Leafs Postgame – Leafs Can’t Handle Wildcat Offence

Earlier today in the pregame post, I talked about how Florida wasn’t that dangerous a team. Heading into tonight’s matchup against the Leafs, the Panthers had scored the second fewest goals in the NHL, and were just slightly above average in preventing goals against. They should have been a team the Leafs could handle, but couldn’t be taken lightly. They’ve got enough talent to burn you.

Whelp. 

The Leafs were outshot by a count of 35-to-17 and squandered a two-goal, third period lead, losing by a score of 6-4 in regulation. Pretty standard Toronto Maple Leafs fare, really.

The Rundown

While the first period saw no goals scored, the Panthers pretty thoroughly outworked the Leafs, outshooting them 13-3 in the opening twenty minutes. 

Somehow, the Leafs would get on the board first. Just over six minutes into the second period, Richard Panik would open the scoring, sending a nice shot short-side past Roberto Luongo. Within four minutes, goals from Jonathan Huberdeau and Jimmy Hayes (whom the Leafs traded away for the opportunity to draft Brad Ross in 2010) put the Panthers ahead 2-1. 

Toronto would respond right back with three straight goals from Roman Polak, James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri. A total of six goals would be scored in the second frame, and the Leafs would carry a 4-2 lead into the second intermission.

That’s about when everything went to hell. It seemed like point shot after point shot found its way past James Reimer. The Panthers would score four straight goals, from Dmitry Kulikov, Willie Mitchell, Brad Boyes and Scottie Upshall (into an empty net). Reimer, who was appeared to be both bad and unlucky, would give up five goals on 34 shots and finish the game with an .853 SV%.

TOR-FLA

Shot Attempt Chart Provided by WAR On Ice

Blue Warrior

Man, do I have to pick one? I’m tempted to say Richard Panik because he didn’t factor at all into the Leafs’ collapse. He also scored a pretty goal and was +1 in just over seven minutes of icetime.

Screw it. Honourable mentions to both Joffrey Lupul and JVR, but nobody wearing a blue and white jersey was all that impressive tonight. Long live Panik.

See You In Tampa

The Leafs are back at it tomorrow, facing off against Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Watch it at 7:30pm on Sportsnet, and see if Christopher Gibson starts his first career NHL game. After tonight’s performance, and if Bernier is still sidelined, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

  • CMpuck

    To think a year ago we probably could have gotten Loungo for Riemer straight up (or something of that ilk). Luongo/Bernier, two top 15 tenders, quite a tandem. But Leaf fans love their own until they get exposed.

    Hey Leaf Nation, still want to keep Kadri and Franson because you’ll hate them next year and we both know that’s the reality.

      • CMpuck

        Luongo, .921% and 2.51 on a team coming off a 30th place season and Luo has them in a playoff spot at the moment.

        But but… the contract… Yeah but the Leafs with cap room are reprobates. From Pavel Kubina to Jeff Finger to Tim Connolly to David Clarkson if the Leafs have cap space no matter the GM they blow it on garbage. At least Lou would bring value and that’s money you can’t totally waste somewhere on a stiff. If we traded for Lou we couldn’t have signed Robidas, boo hoo.

        But the Leafs will give another 10-12 million long term to Kadri and Franson… Maybe even Reimer gets a raise.

        But I get guys like you take TSN panel talk as gospel.

    • TGT23

      I want to keep Kadri, I don’t have an opinion on Franson. But Kadri is the best C on the team and losing him would hurt the teams production dramatically.

      Speaking of, how is there no call on the trip on Kadri? Ridiculous!

      Reimer was awful and unlucky. The team was just awful. At least for large portions of the game. 4-2 leads against the Panthers should be safe…

  • TGT23

    tough break REIMS….what a crappy return to the ice present……
    no one seems to mention that a supposely better net minder on the other end did alot wors then Reims by far and had a better yeam in front of him….

    Reims when never get a break here again and he will always be the fll guy no matter what…. he never stood a chance here.

    Good luck to Bernie, as I said beforas long as he stays healthy and on top and continues to carry his team, he will be the fans and management BOY, but he to if he’s around long enough and starts to show hes floundering he too will end up like Reim….