Friday, October 21, 2011
Bruins maul the Maple Leafs
This had the making of a blow out. Boston had played a stinker in Carolina just a couple nights before and were in an ugly mood. The game was in Boston which has been unfriendly territory for the Leafs. James Reimer was being rested in favour of Jonas Gustavsson. Phil Kessel does not play well against his former team.
Those over-engaged Leafs fans are probably already jumping off the bandwagon. But let's face it this was just one game. With Gustavsson playing his first game in a while and the Leafs taking the night off it could have been uglier. There is still some uncertainty about whether Gustavsson can cut it as an NHL backup. So too bad his team abandoned him because it would have been good to see how he will perform in a game where his teammates decide to show up. This loss could not be pinned on him. You also cannot blame Mike Komisarek who spent the night in the press box.
Phil Kessel who has been red hot this season was not a factor. Playing against his old team certainly has a negative effect on him. Players are going to have an off night once in a while. In the past Kessel has had far too many so let's hope this is not going to be a frequent occurence. But where were his teammates? Kessel and Lupul cannot be expected to score every night. And will the endless talk about the trade ever end? Yes the Leafs overpaid for Kessel but they did get a good player back. There isn't much more to say.
If you want a positive then how about the play of Jake Gardiner. On a night where the team was an overall -4, Gardiner was a +2. He also led the team with 23:46 minutes of ice time. He might possibly develop into the team's best defenceman by the end of the season.