The goal was his seventh of the playoffs, and already his 16th point, good for fifth on the team in postseason scoring. It's an impressive accomplishment when you consider he's only played in 17 of Philadelphia's 21 playoff games, and only averages about 15 minutes of ice-time per contest ... and because he had scored just 11 goals in 68 career regular season games entering the playoffs.
His goals have come in a variety of ways: beating defensemen one-on-one, deflections, going to the net and banging in rebounds, and on Friday, creating space for himself in the middle of the ice.
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There was certainly some luck involved with Friday's goal (a great bounce), but there was also plenty of skill (and smarts) to even put himself in a position to get a shot, going from little open space...
To a lot of open space...
Matt Carle (No. 25 in Orange) deserves a lot of credit on this play as well, not only for clearing Kris Versteeg (a forward) out of that area, but also for running some, as Ed Olczyk would call it, "subtle interference" on Nick Boynton.
When comparing Leino to the remaining players in the Stanley Cup Final, he's been one of the most "efficient" scorers in the postseason, both at even strength and on the power play. When it comes to scoring at even strength, Leino's points-per-minute trail only Marian Hossa and Danny Briere.
He also finds himself in the top-five when it comes to power play points-per-minute...
The question now becomes, is this some of what we can expect from Leino going forward, or is it simply a blip on the radar screen that will soon be forgotten? This is probably what the Red Wings had in mind from Leino when they signed him out of Finland two years ago, and he's looking like he did in his first brief stint in the NHL when he scored five goals in 13 games during the 2008-09 season. And it's not just the actual production that stands out. He simply looks like a good hockey player. He's been strong with the puck, not afraid to carry it into the zone and he's even starting to wear a target on his back, getting a healthy dose of the physical stuff from the Blackhawks throughout Friday's game ... and he's still finding a way to produce.