Something I noticed tonight? Nobody was really watching this game. Looking through Twitter, I didn’t see too many people breaking down every shift as usual. They were having nights out, they were watching Toronto FC (that red card was brutal), they were doing literally anything else they could but watch the Toronto Maple Leafs. Can you blame them?
The two teams traded some chances for a little bit, but unsurprisingly, the Canucks struck first, with Chris “Abs” Higgins sending home a behind-the-net pass from Brad Richardson. Fast forwarding to the second period, the Canucks nearly scored a shorthanded goal about six minutes in. I say nearly not because there was a fantastic save, but more because the penalty expired a second before Derek Dorsett’s puck went in.
The Leafs needed to regroup at this point, and totally didn’t. Thirty two seconds later, they were back in their own zone and Jonathan Bernier was on his back, after Joffrey Lupul decided the best way to get rid of Ronalds Kenins was to place him atop his own goaltender. Jannik Hansen took advantage of this to score Vancouver’s third of the game.
Midway through the period, Phil Kessel gave fans something to be happy about, scoring on a penalty shot earned after being hooked on a breakaway. Unfortunately, that was it for the Leafs, who eventually conceded an empty netter from Shawn Matthias to wrap up the scoring.
Morgan Rielly, just because David Booth has picked up the last two Warrior nods and those two (arguably Nazem Kadri as well) are the only players who seem to still consistently give a damn about what happens in these games. Obviously, fans are cheering for “the tank”, but you don’t want to see players mentally checked out either. Lose due to being outplayed, not due to a lack of pulse.
Summing It Up
This team has transcended bad and rapidly approached “insulting to watch”.
I really don’t blame fans if they stop caring for the rest of the year (though they should keep coming to the leafs nation dot com). The Leafs appear to have already beaten them to it. Toronto returns to the ice on Tuesday, when they’ll take on the Edmonton Oilers, a team who they probably won’t be able to out-lose.