New York Islan-DERP'd. Leafs lose 5-3 to Isles

Cam Charron
April 18 2013 08:57PM


Graig Abel/NHL Interactive

"Just about every astute hockey man that I have ever spoken with talking about losing streaks says: 'Sometimes you win a game or two that you should not have, and your bad habits are overcome by goaltending or a couple of breaks. And then all of a sudden those bad habits come to the fruition or to the fore, and you're in a little bit of trouble.'"

-Joe Bowen, sometime during the third period.

Let's be clear. It would be intellectually dishonest to suggest that the Toronto Maple Leafs of Games 1-through-41 are the same team that we've seen in Games 42, 43 and 44. They've not looked good, and everybody can agree that the win against New Jersey was a poor performance overcome by, as Bowen would say "goaltending or a couple of breaks". 

The Leafs got a good early performance from James Reimer, who stopped four pucks on a 5-on-3. Goaltending. Joffrey Lupul danced around Matt Carkner. One bounce. Tyler Bozak fed a no-look pass right onto Cody Franson's tape. Two bounces. All of a sudden it was 2-0 Toronto, despite the Leafs being out-shot 4-2 and out-chanced 5-2. 

By the bad habits caught up. Somebody will frame this game as having a "turning point". Maybe the New York Islanders players will credit the two fights, or an inspirational performance from the franchise player John Tavares in the latter half of the first. The real answer is that the Leafs were never meant to be up 2-0, and their lucky after seven minutes ran out.

Leafs lose, 5-3. They will still make the playoffs.

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Preview: Game #44 Islanders @ Leafs - An important game in April

Cam Charron
April 18 2013 12:33PM

After the Toronto Maple Leafs, the longest playoff drought in the Eastern Conference belongs to the New York Islanders, who of course made the dance in that Game 82 shootout against New Jersey to knock the Leafs out of contention. They proceeded to get killed by the Buffalo Sabres.

The Islanders are a team that are forgotten about sometimes. They've had long stretches of futility and very little meaningful success out of their four consecutive Stanley Cups in the early 1980s. Since passing the baton to the Edmonton Oilers in the 1984 Cup final, they've played 25 complete seasons. They've made the playoffs in 11 of them and have won just four playoff series.

But they hold down the seven seed coming into Thursday's competition. They play the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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YakovMironov's Leaflets: April 18th - Just say "No-Zak"

Jon Steitzer
April 18 2013 10:38AM

Leaflets is a weekly rundown of thoughts and notes on the Leafs by Jon Steitzer that will usually appear on Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter @YakovMironov

JUST SAY NO-ZAK

Darren Dreger stated yesterday that Tyler Bozak is seeking five million dollars a season. A player who is a disappointment at $1.5 million wants more? In the NHL this seems right, but I’d hope this is enough to finally punch his ticket out of town. Rather than go into the comparables (SkinnyPPPhish has done that here) or into how Bozak isn’t very good (Hockey Analysis has that here) I’d like to focus on the alternatives to not bringing Bozak back.

First consider who is available and what their price and term would be relative to Bozak’s potential $5 million.

Player

Age

2012-13 Cap Hit

Ribeiro, Mike

33

$5,000,000

McDonald, Andy

35

$4,700,000

Roy, Derek

29

$4,000,000

Zubrus, Dainius

34

$3,400,000

Weiss, Stephen

30

$3,100,000

( numbers from Capgeek.com )

None of these names are exciting, and all of these players are older (and in some cases significantly older) than Bozak, but without argument they are all more capable a filling in a top six role than Bozak and it’s likely that only Weiss and Ribeiro could also be in that $5m range that Bozak is seeking.

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LFR6 - Game 43 - Unwinning

Steve Dangle
April 17 2013 01:24PM

Hat Guy holds the floor because I'm stupid.

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No offence in the Capital: Leafs lose 5-1 in Washington

Cam Charron
April 16 2013 08:55PM


Greg Fiume/NHL Interactive

Irony of all ironies, for the second consecutive night, the Toronto Maple Leafs were visually out-played and out-shot, but the Randy Carlyle tight system did everything as advertised: it restricted scoring chances against.

The Leafs out-chanced the Washington Capitals at even strength. Even in the early going when the Capitals held an edge in zone time, the Leafs kept shots primarily to the outside… although the Capitals seemed like they were trying to force things through and set up deflections. Maybe. Maybe not. Some teams have strategies where they try to fire pucks through shot blockers and pounce on rebounds. Occasionally, it's successful.

Tuesday night, the second half of a back-to-back, with one of the league's hottest offensive squads against a backup goaltender, it worked. Not an awful loss for the Leafs, however. It's a schedule loss. It's one that we could have expected. The Leafs looked at the schedule, started James Reimer against the Devils, and decided to come out of a tough back-to-back with their best chance at two points.

The Leafs lost 5-1.

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