January 12 2014 02:18PM
If you've been paying attention to the out of town scoreboard, the Leafs have gotten some rotten luck over the last week or so. It seems that every game has gone the wrong way, with teams behind the Leafs getting big wins against Western teams, and three points being distributed in unfortunate spots.
Toronto, to their credit, also dropped games to Carolina and Washington in regulation, but can reclaim a spot in the standings against another Eastern bubble team this Sunday against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils beat Florida a night ago in overtime on a goal from Marek Zidlicky to jump up to two points back of the last Wild Card spot... and send the Leafs down to 6th in the Wild Card standings, which no games in hand, and no tiebreakers against any of the teams.
A win and the Leafs can jump up to third in the Wild Card standings and a point out. While we thought December was a key stretch, the Leafs have picked a bad time to slump, playing against some key Eastern Conference teams before a West Coast trip next week. Billy Billy Billy... this is a biggie*.
January 12 2014 09:16AM
I don't want to write any "I told you so" columns. Those can wait until March. I am cool with watching sportswriters twist in the wind without actually twisting in the wind.
From an October column, written when the Toronto Maple Leafs were 5-1 (and published after the Leafs went to 6-1) titled with the harbinger headline "Where are the critics of Nonis' off-season moves now?" the Toronto Sun's resident straw man assured Leafs Nation that Toronto's controversial offseason moves made the team better:
"[The online statistical geniuses] yelled that Nonis doesn’t know what he’s doing and that tone continued throughout the summer after the deal for David Bolland, the buyout of Mikhail Grabovski, the signings of David Clarkson and Tyler Bozak and the awkward contract negotiations of Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson."
January 11 2014 05:03PM
Taking a breath from losing, what are the Leafs trying to do with David Clarkson?
January 11 2014 09:53AM
Friday night in Washington DC the Leafs lost their fourth straight game. While their "compete" level was a hell of a lot better than it was the night before in Carolina, they still lost.
In the four losses the Leafs have been outscored by a combined 21-7.
Which begs the question; how many more games do the Leafs have to lose until the fans breakout the "bag of shame".
January 10 2014 02:17PM
Well, we're right back to where we started. The Leafs were passed by both Carolina and Washington a night ago, and now gets to play the second of those teams, with both Toronto and the Capitals on the back half of a back-to-back. It's one of those games you're pretty sure one team is just going to lay an awful effort on the ice.
With the tight schedule right now, there aren't a lot of lineup points to parse over so I'll keep a short LGD today. All we can hope for is that Jake Gardiner returns to the Leafs lineup. Again, it's important to mention that while everybody knows the Leafs biggest issue is getting out-shot, Gardiner gets out-shot the least among regular defencemen.
But we can forgive Randy, I guess. After all, Gardiner is super skilled, which begs the question: does Jake Gardiner think he's better than us?