The boys in blue opened their preseason campaign against the Philadelphia Flyers Monday night in London, Ontario. Former London Knight forward Nazem Kadri stole the show tallying a goal and an assist which helped the Toronto Maple Leafs erase a two goal deficit. The Leafs went on to win the game 3-2 via a penalty shootout, with David Booth scoring the winning goal.
Positives and Negatives
There were many positives and negatives for both teams to take away from this game. Obviously the Leafs will be delighted with the win. Head Coach Randy Carlyle will be delighted with how his team erased a two goal deficit. That being said, conceding two early goals was not good at all. Carlyle has been adamant that defensive zone coverage is something that the team needs to focus on this year. But in Monday’s game, the defense was average at best in my opinion.
However, Nazem Kadri got a boost from his hometown crowd and was able to sway the momentum of the game in the Leaf’s favor. This guy was playing the game at a whole other level. He was energized, never gave up on the puck and read the game really well. Many Leaf fans and the entire organization are hoping that this performance is a sign of things to come from Kadri this season. David Booth will hopefully get a morale boost from scoring the game winner. I really hope he can stay healthy and have a successful season with the Leafs.
Flyers Asking Questions
The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t have a bad game by any means. They jumped to a two goal lead through goals from forwards Matt Read and Michael Raffl. They exploited the Leaf’s defensive weaknesses and the inexperience of the Leaf’s rookie goalies as well. Flyers goalie Stolarz stopped 29 shots on the night, but was unable to hold on for the win in the shootout.
Flyers forward Simmons did try and shake things up during the game by getting into a few scrums late in the game. But in the end, the Flyers ran out of gas and weren’t able to regain any momentum. Regardless, both teams gave the fans a good show and each team was able to find some necessary secondary scoring options. The Flyers will have a chance for redemption Tuesday when they clash with the Leafs again at the Air Canada Center.
I can’t wait to see if the Flyers will be able to respond with a victory of their own.