In fact, through the first period, the two teams were level at even strength, despite Vancouver's shot advantage, and their goal. In the second period, the Leafs got into a lot of penalty trouble, including a long 3-on-5, and lost out in chances, but not that severely. The Toronto penalty kill was actually fairly solid, holding Vancouver to relatively few chances in more than 14 minutes of powerplay time.
Still, Toronto did nothing with their chances, failing to beat Luongo, while 2 second period goals extended Vancouver's lead. The score effects in the third were evident in the rate of chances, with just two total in the first half of the period. Vancouver led in chances, winning overall by 8. In four of the last five games, the Leafs have been outchanced by 7 or more, but they've managed to win two of those, thanks primarily to some very good goaltending.
Ultimately, the key story of the game will be the injury to Dave Bolland, who suffered a lacerated leg, requiring surgery that will likely leave him sidelined for a long while. Without Tyler Bozak, and with the Marlies struggling at centre, meaning there isn't a clear option to call up, things could get ugly down the middle for the next few weeks.
A summary of the scoring chances:
Follow below the fold for details.
This was my list of scoring chances from the game. If you see any problems or omissions (here or anywhere else), please go ahead and leave a comment.
|VAN||ES||1||18:38||Higgins wide from Santorelli||43||81||21||15||51||34||25||14||20||2||8||1|
|VAN||ES||1||16:10||Santorelli from Higgins||11||21||41||4||44||34||25||14||20||3||18||1|
|VAN||ES||1||16:02||Higgins from Santorelli||11||21||41||4||44||34||25||14||20||3||18||1|
|VAN||ES||1||15:57||Burrows from rebound of Higgins shot||11||21||41||4||44||34||25||14||20||3||18||1|
|VAN||ES||1||14:07||Kesler wide from rebound of D Sedin shot||43||81||21||3||51||34||17||33||22||2||8||1|
|VAN||SH||1||13:57||GOAL! H Sedin from Kesler||11||63||3||4||34||-||17||33||22||2||5||1|
|TOR||ES||1||11:43||Kessel from Kadri||43||81||21||4||44||34||25||14||20||2||8||1|
|TOR||ES||1||09:09||Kessel from Van Riemsdyk||43||81||21||15||51||34||25||14||20||5||23||1|
|TOR||ES||1||06:32||Ranger from Kessel||11||81||71||4||15||34||17||33||22||5||23||1|
|TOR||ES||1||05:31||Kadri wide from Van Riemsdyk||11||43||81||15||36||34||25||14||20||3||18||1|
|VAN||ES||2||19:06||Kesler wide from D Sedin||11||12||3||15||36||34||17||33||22||2||5||1|
|VAN||ES||2||17:36||Higgins wide from loose puck||43||81||21||15||51||34||25||14||20||2||8||1|
|VAN||ES||2||17:19||Higgins post from Santorelli||43||81||21||15||51||34||25||14||20||2||8||1|
|VAN||ES||2||14:55||GOAL! Higgins from giveaway||43||19||41||4||44||34||25||14||20||2||8||1|
|VAN||ES||2||13:59||Higgins wide from Tanev||43||81||21||4||44||34||25||14||20||2||8||1|
|TOR||ES||2||08:30||McClement deflects Raymond shot wide||11||71||12||36||51||34||9||15||49||3||18||1|
|TOR||PP||2||06:20||Lupul from loose puck||19||71||12||44||51||34||33||22||3||5||1||-|
|TOR||ES||2||05:39||Kessel from Van Riemsdyk||43||81||21||3||4||34||33||20||2||8||18||1|
|VAN||SH||2||04:20||D Sedin wide from H Sedin||11||3||36||34||-||-||33||22||5||23||1||-|
|VAN||SH||2||03:02||Edler from H Sedin||11||3||36||34||-||-||33||22||5||23||1||-|
|TOR||PP||2||01:21||Van Riemsdyk from Kessel||43||81||21||3||4||34||25||15||2||8||1||-|
|TOR||ES||3||14:56||Kessel from Kadri||43||81||71||4||15||34||17||33||22||3||23||1|
|VAN||SH||3||13:23||D Sedin from Hamhuis||11||41||3||36||34||-||17||33||22||2||5||1|
|VAN||SH||3||07:12||Bieksa wide from D Sedin||23||12||4||15||34||-||17||33||22||3||23||1|
|VAN||ES||3||06:15||D Sedin from Kesler||11||21||41||3||36||34||17||33||22||2||3||1|
|VAN||ES||3||05:41||Richardson wide from Archibald||43||81||19||44||51||34||13||15||49||2||8||1|
|VAN||ES||3||05:32||GOAL! Hamhuis from rebound of Richardson shot||43||81||19||44||51||34||13||15||49||2||8||1|
|VAN||ES||3||03:57||Santorelli wide from Burrows||43||81||19||4||44||34||25||49||14||2||8||1|
|VAN||ES||3||03:21||Richardson wide from rebound of Garrison shot||12||21||41||3||36||34||13||15||49||5||23||1|
|TOR||ES||3||03:10||Raymond from McClement||12||21||41||3||51||34||13||15||49||5||23||1|
|TOR||PP||3||01:19||Lupul from Phaneuf||81||19||21||3||4||34||25||14||2||8||1||-|
The Extra Skater game profile.
Badly beaten again in Corsi, the Leafs go down 42-74 overall, 27-54 5-on-5 and 15-25 5-on-5 close.
1st - 15:57 - An great shift from Higgins, Santorelli and Burrows. The Leafs blow a zone entry, as Franson dallies on the puck too long, and is caught from behind by Burrows. Van Riemsdyk, jumping up to join the rush, then gets caught deep, leading to a 2-on-1 for Santorelli and Higgins against Rielly. They're able to exchange passes twice, with Rielly not any sort of effective obstacle. Reimer comes across well, though, stopping Santorelli on the stick side. Stanton then keeps the puck in, chipping it to Santorelli, who feeds it to a wide open Higgins, totally lost in the Leafs defensive zone scramble. McClement is a step behind Burrows as he goes to the net, allowing the Canuck to get a good shot on the rebound. The shot isn't all that good, as there's a lot of open net he doesn't hit, but it's a great job to get down and make that save.
1st - 13:57 - The Vancouver powerplay opens the scoring almost as soon as it starts, as Kesler tips a pass from Hamhuis out in front, right to Henrik Sedin, who snaps it over Reimer for the game's opening goal.
1st - 9:09 - What would a game be without JVR and Kessel on a odd-man rush? The three Vancouver forwards get caught down low forechecking. Vancouver had a chance to break up the rush, but the intercepted pass went straight to Ranger. He found Van Riemsdyk, who then threw it over to Kessel on the far side, but Luongo got over.
1st - 6:32 - Henrik Sedin turns the puck over, and Kessel springs loose the other way. He stops up and finds Ranger cutting through the middle. Ranger gets a decent backhand on net, through Garrison. The puck then drops right into the slot for McClement, who can't corral the rebound enough to put it on net.
1st - 5:31 - Franson and Kessel come in 2-on-3; Franson passes it off, and Kessel draws two defenders to him, leaving Van Riemsdyk and Kadri down the middle. JVR gets to it first, and touches a pass to Kadri, who shoots wide.
2nd - 17:53 - Vancouver get an early two-goal lead in the second, and the Leafs take a big blow. Kassian hits Bolland along the boards, lacerating his leg, and leaving the Leafs down a man on the shift and a centre for the rest of the game. Kassian then keeps the puck behind the net, chipping it to Richardson, who stays back there as Kassian drifts in front. He manages to spin around Raymond and get loose in front. Rielly, initially trying to block the pass out, comes after Kassian, with the puck going right past him. There's some bad luck in this one as well, as the puck goes off Franson's foot before hitting the back of the net. Given Bolland's struggles, I thought it was odd the refs didn't stop the play, as it was pretty clear he was immediately in rough shape.
2nd - 17:19 - A bit of a pick from Higgins allows Santorelli time to wrap around the net and throw it through the crease, a pass that makes it all the way through to Higgins on the far side, who isn't closely watched by Kadri. The shot goes of the post, though.
2nd - 14:55 - Rielly gets caught at the blue line, unable to handle the puck and springing loose Higgins and Burrows. Higgins, with Burrows going to the net, opts to shoot, and beats Reimer for Vancouver's third goal.
2nd - 13:59 - Higgins come close again, as JVR can't get the puck past Tanev at the line, and it comes to Higgins cruising through the slot. He gets a good shot off, but just puts it wide.
2nd - 5:39 - The Leafs get a little cycling time in the Canucks zone, a relative rarity. Van Riemsdyk ends up with it behind the net, with Kessel coming down the middle uncovered. His quick shot is one of the Leafs' best chances to this point.
3rd - 5:32 - Richardson cycles the puck into the corner, and then heads straight to the net, getting ahead of Kadri. Archibald, who went to the corner, throws a backhand pass to Richardson right out in front, but the shot went wide. After that, Vancouver continue to cycle, with Richardson putting a shot on net from a sharp angle, with the rebound sitting nicely for Hamhuis right in front, all but sealing a Vancouver win with a four-goal lead.
The scoring chance numbers for the Leaf players:
Not a lot of positive on another tough night for the Leafs. The top line generated chances well, but only Kessel, at -2, had even a decent night, with JVR a really bad -6. Nikolai Kulemin also struggled in his return to the lineup, a -5. David Clarkson was probably the best Leaf, on for three for, and not a single one against.
Like Dave Bolland, who struggled in a big return to Chicago on Saturday night, Morgan Rielly had a tough night in his first game in his hometown, a team low -7. His partner Franson was much more effective, only a -2. Of course, the much-maligned Paul Ranger ended up having a positive night, a +1, the only Leaf defender above 0.
Players with nice chance numbers:
Toronto - David Clarkson
Vancouver - Dan Hamhuis, Alex Burrows, Mike Santorelli, Chris Tanev
Players with poor chance numbers:
Toronto - Morgan Rielly, James Van Riemsdyk, Nikolai Kulemin
Vancouver - Alex Edler