March 20 2013 09:20PM
Photo via Claus Anderson/NHL Interactive
Coming into this game, the Toronto Maple Leafs had significantly outplayed non-playoff opponents. They had out-chanced them 185-145 this season, compared to being out-chanced 196-242 by playoff teams. That is a very significant swing.
But it's one you might expect of a team whose true talent level is likely in that big swath of teams positioned between 6th and 12th in the Eastern Conference standings, separated by just 7 points. The idea, you see, is that it is easier to play against bad hockey teams, and harder to play against better hockey teams.
Toronto, after a rough stretch of schedule, finally got to play an opponent that is not only lousy, but not particularly well-coached. From the opening puck drop, the Maple Leafs asserted themselves as the better team over the Tampa Bay Lightning. They scored the first four goals, let time tick away in the third, and ended up winning 4-2, and it wasn't really close.
March 20 2013 03:05PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost five straight games.
Qualifier: The Toronto Maple Leafs last five games have all come against playoff teams.
Addendum: If the Toronto Maple Leafs are a playoff team, they'll have to beat playoff opponents.
Tonight they play Tampa Bay, a team outside of playoff position. The team has had a tough schedule of late, facing Boston, Pittsburgh twice and Winnipeg twice, and coming back from two 4-1 deficits to boot to force OTs.
Last time the Leafs faced the Bolts, they got off to a slow start, and Ben Scrivens allowed two sloppy ones in a 4-2 loss. You can read the recap from that game here.
March 20 2013 11:09AM
Komisarek strategy - waiving NMC for waivers - elementary. Needs to play. Almost certain he won't be claimed, will report/play for Marlies.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 20, 2013
Not much to say here, other than Mike Komisarek joins a long list of Burke-era pickups like Matt Lombardi and Tim Connolly to find themselves off this season's roster as the Leafs shed some dead space. News via TSN.
March 19 2013 04:29PM
INT: Dave Nonis' Honda Civic - Downtown Toronto
*The phone rings of the Toronto Maple Leafs' general manager. It is the Vancouver Canucks' general manager calling*
Dave Nonis: Hello?
Mike Gillis: Hey, Dave, was wondering if you were watching Primetime Sports just now?
March 19 2013 02:28PM
After several games of Korbinian Holzer under performing on the Toronto Maple Leafs top two defensive pairings, the big German has been demoted to the American Hockey League. This comes a game after Randy Carlyle made the switch and re-united Dion Phaneuf and Carl Gunnarsson on the top line.
The bigger news?
Jake Gardiner has been freed. Well, called up for AHL anyway.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 19, 2013
This is some fantastic news if you're a Leafs fan.