Rage is building. Profanities flying. Channels being changed in the most dramatic fashions. Not a good start to a weekend.
This was one of those games that makes slamming your head against the wall seem like reasonable, or even a slight under reaction to the events. The Leafs played a good game and it is hard to be in a game where you have 10 consecutive minutes playing a man short. But to their credit they pressed and fought back.
But there were two big misses that, in the end, cost the Leafs. First was midway through the second when the Leafs Clarke Macarthur drove down the right side, only to have a Sabre wrap his arms around him. The referee, looking right at this, did nothing. The play then went back to the Leafs end where C-Mac took a tripping penalty that started the half period of shorthanded play.
The Leafs deserved all calls that followed, and I’m sorry to say, Phaneuf deserved the 5 and a game he got for his dangerous hit. The only way to eliminate hitting from behind is to hand out those large penalties.
In the end the Leafs looked on the verge to overcome their pathetic attempt at killing penalties if not for a blatant non-call when Phil Kessel was crosschecked at the blue line. The puck squirted to a Buffalo player, who made a perfect breakaway pass and lead goal that will surely haunt Reimer tonight. After the smoke settled the Leafs lost a game they should have won, blame the refs, blames the PK, either way these are 2 points that may be very important by seasons end.