Leafs Post-Game: Leafs Fall Together

It was a tough night in Anaheim for the Leafs.  Coming off a tough but promising loss to the defending champion L.A. Kings, Toronto hoped to turn a good process into a good result and bounce back to keep the hope of a successful road trip alive.  Well, they didn’t quite have it tonight and the Ducks took advantage.  And while they still showed signs of improvement, they didn’t deserve the win tonight.  In the shakiest effort under new coach Peter Horachek yet, the Leafs were shutout against and fell 4-0.

THE RUNDOWN

The Leafs played another solid period against a good hockey team to kick this one off.  Keeping the early trend of shot suppression going under new bench boss Peter Horachek, the Leafs only allowed 7 on goal in the first and outdid the Ducks in 5v5 Corsi attempts 12-9 through 20 minutes.  Yet again the Leafs did not dominate the play, but they certainly held their ground against an Anaheim team that has had loads of success since they themselves fired Randy Carlyle.

Still though, the Leafs went unrewarded in the first frame.  The lone falter came midway through the period when they allowed a (questionable) 5-on-3 goal to Kyle Palmieri.

The second period is where things started to really fall apart.

The Leafs play was sloppy in the middle frame, struggling to get clean breakouts or sustained offensive zone time.  Corey Perry scored a pair of goals, one that deflected off of the skate of Cody Franson and another on a breakaway in behind the Leafs’ top defensive pairing, and just like that the game was all but over.  The Leafs best stretch of the period didn’t come until the last couple of minutes when they got a couple of powerplays.  It was a bad, albeit not terrible period.  In any event, the worst of the Horachek era.

Not much happened in the third period.  Paul Romanuk and Greg Millen probably summed it up best when they surmised that it was starting to feel like a game of soccer.  What you should know though is that David Booth took an elbow to the jaw midway through the frame and did not return.  Booth has a notable history of concussions, suffering particularly bad ones in 2009 and 2010.

Oh yeah, and Corey Perry scored into an empty net for the hattrick and 4-0 Anaheim win.

BLUE WARRIOR

I liked what Morgan Rielly did tonight for the most part so…him I guess.  Tough to pick an MVP in a game where the Leafs didn’t get great goaltending or score a goal.

NOTES

  • Through the first 40 games of the season, Toronto sat 2nd in the league in on-ice shooting percentage and 4th in PDO.  Given that, it shouldn’t be a surprise that their numbers in those categories are dipping right now.
  • Of course, keep in mind also that the Leafs are playing a four-game road trip against Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, and St. Louis.  It is unequivocally the toughest part of their schedule this season.
  • That, and the fact that Toronto is a mediocre team to begin with that is also in a period of immense organizational transition.  The bottom line is that going 0-2 on the road in California shouldn’t come as a surprise.

SEE YOU TOMORROW

The Leafs get right back at it tomorrow, facing the Sharks in San Jose on TSN4 at 10:30PM Eastern.

  • jasken

    Leafs are the students on this trip where as these teams have been playing this way for years. Leafs have beat them but they lured them into the Leafs playing style. Now Leafs are playing their style so winning there was a possibility but not to likely playing their style.

    I dont think people should get on these players and be disappointed they are still in the learning curve. Management chose a bad time to fire Carlyle and change things but time will tell. next up San Jose.

  • CMpuck

    Leafs have 47 points, OTT has 42 with two games in hand. Leafs have played 24 at home and 20 on the road. OTT has played 17 at home and 25 on the road. Who finishes higher in the McDavid sweepstakes? I think the Leafs slide down to 23rd overall. Deep draft – there will be a good player available there if the Leafs do not get incredibly lucky and win the lottery.

    Look at Chicago and realize that great drafts are more a matter of luck. Contrary to popular belief, the Hawks did not tank completely. In 2006, they got Jonathan Toews with the third pick. Erik Johnson (now with COL) went first to STL. Jordan Staal (now with CAR) went second to PITT. (Imagine the Penguins with Crosby, Malkin and Toews.) In 2007, the Hawks had the fifth worst record but got lucky to win the lottery and picked Kane first. JVR went second.

    A huge factor is the draft class. One problem the Oilers had was there were very good players available when they drafted first 2010-12 – but no franchise players. You can argue they would have been better off taking Seguin instead of Hall in 2010 and Landeskog instead of RNH in 2011. But there was no franchise changer available either of those years as well as in 2012 when the took Yakupov. The tanked at the wrong time.

    Look at what you could have gotten the years prior to 2010:
    2003 – no franchise player, but an incredibly deep and talented draft.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_NHL_Entry_Draft
    2004 – Ovechkin and Malkin
    2005 – Crosby, Anze Kopitar went 11th
    2006 – Toews
    2007 – Kane
    2008 – Stamkos and Doughty
    2009 – Tavares

    Not sure how 2013-14 will turn out. I think Seth Jones might be a franchise changer but not MacKinnon. Aaron Ekblad may turn out to be. Takes longer to tell with d-men.

    The one thing I am pretty certain of is that the franchise type player will never be available through free agency. On July 1, Steve Yzerman will give Steven Stamkos a contract with the amount left blank for Stamkos to fill in. Chicago actually got a deal paying Toews and Kane $10.5mm a year each – they could have gotten up to $14mm. But they want to win (more) Stanley Cups. I suspect the same is true for Stamkos. And he looks at the talent in Tampa vs the talent in Toronto – makes for an easy decision.

    Right now, I would like to see a big Leafs tank and great luck in the lottery.

  • CMpuck

    The team still is not good enough to make it again this year…the GOAL I thought is to win the cup….this gotta make the play-offs is off base…as fans you should want more than that……

    You have choosen Bernie to lead you, fair enough…but Reims is to talented to be sitting and wasting away on the back burner…you have starters out there with worst numbers than him…I hope he gets moved soon….it’s sad that he’s stuck behind Bernie who is no where that hgreater than him……

    and if the rumours are true…Bernie will get the start tonight as well…THAT SUCKS…he doesn’t deserve it….

    Reims forever

  • CMpuck

    The Leafs aren’t going to beat these teams at their own game, Leafs beat these teams by running and gunning in the past. Play the tight defensive systems against weaker teams.