Leafs Postgame: Shark Tanked


The Leafs have a lot of the roster pieces in place to be a high flying, strong skating transition team full of fearless individuals, many of whom have big bodies. The San Jose Sharks are actually that team, with even more depth and a coaching staff that takes advantage of the abilities of their skaters. Tonight was a game destined for heartbreak, but if the Leafs could beat the Ducks, maybe they could pull it off agai… make it stop

The Rundown

I don’t want to talk about it. ..I’ve been told I have to talk about it, at least a little bit. Okay. I’ll make this short.

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First the Sharks scored a goal because the Leafs weren’t well positioned. Then Jake Gardiner rushed up with Mason Raymond and tied the game a few seconds later. Then Troy Bodie and Mike Brown decided that this game was too exciting and skill-filled and decided to punch each other in the face a lot. Then a Sharks goal that should have counted got waved off. Then a Sharks goal that shouldn’t have counted was ruled a goal after initially being waved off. Then the Leafs got a penalty, then the Sharks took a lot of shot, and then the period ended.

They started a new period. The Sharks scored. And then they scored again. Eventually, some from the Sharks went to the box. The Leafs powerplay unit wasn’t so hot. Then David Clarkson decided to start punching Andrew Desjardins, and vice versa. Then people took a bunch of penalties. Mason Raymond also fell on a breakaway at one point.

Third period time. The Sharks scored another goal. Tim Gleason also wanted to punch Andrew Desjardins. Then Jake Gardiner scored another goal while the Leafs were on the penalty kill.  Then Joffrey Lupul decided to fight Tommy Wingels as a response to Dion Phaneuf getting all up in Havlat’s face a few seconds after his goal. Then the game ended and I came here and wrote this.

Also, Dion Phaneuf went for a hit at one point and almost took James van Riemsdyk’s head off. JVR came back and played again, despite the game being close a lost cause at this point, and the fact that his potential injury involved his brain.

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Why The Leafs Lost


Consider that the Leafs had about half a game of “score effects” time and still looked that bad.

Blue Warrior

In a game with few bright spots, I’ll give this one to Jake Gardiner. After being burned on the first goal, the Leafs moved him back to his preferred left side and he paid them back by righting his wrong. Outside of that quick recovery, he was generally in good position, scored a nice shorthanded goal, and played a team-high 26 minutes tonight.

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  • STAN

    Hey stats geeks, check out Phaneuf’s performances in the second of back-to-backs. I bet it’s ugly.

    Because while many d-men start to peak at 25-26-27, The Kaptin is regressing…. in speed, overall smarts (see the JvR hit) and leadership.

    Isn’t he supposed to be the $8M man who grabs these guys by the shirt collar and intmidates them into performing?


    • STAN


      Going into action tonight Dion Phaneuf had 0 goals, 4 assists, and was a +1 in the second game of back-to-backs (11 games).

      Not great but definitely not ugly.

      And how are you going to vilify his “hockey smarts” on the basis of a missed hit..? He missed a hit, JVR was hit instead, not exactly a play that lacks hockey smarts.

      Dion plays around 22 minutes every game and does so against the oppositions top lines. To win games he is often there to shut down other teams top lines (see Sidney Crosby earlier this season).

      He is +15, top on the team, 17th among all NHL d-men. In comparison, you’re talking about a better +/- than Pietroangelo, Subban, Karlsson, Suter, Markov, Kronwall and so many more.

      He isn’t “supposed” to be what you want him to be. Leaders don’t have to manhandle his teammates. His job is to lead and perform. He performs better than most, his leadership may not be evident to you, he who watches games on TV and thinks he knows the way things work, but he is the Captain for a reason. Deal with it.

      He’ll be here a while.


      • STAN


        OK, so his stats aren’t horrible in second games and, YES, he’s a plus 15 this season. But he’s a career MINUS player. He signed that original deal in Calgary after two B+ seasons, mostly playing against second lines and the PP point.

        I still contend he’s not very bright, is getting slower and lazier by the month and has a good chance of being the goat, AGAIN, in the playoffs.

        How soon the cheerleaders forget that The Captain was directly responsible, not incidentally, but DIRECTLY responsible for two crucial goals allowed… against the Bruins last season that lead to the Leafs elimination from the playoffs.

        Leadership? Not with this guy.

        • TGT23

          Again, check your stats friend, not a career minus player (even before this season). +1 entering the year, +16 now.

          Two really bad seasons (on bad Calgary and Toronto teams) killed his +/- by 21 points.

          And yes, he signed his original deal after two B+ seasons… And then went on to have two more. I actually don’t see your point on that.

          It is rather presumptuous of you to assume I forgot the playoffs. I didn’t forget the playoffs.

          I remember Frattin missing on a breakaway with under 3 minutes left. I remember Reimer’s lack of rebound control. I remember Gunnarsson being out of position and not clearing Lucic in front of the net on the 3rd goal. Gardiner throwing the puck blindly to a Bruin for the final goal.

          And that was just Game 7.

          There was a lot to pin that series loss on, it is too easy and too short sighted to put it all on Dion. Especially considering what I just listed.

          Meanwhile, Dion has been fantastic ever since. You’re talking about him getting worse month by month, but the stats don’t agree with you. Look up the splits. He’s been fairly good every month (minus this month, though they are still 3-2-1).

          Unless you are in the room. In practice. On the bench. You can’t convince me Dion isn’t a leader. You have no real evidence except that Dion hasn’t beaten up his teammates. You don’t really know what kind of leader he is.

          But, considering the team is 2nd in the division, I don’t really think it matters.

  • not_SorjeBalming

    I have to say something regarding Dion…the guy is either really lazy or thinks he is so “cool,calm and collected” that he NEVER hustles after a loose puck.

    That drives me nuts for a few reasons.

    1. If your a “Leader” and you are not a big goal scorer or rah rah kind of guy….shouldn’t you be at least showing your team a good work ethic?

    2. If you man the point on the PP…shouldn’t you as a Pro player be able to once in a while take a shot on net instead of passing it off to Kessel at a bad angle near the boards? It seems like his style is to never shoot because he is afraid of a blocked shot and he will get outraced for a clear breakaway.

    I can’t hide my disdain for him…at all. I just can’t anymore. He should not be the captain of this team. I don’t mind him so much as a player on the team…but Captain?? no thanks.

  • TGT23

    WOW !!
    No surprise here, Reimer left out to dry, while most of his team decided they didn’t want to play with him tonight AGAIN just like they didn’t want to play last Monday either….
    Is it not my understanding that you are suppose to want to win the games no matter what? no matter the Goalie for that night? or your tired or scared or whatever the hell the problem is with this team….

    REIMER is a great Goalie and a great person and a great team player/team mate, he is a nice guy that values his team and respect his team no matter what and maybe that’s his downfall because he doesn’t get it back in return. I feel awful for him and wish they had traded him last Wednesday to a team that want’s to win that wants to compete but most of all team that values their Goalies not just the Goalie they perfer….

    I feel bad that this Nonis destroyed Reimer in so many ways…..PLEASE TRADE REIMER Before it’s to late….


  • Cam Thornton

    Can someone explain score effects to me because the leafs were creamed as measured by corsi. And yet some games, when the leafs lose by a wide goal margin and outshoot the other team people will saying sure but the leafs were losing and so they shot more.

    It seems to me that people are using score effects to argue and explain why advanced stats work for a team that was outshot. There were a number of games this season when the leafs didn’t show any “score effects” by being outscored and outshot both. I call BS here.

  • Cam Thornton

    Where’s Cam Charron been? It seems like you (Jeff) have been doing all of the writing lately. I like coming to this page to read some in depth parts of why the leafs won/lost, but I could have just watched the highlights if I wanted the play-by-play stuff I just read.

  • Cam Thornton

    I’m not trying to bash you in any way Jeff. Checking out the page you’ve had a lot to write about, what with both the leafs and the Marlies and your extra work like the fanmail, plus its hard to take anything away from a game like this. Thats why I was hoping you guys could get some more writers doing these post games, as to take some of the pressure off of you

    • It’s fair man; Leafs recaps aren’t usually my thing (though this one was intentionally mailed in, haha).

      Cam has been busy with a bunch of other stuff, including one of his tri-annual ‘the internet is dumb’ crises. Not sure when he’ll be back. Most of the rest of the crew has been busy as well.