Postgame: Perry Bad

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Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I’m sure a lot of east coasters are regretting staying up to watch this game.  

In what was one of their poorest efforts of the season, the Leafs lost 5-2 to the Anaheim Ducks on their last game of the annual California road trip.  This game was a must-win for the Leafs, and considering the tight playoff race in the Atlantic, the Leafs cannot afford to lose moving forward.   They are officially 1 point out of the last wild card position, as the New York Islanders overtook the Leafs Friday night with a shootout loss to Chicago.  

THE RUNDOWN

In his first game against his old team, Jonathan Bernier took to the net and helped lead his team to victory after stopping 37 of 39 shots through 3 periods. 

The Leafs, playing in their second game of a back to back, did not have a particularly good performance.  The team was visibly tired and struggling, and this went on to set up two periods of tire-fire Leafs hockey. 

The Ducks struck first as Rickard Rakell tapped in a quick goal off of a beautiful pass from Chris Wagner, putting Anaheim ahead 1-0 early in the first.  Zach Hyman quickly countered, scoring his first 5-on-5 goal in what seemed like an eternity:

Corey Perry, returning to the penalty box to serve his third minor penalty of the game, put the Leafs on the man-advantage early in the second period.  With less than 20 seconds burned in the power play……

The Leafs stopped doing good things after that.  Their possession numbers saw a huge drop in the second period, and their on-ice play was continuously sloppy until later in the third.  

Oh, yeah.  The Ducks also scored 2 goals in 16 seconds to increase their lead to 4-2.  

Curtis McElhinney stopped 31 of 35 shots, tallying a 0.886 SV% on the night.  The Ducks last goal was scored on an empty netter, putting the cherry on top of an already terrible loss for the Leafs.  

THE STATS

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The first period was a bit of a toss-up, with Anaheim dominating for a fairly long stretch of time in the back half of the period.  The Leafs’ corsi significantly dropped off in the second, as Anaheim emerged and clearly took control of the game.  The Leafs made an aggressive push throughout the third, but unfortunately, their efforts fell short.  

The Leafs will leave California having only earned 1 out of a possible 6 points, going 0-2-1 over 3 games.  

BLUE WARRIOR

Jonathan Berni… wait, no.  Jonas Enro…. wait, not him either.  Uhhh, Korbanian Holz…. no.  Randy Carlyle, maybe? 

In all seriousness, no single player stood out tonight.  Brian Boyle is visibly beginning to earn trust with Mike Babcock, as demonstrated in his 13:45 minutes of ice time (the most on his line).   William Nylander made a very pretty play to draw a penalty, and, along with Zach Hyman, lead the team in offense tonight.  

UP NEXT 

The Leafs will be taking a break this weekend, heading back to Toronto after a week-long stint in California. Toronto will face off against Detroit on Tuesday, March 8th at 7:30PM at the Air Canada Centre.