The score should’ve actually been 5-0, but because preseason play doesn’t allow for video replay, one of James van Reimsdyk's goals didn’t count. Regardless, this was a solid performance by the Leafs. This game was very one-sided compared to the team’s 3-2 overtime victory last night.
Van Reimsdyk led the charge, firing a shot over the shoulder of Flyers goalie Steve Mason. Brandon Kozun and Cody Franson added goals shortly after and rookie William Nylander scored his first goal late in the game to seal the win for the Leafs. Goalies Jonathan Bernier and Antoine Bibeau silenced the Flyers all night to preserve the shutout victory.
This is a fantastic start for the Maple Leafs. All the Leaf’s rookies contributed and impressed the coaches. Gregg McKegg, Brandon Kozun and Nylander all tallied points in the game. Nylander played just over 15 minutes in the game, had three shots and scored a goal.
Captain Phaneuf had a few decent chances and recently acquired forward Mike Santorelli used his speed to frustrate the Flyers all game long. Santorelli was one of the best players in my opinion. He protected the puck really well and Leo Komarov also had a decent game.
I’m not surprised that Van Reimsdyk scored two goals. He’s become a much better player with Toronto. He’s got speed, size and a wicked wrist shot. He's not afraid to shoot the puck from anywhere and is continually taking on more ice time in high pressure situations. Van Reimsdyk is one of Toronto’s consistent point producers. He’ll easily get to 40 points or more this season.
The one player I’m concerned about is defenseman Roman Polak. He took two very careless, stupid penalties throughout the game and didn’t rise to the occasion as all. I hope this doesn’t occur on a regular basis because the Leafs don’t have very much defensive depth in my opinion.
Regardless, the challenge for the Leafs now will be to build on this momentum and carry it into regular season play.
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Flyers Stunned Again
Flyers Coach Craig Berube will certainly have to re-evaluate and reshape his roster after this embarrassing defeat. Goalie Steve Mason is the only Flyers player that did everything he could to try and keep the game close.
The rest of the Flyers didn’t get going at all. It was like they didn’t even want to be there. Enforcer Zack Sortini tried to shake things up with a fight, but ended up giving the Leafs more momentum. Sortini ended the game with a tally of 25 penalty minutes.
The Flyers' powerplay unit did get some chances but other than that this team was dead. Wayne Simmons, Luke Schenn and Raffl couldn’t get anything going. The players fell apart in the final period and couldn’t regain their composure.
But thankfully for the Flyers and their fans, this was only a preseason game.
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