Leafs PostGame: Tank Rolls On With Loss to Bolland, Panthers

With the trading of Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli this past weekend, it is obvious to all that the Leafs are in full tank mode. But tanking is not just about selling off assets. It’s also about losing. 
That whole “losing” thing has plagued the Leafs when they’ve been in no shape to make the playoffs. Every time they’ve had the opportunity to bottom out, they’ve won games, missing out on the talent they really have needed in the process. 
With that all in mind, it really felt like the Leafiest thing could begin to happen tonight – sell off two useful players and start winning, playing spoiler to a team competing for that final playoff spot. 
(Un)fortunately, the team they were facing had David Bolland…..who got one point, but more importantly competed real good and I think that is what ultimately won Florida the game.

THE RUNDOWN

Those inklings of Fighting The Tank rang true four minutes into the game, with Tyler Bozak scoring off the post on the powerplay. The puck movement on this goal is great, with JVR one-touching it to Bozak who was set up in the slot. 
The game was relatively back and forth (and kind of boring, to be honest) for most of the first, with Florida outshooting Toronto 7-6. Both goalies were solid in this period and all game long. 
After all the back and forth, Jussi Jokinen (and no I am not going to make a Jokinen joke here, just know the right Jokinen scored for the Leafs) responded on a Panthers powerplay with less than a minute to go.
Jokinen finds a soft spot in the slot, making this an easy goal. I don’t know what the hell any of the Leafs are doing here.
In the second, Florida started to take this game over. First, Bjugstad adds another powerplay goal off of a beautiful play by Fleischmann to get around a sprawling Winnik and Robidas. 
Then, former Leafs pick Jimmy Hayes (who was traded for the pick that became Brad Ross, who is not even in the AHL anymore), scored his 17th goal of the season. 
Florida would keep their lead for almost the entire rest of the game, with the Leafs never really mounting any pressure or attack. That is, until they pulled the goalie and had a powerplay with a minute left.
Oh Phil. I’m going to miss you. And what a pass by Kadri. 
Despite Phil’s effort, the Leafs wouldn’t be able to add another, even with the impressive push in the last minute.
The tank rolls on.

Blue Warrior

Notes

– Rielly played 25:27, a career-high. I think we are going to see this a lot now that Franson is gone. And that’s good. Play him a ton. 
– Kadri managed to get two assists tonight. He was really strong in all aspects of the game. Quite liked him with Winnik and Panik even though there is no finish on that line at all.
– Stephane Robidas is bad.

See You Friday

The Leafs play the Hurricanes on Friday, which is the biggest game of the season for the Tank. Carolina is 4 points behind the Leafs with 2 games in hand. A loss would put the Leafs only 2 points ahead, and the Hurricanes would still have 2 games in hand. It’s on at 7.
  • STAN

    A superb entertaining tanking performance at its best. The boys won the game where it counts as they dominated the oh so important Corsi and Fenwick.

    Bernier once again stands on his head. Leaf fans can’t wait till management signs him to a huge big fat contract. Rumours have it that his agent has been talking with Clarkson’s agent.

    Speaking of Clarkson, number 71 once again got into another fight, three in his last 2 games. Very impressive indeed.

    Phil the thrill scores a clutch goal late in the game for the buds.

    As the coffee man pontificated in his article an absolutely huge titanic struggle coming up against that power house Carolina team.

    Another former first round leaf pick will be in the Hurricane line up and he seems to play well against his old team, none other than Jiri Tlusty. I wonder if he has taken anymore fascinating selfies recently.

    Say what ever happened to the guy the leafs got for Jiri.

    Great article Bobby.

  • CMpuck

    Olli shooting his mouth off about negative energy? Hey sour puss you’re not exactly ray of sunshine with your defeated voice.

    I get that we have to attempt to showcase this stiff but I’d love to see him in the press box. Stop talking like you’re an asset to this club with voice.

    • CMpuck

      I think the guy was refreshingly honest. Imagine you are about to enter the playoffs with the number one team in the league and all of a sudden you go to a team that has won 2 games of the past 20.

      Anyone can see that this team is playing with no heart, no passion, no soul. Oli saw it and instead of giving the usual b.s. lip service stated what was on his mind. Good for him.

      • CMpuck

        An over the hill center with less playoff games under his belt than the Leafs in the last 10 years? He’s in no position to have an opinion, hell he was so bad this year the Leafs were forced to take him in a trade.

        • CMpuck

          Yes you are absolutely right poor Olli has only 6 playoff games in the past decade while the leafs have a dynamic 7. I guess the guy wanted more playoff games and he gets traded to a team that has won 4 of the last 27. His old team the Predators have only lost 3 home games all year. As I stated some times the truth really, really hurts.

          • STAN

            As you astutely point out Puck, old Olli has done nothing for the past decade at least and thus he would be a perfect match for the leaf roster.

            I’m a little concerned that you are not going to be able to handle the put downs, the sarcasm, the negativity, the jokes, the mocking that the leafs and their fans shall undoutably endure over the next few years. If you think this year is bad well to quote the great Canadian Rock Band B.T.O. Baby you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    • STAN

      well he wasn’t lying. who can blame him for being pissed. being traded from a cup contending team who is heavily favoured this year to a team that has been out of the playoffs 3 months into the new season. it is negative here when you you lost 22 of your last 26 games or whatever the record is. idek i lost track. he’s approaching the end of his career and hasn’t won a cup. hell, he’s only been in 6 playoff games in his whole career.

  • Avro

    I can’t help but wonder if Gary Bettman has called his good buddy the ex commish of the N.B.A. David Stern and asked him what percentage chance did Cleveland have of drafting King Lebron James. As I recall it wasn’t very high.

    Something tells me that Bettman would love to see a marriage between McDavid and the leafs.

    No matter that the leafs are currently horrid on the ice, the bottom line is that the leafs are still the main component of the N.H.L. engine when it comes to producing the gazillions of Benjamins.

    I’m sure David Stern told the media that it was purely coincidental that Cleveland somehow got their home town guy in Lebron James.

    Leaf fans are hoping that Bettman will in a few months give the same speech.

  • CMpuck

    clarkson is a mess. who needs the goon squad of orr/mclaren when you have clarkson/phaneuf fighting every 2 seconds. what a catastrophe. anyway, i’m glad the tank rolls on. i love when ex-leafs collect a point vs the leafs. brad ross was such a bad pick ugh. hayes has 11 goals this year while clarkson has 15 goals in 2 years as a leaf and 10 this year playing with a top centre and pp time!!! what a nightmare.

  • CMpuck

    HEY! what’s48years love this comment!

    Bernier once again stands on his head. Leaf fans can’t wait till management signs him to a huge big fat contract. Rumours have it that his agent has been talking with Clarkson’s agent.

    When Reims lost 10 starts in a row, he was garbage, trash, his wife was flaked with awful twitter remarks, yadda yadda…. but Bernier can do the same thing and he’ll get fed a big contract with big money… only in leaf land does this happen…. Nonis YOU WERE WRONG AS WAS RC with the stupid comment after game 7 loss ” if you could get the best goalie out there what would you do? this is their idea of the best goalie out there???? gotta get me some of that weed man…

    GO REIMS GO!!! hopefully in a better land

  • STAN

    It flabbergasts me how many THUMS DOWN what’s48years gets for simply telling the truth and thanking the newest guy in the dressing room (olli) for also telling it as he sees it.

    Geez, you cheerleaders need to take a good, hard look at this mess and whether the complete novice Shanahan is the guy to guide them.

    • STAN

      Stan it simply comes down to genetics. Thank you for your support as most of these poor, poor lost souls indeed can not handle the truth.

      But back to the heridity factor. Now several of these posters one can deduce have been following the leafs for maybe two, three or even four decades. They have been served mediocrity or even worse decade after decade. They pass this looserville gene on to their poor kids.

      I’m sure a common scenario which has happened with a number of these posters is having to drive their kid home from another leaf thrashing at the Air Canada center. The precocious kid has the audacity to ask the old man why THE LEAFS SUCK EVERY YEAR. The old man who has shelled out a lot of hard cash is pissed off with the kid but calms down and simply tells the kid to phone grand pa tomorrow and he will regale you with stories about the leaf WHEN THEY WERE WINNERS AND WINNING STANLEY CUPS.

  • STAN

    Ollie did say later he was talking about the negativity surrounding the Leafs, not the room, though I don’t doubt it’s there. I took it as meaning the constant barrage of negative media, the trade speculations. It’s unavoidable. There are far too many writers covering the team and very few are objective.