OOPS (POST-GAME OPINIONS)
Well based on how lopsided this game was, I will make this article a bit shorter. Yes, the Leafs lost 5-2, but it wasn't even close from the very start. Crosby has unstoppable, the defense looked flat, and Bernier had a slow start. All in all, a forgettable night.
*cries in the corner*
The Leafs were outplayed, but its more than that. Right off the top, the Penguins looked like they were the better team, Once Hornquist scored the first goal of the game, it was wide open for a gong show that featured all four line hammering the Leafs in their own end.
The highlight was the top line playing against Pittsburgh's fourth, and spending three quarters of their shift in the defensive end. Let that sink in for a moment. ........ I know right? that was terrible.
Fortunately for us, Clarkson was still useful for the Leafs and the second line had a better night then the first game. Point is, lets pretend this game never happened.
1) Crosby was dominant. He was the first star of the game, and rightfully so. He controlled the game, he was a factor in three of the goals he made happen (one of which was his own). Unfortunately for Toronto, Crosby was given time, and the Leafs definitely paid the price. A big hefty price.
2) Kessel was subpar. Poor Kessel, He has been under the media scrutiny for his Leaf tenure and just can't seem to catch a break when he struggles. The game featured Kessel taking three trips to the penalty box for unacceptable reasons, selfish plays on the powerplay, and being demoted to the second line at one point. Remember, the last time Kessel struggled early in the season, the Leafs made the playoffs. So don't lose hope just yet.
3) 41-25. Those were the SOG for both Pittsburgh and Toronto respectively. I could show you Corsi stats or Feswick stats. But I think this sums up the Leafs loss in a nut shell. 41-25.
What can be taken from this game
It looks like Pittsburgh is on its way to a better regular season based on the hot start. As for the Leafs, the slow start may be alarming to many, but actually might not as bad as you think. See, the previous two fast starts that the Leafs had lead to an epic collapse by seasons end; and the last two slow starts lead to one missed playoff (though they quickly turned their season around) and the other lead to a playoff birth (mind you, it was the lockout season). What I'm saying is that while it may be bad to see the Leafs struggle out of the gate, it still early on in the season and the Leafs have 80 more chances to get back on track.
My prediction from this morning:
"Considering how good the two teams can be, expect an offensive showing tonight. The score may be 5-4 by the end of the night, and Kessel will register his first point of the season as well. The TOI will be more evened out then it was before."Nothing I predicted turned out to be true, although the game was a offensive showing; for the PENGUINS that is. Sometimes, you just can't truly figure out what will happen in a hockey game 100% accurately (although it has happened to me in the past).
It will be a Thanksgiving matchup tomorrow night, as the Leafs go to MSG to visit the Rangers. The Rangers, by the way, also lost 5-2 to Columbus tonight; expect tomorrow's game to be epic.