The Calgary Flames took the lead early against the Toronto Maple Leafs and never looked back. With two goals in the first period, the Flames pushed the Toronto Maple Leafs into a game of catch-up again tonight . With the game finishing with a Flames 5-1 victory, the Leafs continue their losing slide to four games and inability to get out of the gate with energy.
Toronto ended up on their heels in their first shift of the game, as the Flames pressed and managed a scoring attempt from the slot; Jonas Gustavsson bailed them out with a big save. For the most part, Gustavsson had a great game by keeping the Leafs within a goal early on. He made a few key saves along with some lucky ones that came directly off of turnovers from Leafs defense. Once again the Leafs can’t manage to get out to a fast start and make the other team chase them with a one goal lead, instead they give up a goal. Gustavsson couldn’t be blamed for a bad night in net by any means.
The Leafs couldn’t find shooting opportunities early in the game. Testing Miikka Kiprusoff in the opening few minutes of a game is essential to putting the pressure on a hot goalie. You can’t win games by shooting from the outside with zero pressure in front of a net minder like Kiprusoff, he will beat you night in and night out without traffic in front of him. This trend seems to be plaguing the Toronto Maple Leafs over the last few weeks. With players like Mike Brown willing to get dirty, send him to the net on the second line once or twice a period in order to put some defensive pressure in that 3 foot spot in front of the net. Mike Brown had a eleven solid shifts on the ice tonight, putting together three hits and a shot on net. Ron Wilson needs to be playing this guy on other lines to see if he can spark one with his energetic play.
Mike Komisarik looked horrible on the Flames second goal, giving up a two on one that left Gustavsson hanging out to dry. Then late in the first period Komisarik took a stupid penalty forcing the Leafs to kill off the man advantage. The team looks better defensively when he sits in the press box; I have had about enough of Mike Komisarik and his 15 minutes of ice time he logged tonight. Send him packing!
Edmonton Oilers are next on the schedule Thursday night.