Leafs Postgame: Boo Blanc et Rouge

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Photo Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY SPORTS

For many members of the Toronto Maple Leafs, tonight might be the end of the line. A solid half of tonight’s roster has been speculated to be on the move heading into Monday’s trade deadline, and most of the others are recent call-ups filling in the holes of the already depleted roster. It’s firesale season, and the end result of tonight’s game confirmed why. Despite the struggles that the Montreal Canadiens have had lately, the Leafs still couldn’t muster up much more than a 4-1 defeat to their archrivals.

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Toronto’s lone goal in this game was actually the first of the contest. Matt Hunwick, who has been oft-maligned by chunks of the fanbase, made a wise decision to pinch from the defensive zone and join Brandon Leipsic on an odd-man rush. Leipsic’s shot bounced off of Mike Condon, which gave Hunwick a perfect opportunity to bury his second goal of the season. Those cheering for the tank had little to fear, though; Alex Galchenyuk picked a corner from the right wing to tie the game, even as Mike Babcock unsuccessfully argued that Lars Eller had interfered with Jonathan Bernier on the play.

Devante Smith-Pelly put the Habs up midway through the second period, tapping in a loose puck to give Michael McCarron his first NHL point. It was the only goal of the frame though the Habs could have realistically done more damage with the 19 shots taken during the 20-minute stretch. Captain Max Pacioretty stepped in and removed all doubt in the third period, netting two goals a minute and a half apart through a one-timer and a rebound. 

Blue Warrior

This goes to anybody who is speculated to be “in the mix” this weekend. The likes of Daniel Winnik, Matt Hunwick, Michael Grabner, Jonathan Bernier, Brad Boyes, Mark Arcobello, Colin Greening, PA Parenteau… that’s a long list, but it’s one filled with good soldiers. Stay or go, they’ve all put in their best efforts despite an unlikeliness that any of them are seen as major future pieces.

Hey, it’s a bit of a cop out, but what else would you like to hear after a 4-1 loss to an archrival on deadline eve-eve?

See You Next Time

The shelled out, fire-sold Leafs still have a season to finish after the trade deadline and that life after death will begin on Monday night. They’ll be taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who appear to be prepared to ride Steven Stamkos into the eleventh hour. Puck drop is at 7:30.

  • Gary Empey

    Not sure about this so called arch rivalry, In the 1960’s when the leafs were winning cups, absolutely there was a rivalry. 10 straight defeats to the Habs takes away the lustre of a so called rivalry.

    But it is all good as the leafs iced a worst team than Montreal and got a solid defeat in another tanking performance. I notice the anti leaf trolls are pointing out that the leafs will have a 50% chance of getting of the top three picks if they finish last. But finish last and the worst they can do which is fourth. Thus if they got fourth they likely would choose the top defenceman available.

    Losing and losing is a win win situation for the leafs.

    Thank you for your class James Reimer. You had some very good moments, some not so good, but you also suffered a number of injuries. Your removal to the Quake state means that with Bernier in the nets are odds of finishing last greatly increased.

    I said at the beginning of the year that neither Reimer or Bernier would be around long in our rebuild. Bring on Sparks to give him some more seasoning but keep icing an A.H.L. roster to gain the defeats we need to get that all important high draft pick as we choose the only way to improve in this era. Don’t drag in the outhouse Oilers they are in a league of their own.

    • Gary Empey

      Not a Leaf fan, but would be thrilled if you guys got a top 3 & start contending. Tired of the Oilers getting the”inherent right” to pick 1st overall & blow it.

  • Gary Empey

    For those idiots who kept inferring Phaneuf and Polak were holding back their defensive partners, what do you have to say now? Toronto desperately needs 4 NHL caliber defencemen.

  • Gary Empey

    That was quite the salute to the Leafs from the Montreal fans, what’s this hey hey goodbye stuff for a team that is made up of AHL players and NHL extras with a backup goalie in net. Is that all they can celebrate? Where were all the noise makers about Phaneuf’s contract being untradeable? This is to a budget team and no money held back plus we got a pick a couple of pieces and a prospect.

  • jimithy

    So, we have to wait five to ten years until the rebuild ends. OK. Believe it or not I think it’s going to take at least fifteen. But that’s OK too. Even if it takes fifty years because the Leafs are the best.

    • TGT23

      5 years, probably. But, 10 years? 15? If it takes 10-15 years than they’ve made some grievous mistakes along the way.

      The way the team is positioning itself the rebuild will take 4-6 years, depending how quickly they can develop some of the later round picks (because you need a couple of them to become players at the NHL level) and whether they can develop or acquire a starting goalie.

      Timeline gets bumped up with Austin Matthews and/or Steven Stamkos, but still likely 4-6.