Leafs Post-Game: Lather, Rinse, Repeat

The Leafs played a game of hockey tonight and were outplayed and outscored and it was really, really boring to watch.  I don’t even know what to say anymore.  I can’t wait until this season is over so we can get to the fun stuff like trade speculation, the draft, and free agency.

THE RUNDOWN

Mike Hoffman scored a little over midway through the first period to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead.  You see, I was busy writing the post about new Leaf Casey Bailey, so I missed the first half of the first period tonight.  As a result, that’s all the detail you’re gonna get from me about the start of this game.

Okay, but then guess what happened?  Ottawa scored again!  And this time, I saw it!  Mika Zibanejad caught Erik Karlsson flying in down the wing and the Sens captain sniped to make it 2-0.  Not looking good for the boys in blue.

Then in the second period, things got weird.

Joakim Lindstrom of all people tipped home a point shot to cut into the lead to just a few minutes in.  Then a few seconds later Ottawa scored yet again and James Reimer got pulled.  Then a few minutes later Leo Komarov snapped home a loose puck to cut into the lead.  And then, Tim Erixon blasted a shot from the blueline past Andrew Hammond to tie the game.  But then as the period was winding down, Kyle Turris scored on the powerplay and Ottawa went into the third period up 4-3.  I don’t know, that was probably as boring a summary of a five-goal period as I could give.  But I’m just so damn apathetic about the season at this point.  I want to tell you I found the second period really exciting, but I didn’t.  The Leafs’ performance the last three months has been incredibly mundane.

Okay, now try and picture a third period in a hockey game where one team is relying on unsustainable goaltending and fighting for their playoff lives.  The other is a perennial loser that is playing for nothing.  Picture a period where the team fighting for a playoff spot is at home and has a one-goal lead.  Picture the small and furious pushes that the losing team makes to tie the game.  But picture it so that those pushes just aren’t quite enough.  They got a few chances, but not enough.  And not enough to finish.  And then picture that team eventually conceding an empty-net goal.

Done?  Alright, good.  That was the third period.  Your final: Senators 5, Maple Leafs 3.

BLUE WARRIOR

It’s been pretty tough picking an MVP for the Leafs’ games lately and this one was no different.  Jonathan Bernier did stop 21 of 22 shots in relief of James Reimer, which is more than just okay.  In a game where nobody really stood out, I’m gonna go with him.

NOTES

  • Yeah, it’s been a tough season.  And this was a really gloomy post.  But it’s not all bad.  Joakim Lindstrom scored his first goal as a Leaf and Zach Sill got his first point as a Leaf today.  Congrats to those guys.  And most especially, congrats to Sam Carrick and Eric Brewer.  Sam Carrick got his first point in the NHL tonight, and Eric Brewer played his 1000th game in the NHL.  Both of those are moments those guys will remember for the rest of their lives.  And that is awesome.  So hats off to them.

SEE YOU MONDAY

The Leafs host the Minnesota Wild Monday at 7:30PM Eastern on TSN4.

  • I don’t see why Reimer got pulled. Horrochek is showing clear favourtism to Bernier who he rarely if ever pulls.

    What a waste of season. And who would have thunk the leafs would be this pathetic once they got rid of the toaster. A lot of analytics people look real stupid right now and have great PDO excuses but you know who does not look that dumb? I will tell you -Carlyle collecting his millions telling everyone I told you so.

    • TGT23

      I don’t see how Analytic people look stupid.

      The team was built before tbe Analytic department was hired… Analytics say the team is bad… Which they are…

      The only thing the Analytic people more ght have to bite the bullet on is the idea that a better defensive scheme was the quick fix.

      But that doesn’t in ANY way mean the Leafs under Carlyle and playing that style were good.

      Or that being historically awful defensively is a good thing because you won a few more games last season.

      At this point Analytics are here to stay. Whining and throwing insults won’t change that.

      As for Reimer, backup goalies get less rope. That’s all you need to know. You can’t compare Reimer to Bernier because they aren’t in the same situation. Bernier is a starter, Reimer is a below league average backup.

      • TGT23

        I agree with everything till you got to reimer and bernier. Get this through your head….. neither are a #1 goalie here. Bernier didnt get the team to the playoffs yet did he? Did he win 35 games? Did he or reimer step up when they needed a big save over the past 3 months? No. Not putting all the blame on them by all means but you can’t evaluate a goalie under this mess. But hey atleast we got the lottery! 🙂

        • TGT23

          Wrong. Bernier is clearly the #1 in Toronto. That is indisputably true. All you have to do is look at his number of starts.

          Secondly, he had the team in 2ND PLACE last season before he got injured and would have had the team in the playoffs had Reimer not preceded to **** the bed while he was out.

          This season, on one of the worst teams in the league, he’s still managing to have numbers in or around the league average.

          if nothing else bernier has earned an extended look over the course of a couple sessons during the rebuild.

          Or, hey, #TankNation, trade him to SJ or some other team in desperate need of a number one goalie.

      • CMpuck

        Because the analytics crowd were saying that Horachek would improve this team, instead they’re historically awful.

        Analytics people are basically Don Cherry, when they’re right it’s told you so, told you so, when wrong just ignore reality.

        • TGT23

          And that’s different from you or What’s48 how? When you are right, you scream that analytics are dumb and when you’re wrong you continue to belittle analytics and ignore that you are wrong.

          So, what difference is that? So, we’re all Don Cherry? How does that work?

          The analytic community believed that the team would improve without Randy Carlyle as their coach. And in some small ways they did. Possession, defensively, there was a small difference. The key words in that is SMALL DIFFERENCES.

          They didn’t become good. The talent on the team didn’t improve. And they fell off in other areas, including goaltending and scoring, and so the team plummeted.

          So yes, the team didn’t improve under Horacheck. The team wasn’t exactly good under Carlyle, either. So what’s the point you’re making?

    • TGT23

      But, no. Seriously.

      Analytics people last year were saying “this team is winning games it shouldn’t, they aren’t 2nd in the East good” and sure enough, the floor collapsed and they fell out.

      This season Analytics people were saying “this team isn’t good, Carlyle needs to go.”

      And your argument for why they should feel stupid is that a bad team that was historically bad last year is even worse now that they’ve fired their coach and traded a bunch of assets?

      I mean, I could see your point if the Analytic people were saying “this team is great! Playoffs baby!” but no one said that.

      They may have said that in the early going under PH the defense was marginally better and the possession numbers were better, but still not good.

      I don’t understand why people who speak facts and stats are stupid but people who ignore them and wonder why a backup goalie has a short leash are the smart ones.

  • STAN

    It indeed is painful to watch the leafs these days, kind of that looking at the watch every five minutes wondering if the dentist is finished the root canal.

    Don’t you get a feeling that the Sens are the leafs a few years back with Reimer where the leafs made that late season charge only to just miss the post season.

    Take the burger Sens, I’ll go through the tanking process to hopefully enjoy down the road the fillet mignon. Enjoy your 12th pick Ottawa.

    The other good news is a local kid that grew up in my neighborhood scored the o.t. winner for Edmonton to bring them within 7 points of the leafs. With the buds seemingly determined to not win another game. The oilers just might be catchable.