The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Winnipeg Jets (4-3) in an shootout win. Each team scored a goal in the first. The Jets managed two power-play goals in the second off two consecutive penalties against Mike Komisarek.
The Leafs were down 3-1 going into the third and the Jets dominating the game. It was hard to tell if the Jets really picked up their game from the season opener where they looked awful—to outworking and outskating the Leafs, or our guys were just off to a slow start. Either way, the Jets seemed to have an extra step for the first two periods.
A key shift in the game, though, came when Ron Wilson shortened his defensive bench at the beginning of the third. Komisarek and Schenn polished the pine with the pants.
Komisarek took two penalties in the second where players skated by him and he grabbed them. The first penalty was called interference followed closely by a holding infraction.
Komisarek was definitely in the Bad Dog Box for extremely average play.
Once Komi was benched, the team vastly improved in the big things—offense, power play, penalty kill and goaltending.
The Leafs dominated the play in the most of the third period.
On offense, Lupul managed a power-play goal by a lucky tip-in by the Jets Tobias Enstrom. Kessel scored a beautiful tick-tac-toe goal to tie the game off a shot pass by Phaneuf to take the game into overtime.
Where should Komisarek go?
The special teams executed with Komi's butt attached to the bench. The power play scored two goals, and the penalty kill cleared away a lone penalty by Phil Kessel.
James Reimer was solid in the third and overtime which was probably helped because Gardiner looked comfortable with the puck instead having the Komi-tose panic attack.
Matt Frattin scored the shoot-out winner, and Reimer made two saves.
The leafs with Komisarek looked apathetic, and his play led directly to two goals. Once benched, the team improved and worked their way to a win.
Given this, we can only hope Ron Wilson gives Komisarek a sideline view for a few weeks and goes with Gardiner and Franson.
What should Burke do with Komisarek?