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 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.
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.
- 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.