Toronto-Pittsburgh: Live Game Blog


The following is a live, up to the minute game blog featuring the rookie tournament game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Remember to hit refresh for the latest updates.

Update: Lead head coach Dallas Eakins says that Jamie Devane will not play tonight.  Says he went head first into the boards in a collision last night with a Blackhawks player.  Eakins says tough guy Richard Greenop will draw into the lineup to make up for the muscle lost due to Devane’s injury.  Ben Scrivens will start tonight for the Maple Leafs.

Update: Penguins PR man Erik Heasley is beside me in the press box ahead of tonight’s game between the Penguins and Leafs.  The Leafs suite has emptied.  The TV has been left on (don’t tell David Suzuki whatever you do.)  Cliff Fletcher, however, remains in the building, sitting in the stands by himself.

Update: Warm up is set to begin here at the John Labatt Centre as fans continue to file in.

Update: Thiessen looks to be getting the start for the Penguins, his second of the tournament.  Scrivens for the Leafs.

Update: Richard Greenop is crossing the centre ice line with regularity.  Really, who will stop him?  He is menacing.  Michael Liambas draws in for Toronto as well, wearing #80

Update: Leafs hit the ice in the road whites again tonight. As Ken Beckett points out, Marcel Mueller is not on the ice.  Coach Dallas Eakins praised Mueller’s play last night in the win over Chicago.

Update: Looks like Brayden Irwin, Simon Gysbers, and Kenny Ryan wearing the “A” for Toronto tonight.

Update: Stefanovich draws in for the Maple Leafs as well.  He is wearing #63

Update: Looks like Zach Sill, Dustin Jeffrey, and Robert Bortuzzo wearing the “A” for the Penguins.

Update: Nicholls also draws into the lineup for the Leafs after sitting last night.

Update: Warm up is done here at the JLC.  Puck drop at 7PM.  For those interested in this stuff, Dale Mitchell was the last forward off the ice.  Made sure to give a glove tap to all teammates.

Update: The Leafs suite looks like you couldn’t fit another body in there with a crowbar.  Happening area, lots of suits.  Looks like Burke, Nonis, Fletcher, and Tim Hunter among others have taken residency there for the game tonight.

Update: Thiessen and Scrivens confirmed the starters for tonight’s game.

Update: Five minutes from the drop of the puck here a the JLC

Update: The Leafs have hit the ice and the JLC crowd, which is largely pro Toronto, lets out a pretty good cheer.

Update: Puck Drop!  Leafs start Irwin, Ryan, and Stefanovich up front.  Blacker and Dallas Jackson the D pairing.

Update: First good chance of the game for Toronto blocked by Penguins forward Geoff Walker.

Update: A hard hit by Dustin Jeffrey of the Penguins.  A player who doesn’t get nearly enough press.  Major talent there.  Leafs ice the puck for the second time in this young game.

Update: Penguins pushing the play early on as Leafs goalie Scrivens almost has one go through him.  16:40 left in the first.

Update: Penguins skaters seem committed to shot blocking early on.  This time Blacker has a shot attempt thwarted by a sprawling body.  Pressure on Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens but he is able to find the puck and cover for a whistle.

Update: Michael Liambas is on the ice for the first time.

Update: And the Leafs make it 1-0 on a wicked wrist shot from Brayden Irwin.  He chipped the puck past McNeil and beat him on the outside before getting in and snapping it top shelf past Thiessen.  1-0 Toronto.  13 minutes in.

Update: Another great chance for Toronto right away as Carrick gets in but sends his shot wide.  The Pens come right down again and get a few chances.  Scrivens up to the task.

Update: Stefanovich picks up an assist on the goal by Irwin.

Update: Scrivens makes a big save point blank after the Leafs cough up the puck just outside the blue line.  1-0 Leafs with just about ten minutes played.

Update: Jeffrey tries a dipsy doodle for Pittsburgh inside the attacking zone but the Leafs defender Cowan plays it well.  Play returns to the Leafs zone where Scrivens covers up for a whistle.  A little pushing and shoving post whistle, nothing big.

Update: Leafs are getting a little sloppy in their own zone, and Pittsburgh is pressing to take advantage of that.  Shots read 5-3 Pittsburgh with 7 minutes to play in the first.

Update: McKegg almost cashes in on a smart defensive play.  His active stick led to a turnover and scoring chance.  Thiessen up to the task.  Still 1-0 Leafs.

Update: Penguins with a chance in close but Scrivens gets a shoulder on it before it can sneak top corner.  He was working on hugging those posts this morning in the skate.

Update: Five minutes remain in the first.  1-0 Toronto on the goal by Brayden Irwin.

Update: Shot easily gloved by Thiessen.  Attempt on goal from Erik Burgdoerfer.

Update: Mad scramble in front of the Leafs net.  Scrivens made some good saves, then saw his goal stick go hurling in the air during the chaos.  Stands his ground and keeps Toronto’s 1-0 lead in check.  Just under three minutes to play in the opening period.

Update: Scrivens with a save on Tangradi who came bursting in off the wing.  Rebound was there for the taking, but the Penguins sent it wide of the net.

Update: Nicholls hits the goal post on a two-on-one for Toronto.  Nice pass from McKegg I think to give him the opportunity.  Under two minutes to play in period one.

Update: And another near miss for Toronto on the deflection in front of the net.  WIth 1:35 to play in the first the Leafs will go to the powerplay.  Joey Haddad goes to the box for tripping.

Update: Final 30 seconds of the period ticking away.  Leafs with a good chance on the powerplay but the point blast goes wide of the net.  Good pressure by Toronto towards the end of the period, but they are unable to get the puck through traffic.  The horn sounds to end the first period.  The Leafs lead 1-0 on the goal by Brayden Irwin.  Shots read 12-7 Pittsburgh after 20 minutes.

Update: Second period set to begin here in London.  1-0 Toronto on the goal by Irwin.  Joey Haddad has 25 seconds left in his tripping minor.

Update: Am I blind or is there no Dallas Eakins behind the bench for Toronto tonight?

Update: Close call in front of the Penguins net, but Thiessen covers it up to stop play.

Update: Nice block by the Penguins player at the point that leads to a scoring chance on a partial break.  Scrivens with the first stop, and Blacker with good defensive positioning to deny a second chance.

Update: In fact my sight is fine, or at least good enough to spot Dallas Eakins up in the Leafs suite with Burke and company.

Update: Bortuzzo with a chance, but Scrivens is up to the task.  Big hit behind the Leafs net and we got a line brawl.

Update: Dave Cowan is the Leafs player down in a heap behind the net.  Trainers are out to attend to him.  Not sure if you saw, but Scrivens did a great job of shielding his fallen teammate from the melee that was ensuing in the area.

Update: Cowan up and helped off the ice by trainers.  Looked to be clutching his one arm.  It’s a five minute major and a game misconduct for Ryan Schnell, who doesn’t get to leave the ice before getting some heavy lip service from Michael Liambas.

Update: Greenop gets a laundry list of penalties, as does Schnell.  Schnell gets five and  a game.  Greenop gets two for instigating, five for fighting, and a ten minute misconduct.

Update: Walker drives hard to the net and takes out Scrivens in the process.  Looks like this game may get a little chippy  before all is said and done.  Walker is getting the gate.  Made no attempt to miss Scrivens.

Update: Two great chances for Toronto.  Slap shot form Irwin and a quick flip of the puck from the pinching Gysbers, but Thiessen is up the challenge.  Leafs on the powerplay.

Update: Irwin, who is having a real strong game, sees his deflection goes off the post and wide off the net.  Irwin with another chance in front but Thiessen stops that one too.

Update: Leafs now have one minute of 5-on-4 powerplay time.  13 minutes left in the game.

Update: Pittsburgh kills the penalty and we’re back to five a side hockey.

Update: Another questionable hit, this time on Dale Mitchell, and Michael Liambas comes to his teammates defense again.  Good fight between Liambas and Sill, both landing some good shots.  1-0 Leafs still with about 11 minutes to go in the second period.

Update: Dallas Eakins has taken a seat in one of the empty sections of the arena alongside Keith Acton.

Update: Liambas gets two, a five, and a ten.

Update: And the Penguins tie the game 1-1 on a goal by Geoff Walker.  Walker tipped the original shot on net and then followed his own rebound, walking around Scrivens and putting the puck in a wide open net.

Update: Penguins coming on strong after the goal.  Peters and McNeil get helpers on the Penguins goal by Walker.  1-1 with 8 minutes to go in the second period.

Update: Great speed by the Penguins on a breakaway but Scrivens makes the save.  He has 17 on the night.  Marc-Andre Dorion will go the box, giving the Penguins a powerplay with six minutes left in the second.

Update: Great agility by Scrivens to come across the crease on a broken play that could have ended in a goal for Pittsburgh.  Whistle for another fight.  Tangradi drops the gloves and tangles with Andrew Crescenzi, and Tangradi gave him a pretty good thumping.

Update: Heavy collision involving Erik Burgdoerfer in the Leafs zone.  He came off the ice limping.

Update: Yet another questionable hit, no I am not kidding.  Bortuzzo goes to the box for a minor after sending Jerry D’Amigo face first into the boards.  Leafs to the powerplay with 3 minutes left in the second.  Bortuzzo gets two for boarding.

Update: Olden with some good speed gets a shot off followed up by a Stefanovich rebound chance.  Thiessen makes both saves and covers for a whistle.

Update: Couple of big shot blocks for Pittsburgh on the powerplay.  Leafs finally orchestrate a scoring chance, which is one again snuffed by Thiessen.  He has made 16 saves so far tonight.

Update: The horn sounds to end the second period here in London, score is tied 1-1.  Shots on goal read 23-18 in favour of the Penguins.  A period no doubt marred by more than one questionable hits.

Update: Teams hit the ice for the third period.  Drop of the puck about two minutes away.

Update: Leafs defenseman Dallas Jackson with a shot from the point goes wide of the net.  Leafs D have been active, but aren’t getting pucks through.

Update: Joey Haddad to the box again.  Hooking call gives the Leafs a powerplay and they get a chance right away.  Kenny Ryan visibly cursing at himself after losing the handle on that one right in front of the Penguins net.

Update: Great chance for Carrick and Mitchell but the Penguins defense intercepts the cross ice pass.  Nearly four minutes gone in the third period.  Still 1-1.

Update: Shot by Despres goes just wide off the Leafs net.  Five minutes gone in the third period.

Update: Good work down low by McKegg leads to a Leafs chance as Crescenzi tries to sneak one in past Thiessen, but hits the post.  The Leafs will go back to the powerplay as Nick Peterson takes the feet out from the Leafs player in the boards behind the net.  Leafs to the powerplay with just over 13 minutes left in regulation time, game still tied 1-1.

Update: Golden opportunity for Stefanovich in front, who tries to take advantage of a friendly bounce off the end boards.  Leafs continue to move the puck well with the man advantage, but can’t cash in.

Update: Penguins get a shorthanded chance but fail to convert.  Some great back checking by the Leafs to make the Pens players on the breakout as uncomfortable as possible.

Update: Play is stopped as the puck goes out of the playing surface.  About half way done the third period. 10:51 remains in regulation.

Update: Bit of a broken play gives Mitchell a chance in front, but he is stopped by Thiessen.  9 minutes to play.

Update: Penguins will get a powerplay with 8:12 left in regulation.  Jesse Blacker will go the box.

Update: Jump ball in the crease but somehow it stays out.  That looked like it may have been in from my angle.  Somehow, it is still 1-1.  6:43 left in regulation.

Update: Gysbers may well have pulled that off the goal line.  Carrick with a great chance for the Leafs, but Thiessen again up to the task to keep it notted at 1 goal a piece.

Update: Puck is in the Leafs net, but the refs whistle went before hand.  Close calls here in London, but still just the one goal each.  5:56 remains in regulation time.

Update: Five minutes remain in regulation, with the score still 1-1.

Update: Play is called offside.  Just 3:54 remains in regulation, still tied 1-1.  Shots read 30-23 in favour of Pittsburgh.

Update: Scrivens makes a big save but loses his footing after the save.  Penguins had a good chance to take a lead, but Scrivens with a nice blocker save.

Update: Peterson streaks down the wing for the Penguins, but Scrivens is sound positionally and makes the save.  Still 1-1.  2:22 left in regulation.

Update: Scrivens with a strong pad save on a directed shot.  1:44 left in the third period.

Update: Olden nearly converts on a shot in front of the net, but doesn’t get much on the shot.  1:23 remains.

Update: Last minute of play in regulation time.

Update: Dustin Jeffrey scores on Scrivens with 34.5 seconds left in regulation to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead in the game.

Update: A shame after the effort Scrivens gave tonight, that he lets up a soft one to end the game.  He was out of position, not hugging the post, and Jeffrey backhanded the puck into the net.

Update: The final horn sounds and the Penguins defeat the Leafs 2-1 on a late goal by Dustin Jeffrey.  Shots read 33-24 in favour of the Penguins.

Update: Here are the three stars.  Brad Theissen (Penguins) Ben Scrivens (Maple Leafs) and Geoff Walker (Penguins)

So the Leafs drop their rookie tournament record to 1-1 with a loss to Pittsburgh.  The Penguins move their record up to 2-0 with the win over the Leafs.  Both teams are in action Tuesday night.  The Leafs battle the Senators in the evening game, while the Penguins take on the Blackhawks in the matinee.