LEAFS POSTGAME: They Scored, They Lost

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They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m pretty sure Cody Franson just wrote my recap for me. I’m sure he’s as frustrated as anybody; he’s having his coming out party this year, and he’s doing it on his childhood team. The issue? They’re not reciprocating, and just had another competitive yet very disappointing performance, losing 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Rundown

Were you expecting other than “the Leafs allowed the first goal”? If so, this postgame isn’t for you. Brad Malone opened the scoring for the Hurricanes seven minutes in, picking up a long rebound off of Jonathan Bernier’s pad. The good news? That 1-0 lead only lasted forty seconds. The bad news? It was replaced by a 2-0 lead, as Elias Lindholm rushed onto a breakaway after a James van Riemsdyk shot was blocked. David Clarkson then decided that the best response to this would be to punch Brad Malone in the face, which he was successful at doing.

Needless to say, it was a disappointing first period for the Leafs, and they needed to come out strong in the second. Forty eight seconds into said second period, Carolina struck again. This time, Eric Staal finished off a play initiated by Jiri Tlusty and middle-manned by Eric’s brother Jordan. Other than that, the period went pretty well; it was pretty back and forth, James Reimer looked good (after replacing Bernier), and unfortunately for the Leafs, Anton Khudobin still looked great.

Early in the third period, Dion Phaneuf took his frustrations out on Jordan Staal, landing a punishing check. Eric was not too happy with this and requested to fight Phaneuf, a challenge that he was happy to accept. With five minutes to go in the third period and two jerseys already tossed on the ice, Nazem Kadri finally ended the Leafs’ 160 minute scoring drought. That was as close as the Leafs got however, as Eric Staal sealed the deal by firing a slapshot as hard and as close to Phaneuf as he could get while still scoring into the empty net. 

Blue Warrior

Let’s give this to Nazem Kadri. He was a 67% possession player tonight, and most importantly, scored the goal to snap the streak. That really was the game’s shining light; without it, this recap was literally going to be a bunch of angry photos and no words. Seriously – he replaced a picture of upset Leafs fans with “I’M SORRY” scribbled over it.

Notes

  • That was Kadri’s first powerplay point of the season with David Clarkson on the ice with him. Go figure – I had just written about Clarkson’s ineffectiveness. It’s hard to say he helped though – this was very much a top-half goal.
  • The Leafs now hold the second and third longest goal droughts of the season in the NHL.
  • Eighty NHL players had more goals than the Toronto Maple Leafs from January 10th until the moment that Kadri scored.
  • Outshooting the Canes is still a definite positive; despite being stupid cold, the team has held its own in tough situations in these past few games. It’s very frustrating, but there’s cautious optimism to be had as well.
  • The combined cap hit of the Staal and Phaneuf fight? $15.25 million. The Leafs will have another chance to win at hockey on Wednesday, and then get a week off. Something tells me that they need it.

  • Avro

    Bring back carlyle. He was an awful coach but the team at least played for him and were watchable.

    But to be fair at least we will win the corsi cup which is 10x better then making the playoffs.

    • CMpuck

      FOR SALE : LEAF JERSEY $5

      LEAF SUCK!

      Come on! YOU SCORED A GOAL! LMFAO Go habs Go! That’s a hockey team! NOT A BUNCH OF WUSS like KESSEL & PHANEUF.

      Loser a day, LOSER FOREVER TORONTO!

      1967 – 1697 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967

      HABS RULES!

    • CMpuck

      Lupul on atmosphere at Joe: “It’s fun. It’s probably better energy than we get back in Toronto. It’s nice when we’re here or in Buffalo.”

      LEAF SUCKS! GO HABS GO!

      MAPLE LAUGH! LMFAO

  • Avro

    I got tickets to my first ever Leafs game for Christmas, I literally cried a little. Now, I’m crying inside at the thought of having to go to that game. Can I trade in the tickets for something next year?

    I would stay up way past my bedtime to listen to the Leafs on my alarm clock’s radio when Sundin and co. were in the playoffs and whatnot. Now, I just laugh at this “team”, and watch every game reluctantly.

    The only reason I don’t own a jersey is because there is literally no player on this team who’s name and number I would proudly wear as a Leaf fan. I have no problem wearing the Leaf, but I don’t want any of these player’s names or numbers on my back as of yet. Rielly and Kadri will have a chance to be donned by me, but they have a ways to go.

  • jasken

    All you negative nellies out there. Our loveable leafs won in Corsi and Fenwick tonight which is all that counts. Yeahhhh Leafs. Take it easy on my leafs as Carolina is red hot being 6 2 and 1 recently and they are closing in on the leafs.

    WHICH MEANS AS THE BOYS STUMBLE AND BUMBLE WITH 5 MORE STRAIGHT ON THE ROAD. The pathetic leafs are hedading for 3rd worst team in the league.

    Now let us get serious here. We have a solid shot at the first or second pick as long as we totally TANK. Keep on losing boys. Oh I know some will say this losing is of biblical proportions. But isn’t that the point.

    In the new testament we are told that you build a home on solid rock not on the changing sands blown by the wind. You want your hockey temple to be the corner stone. Thus the leafs must hit rock bottom and build that corner stone around McDavid or Eichel.

    Keep it going leafs, you truly are heading in the right direction.

    Yeah, yeah you mental midget myopic morons trash me and ask yourself as you look in the mirror in the morning who is a bigger loser YOU OR THE LEAFS.

    • CMpuck

      Amen Brother,

      My fellow Leafs fans…

      We have walked through the valley of many epic losing streaks and collapses…

      Like Moses we have wandered through the desert for over 40 years…

      Is this the year we finally make it to the promised land of a top 1 or 2 pick?

      Na, like all teams in the futile past, they will find a way to do the thing which most screws up any possibly brighter future…remember the little winning spurt during the season leading up to Tavares’ draft.

      • CMpuck

        this site should be called : MAPLE LAUGH NATION!

        LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Come on! YOU SCORED A GOAL! LMFAO Go habs Go! That’s a hockey team! NOT A BUNCH OF WUSS like KESSEL & PHANEUF.

        Loser a day, LOSER FOREVER TORONTO!

        1967 – 1697 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967

        HABS RULES!

  • CMpuck

    Come on! YOU SCORED A GOAL! LMFAO Go habs Go! That’s a hockey team! NOT A BUNCH OF WUSS like KESSEL & PHANEUF.

    Loser a day, LOSER FOREVER TORONTO!

    1967 – 1697 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967 – 1967

    HABS RULES!

    • CMpuck

      So that you have money to bu REAL PLAYERS
      LIKE PACCIORETTY – PRICE – SUBBAN !!!!!!!!!À

      MAPLE LAUGH NATION YOU ALL SUCKS!

      BUNCH OF GOOFS!

      HABS RULES!

      GO HABS GO!

      1967 ! LMFAO

  • jasken

    Interesting game for sure had a bit of puck watching, cheating on the defensive side, players getting switched around for production. And yet 4th line dont get played, players are still not held accountable, and again the players who are doing things right lose ice-time the politics of hockey at its best.

    Reducing shots equals less goals against I guess someone forgot to tell the Leafs that. So now not only do they reduce the shots they reduce their own scoring to make it fair. I am all for winning 2-1, 3-2, 1-0 but you actually have to put the puck in the net for that to happen. And not allow pucks in your own net and Bernier’s what .867 sv in January really is not up to doing that.

    I know this Leafs team will win maybe 13 games the rest of the season. They will have a corsi around 50% and their shooting % will plummet because of the fact their going to try to rely on Jason Blake like shots and scoring, and think that breeds success.