Leafs offense assaults Hawks in Toronto

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks brief and ridiculously hot streak ended Saturday night in Toronto.  And the Hawks took the loss in a ‘taste of your own medicine’ fashion.

The Maple Leafs scored fairly early and very often.  Each time the Hawks struck the Leafs had an extremely quick answer.

The Hawks had a similar looking lineup to begin the game.  On the second d pairing Michael Kostka goes with Hjalmarsson, and Oduya relegated to third line duties.

Patrick Sharp took the opening faceoff for Toews to begin the game, but Toews took most of his draws after that.

1st period:  The Hawks spent 6 of the first 9 minutes on the penalty kill, not a sound game plan for a team ranking 29th on the kill.  It appeared early the Hawks were going to have to be lucky or unfortunate in this game, a sound victory wasn’t going to happen.

Raanta looked solid early on the Leafs first pp which the Hawks killed off rather easily, but end up right back on the kill when Shaw  puts an obvious trip on Jake Gardiner.  Just a minute into the Leafs power play and Peter Holland puts in a Joffrey Lupul pass.  Mason Raymond was given the secondary assist and these three would combine for 11 pts in this game, not too shabby.

Not to learn from their mistakes the Hawks go on the penalty kill just 10 seconds after surrendering a pp goal.

The Leafs line of Doom attempts to let the Hawks back in the game when Peter Holland and Mason Raymond go to the box within a minute of one another and the Hawks get a lucky bounce on the two man advantage.   Kane put a cross ice pass to Sharp but the pass was tipped into the net by Leaf dman Dion Phaneuf, game tied 1-1.

2nd period:  The second period starts out all Leafs as they pin the Hawks in their zone, control the play and score just 28 seconds in when Lupol scores off a Holland pass.

The Hawks actually begin to shift the momentum some in this game about 4 minutes in.  What appeared to be the game tying goal was waved off as it was ruled to have been guided or at least aided into the net by Hossa’s stick.  The guys at Hockey night in Canada seemed to think it was the right call, I don’t know about that.  Hossa appeared to be knocking the puck down to his own stick when “Johnny on the wrong spot tonight” Phaneuf looked to knock in another own goal. The play was upheld by the video guys and the game remained 2-1.

12:09 into the second and Peter Holland scores his second of the night on a pretty play featuring again Mason Raymond and Joffrey Lupul.

Less than a minute and a half later Patrick Kane scores his second of the game on a pretty wrist shot.  Kane came in with Versteeg on a two on one but kept it and beat Bernier himself.

Again the Leafs were quick to answer and Nikolai Kulemin scored within a minute of Kane’s Tally.  You can pretty much put a fork in this one.  To add to the beatdown , secondary assist specialist Joffrey Lupul lights the lamp again and the game goes into the 3rd with the Hawks down 5-2.

3rd period:  The third period could be summed up by:  Simpson takes over Hawks net, Leafs add to huge lead, Saad scores a non factor goal and again Leafs answer within a minute with a goal of their own.

Notes:

Raanta looked bad, but not nearly as bad as Simpson.  I wonder how this Labarberra character is?

The announcers, when not talking up the Hawks, mentioned time after time that the Leafs are getting outshot by their opponents this season.  Well, the Leafs out everything-ed the Hawks in this one.

3 stars of the game – Toronto’s line of Doom.

Michael Calvert

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