Leafs Postgame: Back-to-back blues

The Saddledome hasn’t been a kind place to the Leafs over the last number of years, and considering they were on the second half of the Alberta back-to-back, it felt like tonight was a prime candidate for a letdown game. 

THE RUNDOWN

If you turned this game off after the first period, no one could blame you. Calgary jumped out to a 2-0 lead within 49 seconds of opening puck drop and added another before the end of the frame, which would hold up for a 3-0 final. Of course two of those goals were from former Leafs in Stajan and Versteeg. Of course. 


The second was pretty much forgettable as well, aside from a couple Leafs chances they couldn’t capitalize on. If there was one good thing to take away from the middle frame, at least Toronto’s puck movement on the powerplay was superb. They’re going to be a handful in that regard all year.

Calgary basically shut things down in the third and kept the Leafs quiet aside from a chance or two, the most notable from Marner on a break. 


WHY THE LEAFS LOST

Where do we start? Probably the first minute of this game where Enroth let in a pair and this game was essentially over before it got started for a tired Leafs team. On top of that, Johnson was solid in the other net when Toronto made their push-back and got some prime chances on the powerplay a bit later in the game. The Leafs just couldn’t make this game interesting, or get interested in it themselves, it seemed. 

Shots and shot-attempts were tight as the game went on and eventually favoured the Leafs, but that’s to be expected with the Flames sitting on a comfortable lead.

I don’t think I’d say this was the Leafs’ worst game of the season by any means, but it was likely the most forgettable. Credit to Johnson too, who turned away 39 for the shutout. 

BLUE WARRIOR

I thought Marner was the best Leaf tonight. As far as chances go, he nearly put away a tap-in from JVR in the second and had that breakaway that Johnson shut the door on late in the game. That whole line looked fine for the most part, and it showed in the numbers too, as they each clipped along at around 60% in CorsiFor at evens. Score effects yes, but Marner was the biggest contributor to the Leafs’ comeback attempt. 

A COUPLE NOTES

During the Sportsnet broadcast, Elliotte Friedman talked a little about Peter Holland, relaying that it looks like Toronto would be seeking a draft pick in any deal for him, if there is one to be made at all. They aren’t looking to take a contract back. Also, we should get news of a decision on the Jared Cowen situation next Wednesday

It would be unfair to pin this loss on Enroth because the Leafs couldn’t get a goal of their own, but you have to wonder if this might be his last appearance in blue and white. He really hasn’t turned in a good performance all year and I’m not sure the Leafs want to keep giving him starts to see if he can figure it out. With Ramo an option, it might be time to try something new. They really don’t have anything more to lose in that situation. 

ON TO THE NEXT ONE

The Leafs will now have two days off before playing the Canucks in Vancouver on Saturday, which will close out this mini-trip out west. Storylines stemming from their November 5th meeting where shit hit the fan in Toronto are sure to dominate the hockey news cycle leading up, so enjoy all that.