Motown lesson for Leafs

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:12 PM ET

TORONTO - The Maple Leafs saw many of their mistakes on Saturday night turned into goals by the Detroit Red Wings.

And the majority of Leafs knew there were bigger things going on against a club that is near the top of the Western Conference standings.

“No excuses, but they played at a very high pace, a noticeably higher pace than the (previous) two games on the road for us,” left winger Joffrey Lupul said. “With a defence that is highly skilled like that, you want to put pucks in and go and try to hit them.

“But it’s tougher than it looks. (Nicklas) Lidstrom, there is a reason why he is still playing, and playing at such a high level.”

Picking them

Nazem Kadri demonstrated the kind of patience that smart offensive players have when he scored his second NHL goal on Saturday night.

Kadri beat Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard with a wrist shot, but Kadri didn’t just close his eyes and throw the puck at the net.

With Darryl Boyce and a Wings defender creating a screen, Kadri knew he had Howard at his mercy.

“Boyce and the defenceman were in front, and the other defenceman tried to come out and block the shot,” Kadri said. “He went down on one knee. I waited (Howard) out and picked the corner.”

Nice place to visit

Kadri acknowledged he was in awe of the raucous atmosphere at Joe Louis Arena. No matter who the visitor is in Toronto, the same kind of rocking night almost never transpires at the Air Canada Centre.

“The atmosphere was, well, words can’t explain it,” Kadri said. “It was so loud, but once the puck dropped, I got in the zone and tried to do the things I do well.”

Rookie netminder James Reimer also enjoyed soaking it in.

“I was excited to play there,” Reimer said. “I don’t know if I was intimidated or nervous. They have a great franchise and have won a lot of games. I was up for the challenge.”

No glove, no love

The Tampa Bay Lightning made a few waves a couple of weeks ago when some of them said that their scouting reports on Reimer said to shoot to the glove side.

That’s where Jiri Hudler shot for the winning goal on Saturday night.

“It handcuffed me,” Reimer said. “I was reading high glove, and it went below my glove. I don’t know what happened, it was frustrating and I would like to have that one (back). Hey, that happens.”


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