Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Maple Leafs let out their frustration on Tampa Bay

I'm sure Ron Wilson would love to see Tampa Bay much more frequently following last night's 7-3 victory where everything seemed to go right.  The only previous game with Tampa Bay was a 7-1 win.  In the earlier game there was a goal scored by 7 different Leafs players, Joffrey Lupul had a goal and 3 assists and Jonas Gustavsson had the win.  Sound familiar?  The Lightning are a team with worse defense and more goaltending problems than the Maple Leafs and it showed again last night.

Good - Special teams were at their best yesterday, both the powerplay and the penalty killers.  It's been a while but finally the team didn't give up a powerplay goal.  Darryl Boyce seemed to help in this area as he provided a lot of energy and plays like he wants to stay here.  I think the team misses Mike Brown in this area.  Meanwhile the powerplay was dangerous all night although they didn't really connect until the third.

Bad - Nik Kulemin continues to look lost out there.  He is losing battles for the puck, missing empty nets and missing passes.  How long do you wait this out?  Will Burke make a move?

Good - Joffrey Lupul seems to eat up the Lightning defense with another 4 point performance. 

Bad - Perhaps I'm being harsh but I didn't think Jonas Gustavsson looked particularly strong in net.  He let in 3 goals on just 24 shots for a .875 save percentage.  Yet he continues to play well enough to win and now has a team high 10 wins.  However, this level of goaltending isn't good enough in the long term.

Good - The 42 shot out burst by the Leafs was good to see.  They have been outshot in far too many games this season.  Dion Phaneuf led the team in this category with 9 shots.  He also played real nasty and had run ins with Steve Downie all night long.

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