Leafs Post-Game: Hurricane Carolina

The Leafs dropped the ball tonight and lost 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes, ending their win streak at 6.

THE RUNDOWN

It was a really ugly first period for the Leafs.  They were thoroughly outplayed by last-place Carolina, allowing two goals including one shorthanded.  Both were on nice passing plays that gave Jonathan Bernier little chance of a save.  The Leafs were out-possessed, out-chanced, and outplayed with the shot totals after one 16-9 Carolina.

The Leafs were better in the second period outplaying the Hurricanes by a decent margin  Guys like Lupul, Holland, Kessel, and Bozak had their fair share of chances, and they were rewarded for that when Peter Holland fed Dion Phaneuf late in the frame to cut the lead in half.  Bernier was perfect in the period, and the Leafs left the second down 2-1.

The Leafs started the third period strong, but a bad interference penalty by Cody Franson lead to a Carolina powerplay that ultimately made it 3-1 Canes.  The Leafs didn’t stop pushing though, and threw all they could at Cam Ward.  It was too little, too late though and the Hurricanes were able to close it out after scoring an empty netter to cap it off at 4-1.

All in all the Leafs actually played pretty well.  They were the better team for the latter two periods by a pretty visible margin, but it just wasn’t enough.  Their start was too ugly and they were never able to recover.  And when you fall in a hole early, it makes every mistake that much more costly.  We saw that in the Hurricanes third goal.  The Leafs have been on a great run record-wise, but their play has been slipping a little bit of late and they were bound to get burned by that eventually.

BLUE WARRIOR

He didn’t steal the show tonight, but Jonathan Bernier gave the Leafs a chance all night long to stay in the game.  Stopping 33 of 36 shots, he’s your Blue Warrior.

NOTES

  • Cody Franson became the 12th defenseman to hit 20 points tonight, drawing an assist on the Phaneuf goal.
  • Roman Polak returned to the lineup for his first game after missing 10 with a leg injury.  Korbinian Holzer was a healthy scratch.
  • Before tonight the Carolina Hurricanes were losers of 6 straight, having scored only 1 goal in 7 straight games.  They were also 30th in the NHL, but leapfrog the Edmonton Oilers with the win.
  • The Leafs haven’t won a game in Raleigh since March 2001.
  • Former Leaf and usual puck possession nightmare Jay McClement actually lead the Hurricanes with an 82% Corsi tonight.
  • Team Corsi totals: Carolina 57.69% Corsi, Toronto 42.31% Corsi.
  • Toronto’s Corsi King: James van Riemsdyk at 58CF%.
  • Toronto’s Corsi Goat: Daniel Winnik had just a 16% Corsi tonight.

SEE YOU SATURDAY

The Leafs return home Saturday to face the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00PM Eastern on CBC.

    • TGT23

      I agree. I don’t want to be one of those teams that plays one goalie 65+ games a season. It doesn’t need to be that way. Not while we have a capable backup.

      The team didn’t show up and credit to Bernier keeping them in it until late in the 3rd. This was a trap game playing against a bad team and the Leafs got trapped. Need to get going again for the next one Saturday vs. Philly.

  • STAN

    This was vintage LEAFS UG-LEE.

    Man, what makes these guys so passive? Standing there watching puck handlers; forming the traditional box on the PK, but backing away from puck carriers instead of challenging. No wonder we Leafs fans are frustrated.

    It was a joke, and disheartening to watch a helpless Clarkson unable to skate at an NHL level to catch up on a Carolina 2 on 1. I mean, why would a $5.25MM per season guy need to skate when he was hired for his alleged grit?

    Another wake-up call here. Gross losses to Buffalo and now Carolina, games that should have been Leafs wins.

    Philly is next and the sad part is we have no clue which team will show up.

    • CMpuck

      Stan you are the man. The first question is what is Clarkson doing on the powerplay with his hands of stone. But you are dead on as he can’t skate. I recall when the 18 wheeler went off the cliff last there was a loss to Washinton in which Clarkson took a needless penalty and then took 10 seconds to get back into the play as Washington scored. We are stuck with this albatross. Oh sure he is better than last year but that was an automatic considering how brutal he was a year ago.

      Just remember Nonis is not a member of Mensa as Clarkson’s agent got him one of the most iron clad contracts in the history of the N.H.L>

  • LibrarianMike

    Disagree with Bernier as the blue warrior. He didn’t really give the leafs a chance to win. And most importantly he never locked it down when the leafs were down 2-1 by stopping the next and important third goal.

    Reimer has been playing much better these past games and this is just more dinosaur Carlyle holding onto his Reimer grudge by refusing to play him.

    #Fire Carlyle please

    • TGT23

      You’re so painfully wrong.

      Bernier locked it down for the entire 2nd period and most of the 3rd giving the Leafs ample time to get back into the game and tie it up.

      And yeah, Reimer has played better recently than he did the few games before if that is what you’re saying. But he hasn’t been better than Bernier if you’re insinuating that. Bernier has been the biggest reason the team had gone 10-1-1.

      But this isn’t Carlyle holding a grudge. This is Carlyle playing his starting, much better goalie more than his less talented backup.

  • TGT23

    Well, well boys and girls the maple leaf raft just began its journey down that long, long, long mighty river with all those huge rapids. Now some of you were a little scared tonight, but it was only a category one rapid BUT ENOUGH TO BEAT THE LEAFS AGAINST THE PATHETIC, GARBAGE, A.H.L. HURRICANES.

    Now I got a serious question. Tell me that the name of the Raleigh night club that can help the leafs keep losing to this joke of a franchise since 2001. How else do you explain that NO SHOW tonight with the team being out shot 16 to 9 at one point it was a 4 to 1 ratio of 16 to 4. How do you lose close to 80% of your faceoffs.

    Okay I get it Gardiner is the whipping boy but on the first goal but you have to give Holland some credit for his pansy checking of the forward who sent the perfect pass to the leaf goal line.

    I know, I know we are all concerned about the mumps ravaging through out the N.H.L. But imagine you are Morgan Reilly and you get Gardineritis with Gardiner being your partner on defence as you are 30 feet out of position on a power play which allows a 2 on 1. Yeah, yeah we all remember from pee wee that you let the goalie worry about the guy carrying the puck you just prevent the other guy from getting the pass. But not Gardiner, no siree he has his own system.

    Okay I’ve been a bit tough on the Hurricanes, after all they did score a power play goal by a guy who hadn’t scored in 44 games and was his first this year. Sorry I can’t remember his name but he is good enough to make the power play on this joke of a team.

    Bottom line people, the big smoke had the chance of being the only city in North America to have two teams with 20 victories as the Raptors waltz through there season with a first place 20 and 6 record but NO, NO, NO the one playoff appearance leafs in the past 10 years certainly were not going to allow that to happen.

    Somebody recently posted on a blog he was a very happy, happy leaf fan. Now before I could conclude he was delusional, I read his formula of success. He is a leaf fan till Christmas then POOF the leafs disappear after 35 games. He says most years the leafs are in the playoffs at that point. Sounds like he is on to something.

    Now I know we will all be cheering our juniors on to victory. JUST REMEMBER THIS. Thanks to our wonderufl owners M.L.S.E. the Air Canada center is booked for a few weeks so your beloved leafs are forced to play the ludicrous schedule of 17 games out of 22 on the road.

    Philly at home this Saturday then a category 5 rapid on Sunday in the windy city versus the Hawks. You better be wearing two life jackets.