By: Adam Basciano
Going into the game against the Maple Leafs, the Anaheim Ducks were riding a seven game winning streak. Up until around the middle portion of the second period it looked like the Ducks were on their way to win #8 in succession. That was until the Dynamic Duo of Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk took over the game. I could describe all the goals to you, but my descriptions wouldn’t do them justice., so let’s just watch the magic again shall we!? Before we do, it’s worth pointing out that, Dion Phaneuf got the game tying goal, and this was the first game the Leafs allowed less than 30 shots on goal! Jonathan Bernier made 23 saves en route to the 4-2 win.
Then came the weekend double-header against the Columbus Bluejacket and Pittsburgh Penguins respectfully. I had expected a win against Columbus and a loss against the Penguins. Well, leave it to the Leafs to flip the script. They go into Columbus and get outshot…again. They had a chance to tie the game when they trailed by a goal and had a 4 on 3 power-play. Instead of capitalizing on their chance, sloppy play led to a short-handed goal, solidifying the win for Columbus. Phil Kessel (surprise, surprise) and Dave Bolland provided goals for the Blue & White, and if it weren’t for Jonathan Bernier’s goaltending, the game could’ve easily ended much worse.
The next night at home, the Maple Leafs played one of their best opening periods of the season and were rewarded with a tie score after 20 minutes. The Leaf goal was short-handed from Dave Bolland, thanks to a great pass from Dion Phaneuf. The Leafs went into survival mode in the second period. After being outshot 16-4 in the middle frame, the score remained tied thanks to stellar goaltending from James Reimer. Nazem Kadri scored early in the third period, finishing off a nice passing play from Phil Kessel and JvR. JvR would once again supply Kessel with a tap in goal on the power play, before Dave Bolland would score his second of the game into the empty net. The Maple Leafs would win by a score of 4-1. More impressive, was holding Sidney Crosby pointless. That was truly a team effort, but special mention must go to Dave Bolland, Dion Phaneuf, David Clarkson, and as previously mentioned, James Reimer who made 37 saves in total.
The Maple Leafs now have a record of 8-4-0 and head out on a Western Canadian road trip with stops in Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.