Saturday, March 3, 2012

One down, seventeen to go

Welcome back Randy Carlyle! We missed you.

Yes they played the worse team in the East but going into tonight's game the Leafs played like they were the worst team. There was a difference out there tonight. It may have been the result of the coaching change but the defensive game looked better. Not sure if Randy Carlyle can take credit for that. And as the game wore on the Leafs began to dominate and ended up outshooting the Canadiens 42 to 22. They totally took over the third period as Mikhail Grabovski scored two goals to lead the Leafs to a 3-1 win.

I couldn't help notice that the game was quite chippy and physical. The two teams threw 60 body checks with the Leafs dishing out 29. More noticeable was how the ice time was handed out. The big winner was Dave Steckel who has been averaging 12:12 in ice time per game. Tonight he was on the ice for 15:08. Clarke MacArthur has been averaging 14;57 but tonight he was on the ice for 19:52. Matt Frattin has been averaging 12:30 but tonight it was 18:23. The big losers were Matthew Lombardi at 7:44 (season average 13:17), Joey Crabb at 8:10 (season average 12:49) and Tim Connolly at 14:07 (season average 16:47). You wonder if there will be more changes in ice time in the remaining games.

Look a playoff spot is still a long shot. To reach 93 points which is likely what is needed to make the playoffs, the Leafs would need 13 wins in the remaining 17 games. I'm not optimistic.

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