This is going to be something of a quick hits article today since I missed everything from 2-1 in the first until 14 minutes left in the third.
- Before we all go into a tizzy about Henrik Lundqvist and him being a failure, here’s a quick note to show you the discrepancy between his night and Ondrej Pavelec’s. In the first period the Maple Leafs expected goals was 4.25. In the second period their expected goals was 0.49. Pretty big difference there. I don’t think he was God-Mode Lundqvist, but he wasn’t a bum off the street, either.
- I think we’ve seen the best and the worst of this team through two games. We’re going to have to get used to a lethal power play, and the team is legitimately explosive on offense this year (read: sustainable), but they’re also very sloppy right now. I know it’s hard to sit and wait for the other team’s opening night lineup to get announced, and they’re jacked up for the game when you do come out, but that first period is inexcusable. The Rangers did the same thing again Colorado. This has been an constant issue that has plagued this team under this head coach (slow starts that only get kick started when they’re down), but a hell of a lot of credit for coming back to be 5-5.
- Filip Chytil played 4:59 in the game. Don’t give me the nonsense that he’s not ready or he hasn’t shown enough. He’s an 18-year-old who is literally here for nine games to prove that he either is or isn’t ready for these situations. At worse, you’re giving him valuable NHL experience to take back to the Czech Republic with him. “Losing him” for every single shift the final 35 minutes of the game is inexcusable. How Jeff Gorton has watched this little disaster play out is beyond me. If this was going to be Chytil’s fate, why did they keep him around? To make him feel like he shouldn’t belong in the NHL? It’s insane. And consistently AV.
Not for nothing, it’s 7-5, NYR really need to create some offense, you should throw the kid who you should be evaluating for exactly this— Joe Fortunato (@JoeFortunatoBSB) October 8, 2017
- I was happy (listening on the radio) when I heard Tony DeAngelo was still getting ice time after his brutal turnover in the first that led to the Leafs’ second goal. Of course, I see today he finished the game with just over 12 minutes. Couple that with the above and, well, AV being AV. At least he got a few minutes down big late.
- The good news is the coach is finally playing Pavel Buchnevich more, and he’s rewarded -- oh wait, I’m sorry. Paul Carey played just as much as Buchnevich did last night at even strength and in total. So, uh, yeah.
- I would love to complain about the defensive usage but it was the best night from Brendan Smith, and Marc Staal was somehow an offensive machine so we’ll give him a pass on this one. DeAngelo was on the ice late, at least.
- Chris Kreider, Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, J.T. Miller, and Mats Zuccarello were monsters on offense. Miller, it should be noted, was literally a disconnected controller on the second Leafs’ goal. Zuccarello had a goal and three assists, Kreider had two assists, Nash was a beast, and Miller had a goal and an assist. Zibanejad had another power play goal because he’s amazing.
- Kevin Shattenkirk was on the ice for a few goals again, but that first period was gross all around. He finished with his first goal as a Ranger an an assist. I’m going to love every minute of his four years on this hockey team.
- As angry as I am about a few things, I don’t think there’s any real reason to panic. Here’s Miika on that front:
Not to equivocate two very different teams with very different problems... but the start of the 2013-14 Cup Finals season was pretty ugly: pic.twitter.com/gQ0psyO3Ug— HockeyStatMiner (@HockeyStatMiner) October 8, 2017
- Anyway, Montreal will be another tough test tonight. Actually, this whole month is going to be tough.