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Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS

Leafs Postgame: Varlarobbed

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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS

Games like this continue to be good signs for the Maple Leafs moving forward, but man, are they ever cruel to watch. Semyon Varlamov went from one of his worst to one of his best appearances in his career in the span of 24 hours, and Toronto just happened to be the victims.

The Rundown

 

Toronto’s biggest opponent, beyond a hot goalie, was Colorado’s powerplay. They were, indeed, the first ones to strike after Tyler Bozak was penalized for tripping Gabriel Landeskog, and it all came in hilarious fashion. Antoine Bibeau went for a weird spin save. He couldn’t even do that because Matt Hunwick hooked himself into him. Roman Polak couldn’t fend off Matt Duchene’s pass, and Zach Hyman was in no way prepared to for Mikko Rantanen’s shot and had to pretend to play goalie. Needless to say, it was the single worst thing that happened to the Leafs for about half a game hour.

 

Then this happened. Toronto were already down after a bad pass by Roman Polak led to James van Riemsdyk tripping his man. Then, Leo Komarov clipped Nathan MacKinnon with a high stick, so much so that after the crazy individual effort we saw there, Colorado still net gained a penalty.

 

The Leafs tried their absolute hardest to slam on the gas pedal from there, firing all the shots in the world at Varlamov. In the last six minutes of the game, Toronto out-attempted Colorado 24-1, including the above rocket from Jake Gardiner. Unfortunately, Colorado’s “1” was an empty netter from Blake Comeau, and that put the game out of reach.

Why The Leafs Lost

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Hardly any of the skaters, unless you want to point at a couple of mistakes made by everybody’s favourite depth pair, but even they weren’t atrocious. No, it was just a matter of a goalie who needed to rebound from going 10-for-16 being extra motivated to stop 51 shots, and neutralize 41 scoring chances; a number that ranks up there with some of the top games of the past decade.

Blue Warrior

 

I don’t think Antoine Bibeau’s efforts on his two goals against were very good. But that’s typical for him; a good all-around performance with a couple of baffling allowed tallies, and then if it wasn’t a complete blowout you usually get the win anyway. That last part didn’t happen, but he still turned away 26 of 28 shots; a good NHL debut for the youngster.

See You Next Time

 

The good news is that the Leafs are at home for a little while, so they can try to find some of their mojo again in a place where they’ve had some good luck. They’ll be taking on the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday at 7:30.