Nazem Kadri, all out with injuries. Gregg McKegg got the call up from the Marlies to replace Kadri.
Phil Kessel started in his 403 consecutive game as a Leaf. And speaking of Kessel, he took a slash to the wrist from Scandella, and when no penalty was called he chirped to three of the four on-ice officials and was promptly dispatched to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, ending any hope of a Leafs comeback.
In the third, James van Riemsdyk took a puck in the chops and went to the dressing room. But to make Don Cherry proud, he did return to the game.
Three stars were Kuemper, Koivu and Spurgeon.
On the bright side, Team Canada beat Denmark 8-0 and will play Slovakia Sunday night.