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Photo Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs Postgame: A Day At The Beach

After an embarrassing, 7-2 loss to the Florida Panthers tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs have dropped from 4th to 5th in the Atlantic division, and currently sit 1 point out of a playoff spot.  It almost seemed as though the Leafs were asleep on the ice tonight – their efforts were subpar and the Panthers capitalized on the opportunity.  Let’s all just hope that the Leafs are better from here on out, okay?

THE RUNDOWN

This is going to be painful, so please, bear with me.

The first two periods of the game were very eventful, as 8 goals were scored through 40 minutes of play.  Unfortunately, the Leafs only tallied 2 of those goals and seemed lost on the ice throughout most of the game.

Aleksander Barkov scored Florida’s first goal just 18 seconds into the period, and the Leafs’ weak start only added insult to injury.  Leo Komerov scored Toronto’s first goal of the game midway through the first off of a beautiful feed from William Nylander on the man advantage:

Jonathan Marchessault scored a pair of back-to-back goals to put the Panthers ahead by 3 early in the 2nd, and it didn’t get much better for the Leafs after that.

Frederik Andersen was pulled following 20 minutes of play, after letting in 3 goals on 8 shots.  Curtis McElhinney took to the net for the remaining 2 periods, though this decision didn’t necessarily turn the game around for Toronto.

Nikita Soshnikov help cut Florida’s lead late in the second period, scoring an opportunistic goal off of a Reimer rebound:

Matt Martin was called for goaltender interference on the play, and after an annoyingly long review, the call on the ice stood. After Soshnikov’s goal, time seemed to pass… slower?

Honestly, that was one of the worst games the Leafs have played all season.  Rielly and Zaitsev were absolutely terrible, and Marincin and Polak were not much better.  This loss could not have come at a worse time for the Leafs, as they quickly drop to 10th in the Eastern Conference, pushing themselves out of a playoff spot.

THE STATS

The Leafs possession tonight, particularly in the first and third period, was atrocious.  They seemed to keep up with the Panthers in the second, but Florida clearly dominated through the majority of the game.  Again, tonight’s Leafs did not resemble the same team that beat Philadelphia or Carolina just a few days ago.

Not to single out any individual player, but Nazem Kadri did not have a particularly good game, either:

Oh, and the Leafs 4th line was, by far, their best line tonight:

BLUE WARRIOR

Tonight’s blue warrior goes to… James Reimer! Wait a second…

In all seriousness, there weren’t many bright spots in tonight’s game, and the Leafs 4th line had an above-average night.  Nikita Soshnikov had a good game, scoring the second (and last) Toronto goal and helping push possession through 3 periods.  There is not much else to say about Soshnikov tonight, especially considering the scoresheet didn’t necessarily reflect a positive effort.

UP NEXT

The Leafs will be taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night in another must-win game.  The Lightning won against the Islanders tonight as well, pushing them ahead of the Leafs in the standings by just a single point.  A regulation win on Thursday would mean the Leafs gain back their advantage over Tampa, which is absolutely necessary this late in the season.

The game will be broadcasted at 7:30pm EST on Sportsnet Ontario.

  • getrdone

    Sor for a guy who does not do fancy stats well and since Yahoo has changed the way they present scores, where do I find the boxscore for the leaf games? Only watched the first 10 minutes last night and honestly I had had enough for the night.

  • Bill-Burford

    Not to much to cheer about there.Both goalies were hung out to dry by the team.I think you could have sat the defence units and put wingers out there to replace them and probably had better results.I turned the game off after the second before being tempted to throw a beer bottle through the screen.

  • Gary Empey

    Florida came out with a lot of jump. Every Panther was really flying. Heavy forchecking, blocking shots, and backchecking. The Leafs were not ready for them. For the most part Florida kept the Leafs to the perimeter allowing Reimer a good look. If the Leafs were going to win one and lose one on this Florida trip, then this is the one I prefer they lost.

    • FlareKnight

      Yeah, if that was an option and we had to lose one of them then this would be the one. Sadly, I’m not sure that will be the case. Tampa is absolutely unstoppable right now and the Leafs have turned this into a game they have to win no matter what.

      They just didn’t show up on time. They were not ready and were filled in as a result. That was an embarrassing performance that looked similar to some of the worst seasons we’ve had following this team. That was somewhat traumatic.

      Oh well…let’s see what the next one brings. They’ll have to try hard to do even worse than this.