First of all, when Lee Stempniak came back to St. Louis as a Maple Leaf last year, did the fans boo him? Of course not. I cannot fathom why Leaf fans were booing Alexander Steen and Brad Boyes and (presumably, though I didn't specifically hear it) Carlo Colaiacovo. Not one of them asked to leave Toronto and every one of them had good things to say about the Maple Leafs organ-I-zation.
Stay classy, Toronto.
Some fodder for discussion:
- The defense broke down badly on that run in the second period. On the Kris Versteeg goal, Erik Johnson went behind the net when Brad F. Winchester was already back there on the puck carrier. Colaiacovo didn't have Versteeg tied up well enough, but if Johnson is in front of the net providing support, who knows what happens.
- Similarly, on the Mikhail Grabovsky goal, Alex Pietrangelo wound up in no-man's land over by the boards which opened up the lane for the Clarke McArthur pass to the dot. That's uncharacteristic for the (somehow not a) rookie.
- I like seeing the Blues realizing that they were down three goals, yes, but it was to the Maple Leafs, a pretty poor team. They played like they knew they were going to come back in the third and then they went out and did it. It's sour to not get the extra point, but there's some confidence-building that came out of that last 20 minutes.
- The difference between the playoff monster teams and the playoff one-and-done teams tends to be consistency. The ability to play a solid game for 60 minutes continues to elude the Blues and I think that's the next big step this young team needs to take. Learning how not to let down and allow a game to spin away from you is a tough lesson to learn, but they gotta figure that one out. This is where having a veteran with Cup success in your lineup pays off. We don't have one of those.
- Ty Conklin came in and helped salvage that one point, but good god he's awful in the shootout. This season he has stopped one shot (on Phil Kessel) on seven attempts. On for seven. Six of seven shooters have scored on him. Next time, even if he has played all game or if he came in to replace Jaroslav Halak, you take him out for the shootout and put No. 41 in the net.
- Welcome back to Toronto: Brad Boyes (2 assists, SO goal), Alex Steen (1 goal and a SO goal) and Carlo Colaiacovo (5 hits, zero bones splodeyed).
- During pre-game Darren Pang made reference to a Blues player being Selke Trophy-worthy. His choice is Steen. And while there's no way I'd argue against that, I hope Panger ignores Silent Jay McClement and his quiet Selke campaign again next game. JSelke had two assists, was plus-2 had four hits and five shots and continued to play solid defensive hockey.
- Once again the Blues streak. Not once this year have they stranded a win between two losses or one loss between two wins. That is a really bizarre statistic.
Rangers on Saturday and then the Coyotes show up on Monday for the second time in 10 days (though in two different calendar years). Time to stop this streak now and start a new one. Come back tomorrow for a Rangers-themed contest to win my tickets to Saturday's game.