Toronto Maple Leafs Weekly Report: Offence Continues to Support Defence

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5-4 Win over the New York Rangers

Nov 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Phil Kessel (81) celebrates his goal with left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) against the New York Rangers at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the game against the New York Rangers, the Leafs were being criticized for their inability to stop their opponent from scoring in the first five minutes of the game. They had a very unfavourable matchup against the Rangers, who were getting Derek Stepan back for the first time this season.

The Rangers took advantage of the Leafs inability to play well to start the game, after Chris Kreider hit Santorelli from behind. Santorelli then goes to the front of the net uncontested and tipped a shot past Bernier, who really had no chance on the play. You be the judge of if Kreider should have been given a penalty on the play?

The Leafs were able to take control of the period at that point, outplaying the Rangers and scoring three goals, including a beautiful shorthanded goal by Holland, because of a great effort from Komarov. Basically Komarov stiff armed Mats Zuccarello who was trying to hug him, then he passed the pucked to Holland, who made a nice move in front of the net to get the puck past Cam Talbot.

After the Leafs took the 3-1 lead, Kreider continued his dominating play by making a nice move behind the Toronto net and passing the puck to Zucarrello in the slot for the goal.

The play in the second period saw great end-to-end action but it was a goal by Carl Hagelin that made Gardiner a major talking point in the second intermission. Here is the goal, but who is responsible for the play?

Nov 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Leo Komarov (47) celebrates his game-winning goal in the third period against the New York Rangers at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Rangers 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The only fault that Robidas made on the play was that his pass was not the greatest, but Gardiner should have been ready to receive the pass. The worse part was that Hagelin was able to go to the net without anyone defending him. That should not have happened, but luckily the Leafs were able to get back into the game.

Rick Nash gave the Rangers the lead, but that would be all they could muster. The Leafs tied the game after Polak’s shot from the point made it’s way past Talbot. Then it was Uncle Leo’s time to shine.

The Rangers turned the puck over in their own end. Gardiner took possession on a two-on-one and made a nice pass to Komarov, who got his first goal this season and sealed the game for the Leafs.

This was a great quote because it shows how much Komarov cares about the team, which is why he is such a popular teammate.

Quick Game Notes

Phaneuf led the Leafs with 24:30 minutes

Gardiner had five blocked shots which is surprising, because he hurt himself blocking a shot last game

Komarov and Nazem Kadri each had two points