Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
This lowly iteration of the Toronto Maple Leafs officially hit rock bottom in the first period of Monday night’s game against the hapless Edmonton Oilers.
In the final game of a Western Canadian swing that has been nothing short of pathetic, the Maple Leafs were stomped by the NHL’s second worst team in the first period. The perpetually rebuilding Oilers needed only eight minutes to score three goals on four shots and chase Jonathan Bernier. Shortly after James Reimer replaced Bernier, the Oilers made the score 4-0.
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Here’s a sampling of the permissive defensive game on display by the Maple Leafs on Monday night. Jordan Eberle, for example, had enough time in the slot that he transformed four mystery basket ingredients into a creative and well presented appetizer before capitalizing on this power-play goal:
Not that it was all on Toronto’s defenders. Benoit Pouliot cashed in this first period goal on the very shot of the hockey game, and it pretty much beat Bernier through his infinity hole:
Bernier’s save percentage in the 2015 calendar year is now down to .891. The way even Toronto’s goaltending has fallen apart over the past two and a half months is perhaps the most under-discussed reason for this club’s current sordid state.
The balance of the regular season – only 11 games left – is probably going to feel never-ending.