The Leafs these days are a really fickle team to watch.
Recently, they’ve had a trend of either getting blown out and losing, or playing well, and losing by a little. Basically, they lose a lot.
By the time it all came down to it tonight, it was a 3-2 regulation loss for the hometown Maples against Nashville. Best-case scenario, I suppose in a lost cause season.
Filip Forsberg essentially put this game out of reach all by himself. By the 5:40 mark of the second period, he’d put himself on the scoresheet three times – once in the first and twice in the second with a trio of goals for a natural hat-trick. The Leafs, on the other hand, scored exactly zero times in the first two periods.
Three goals obviously isn’t an insurmountable lead to come over with more than half the game to go, but it appeared fully out of reach when Ryan Ellis found the back of the net. However, instant replay showed the zone entry was actually offside, calling off the goal.
The Leafs came on strong in the third despite being down three. Josh Leivo, who’s looked good at the NHL level in limited time, earned his third of the year, before Morgan Rielly added a late marker to put the Leafs within one. That was as close as they’d get though, falling by a 3-2 score.
James Reimer was in net for this one, stopping 23 of 26 shots. Not a spectacular performance, but not an abysmal one either.
Perhaps this was an example of extreme score effects, but I’d hazard a guess there’s a bit more to the Leafs’ performance in this one other than that. The Leafs did definitely put out a solid effort out possessing and outshooting a Predator team which went into a pretty strong defensive shell following their third goal- but ultimately not converting in the first 40 minutes cost the team a win. It’s hard to really be too dissatisfied with this as a loss. In fact, every Leaf except for Rich Clune finished with a Corsi % above 50. Though maybe Clune had other things to focus on, like a feud with Cody Bass.
— Garrett McInerney (@G87Mac) February 24, 2016
Rielly dominated the possession game in just under 26 minutes of ice time, putting up a really nice 69.26% Corsi at 5-on-5 and adding a goal.
The Leafs take on Carolina thurday night at 7:30 p.m.