It would have made a lot of sense for the Maple Leafs to lose last night. The team was at the end of a road trip, putting its backup netminder against one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and facing a team eager to make a good first impression in its freshly upgraded arena.
Instead the Leafs spoiled the party in New York, grabbing a 4-2 win as disgusted Rangers fans chanted “We want Avery!” at their beaten hometown heroes.
While it wasn’t dominating, it might have been the most complete 60 minutes the team has played this season. The Rangers aren’t the most explosive offence in the league, the Leafs’ defence was solid and Jonas Gustavsson made the saves he had to. Tim Connolly looked pretty good in his first game, Clarke MacArthur finally found the net and Phil Kessel created a number of good scoring opportunities.
It all bodes well as the team returns home to host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Mirtle was in the refurbished Garden last night to take in the game.
Also from Mirtle, the confusion over James Reimer’s injury.
David Shoalts caught up with Mats Sundin who is back in town to do some promotional work for the Leafs.
Jonathan Willis suggests the clock is ticking on Gustavsson’s time in Toronto.
Michael Langlois shares his thoughts on the game at Vintage Leaf Memories.
All 17 goals from the Winnipeg Jets - Philadelphia Flyers game last night:
From Puck Daddy, here’s a look at Ilya Bryzgalov’s post-game media scrum. Flyers fans can’t be happy.
Down Goes Brown on the NHL’s application form for disgruntled NBA fans.
A good piece by Hockey News columnist Adam Proteau on the passing of old-school hockey culture.