Photo Credit: Jeff Curry - USA Today Sports

Leafs Postgame: Ugh.

All in all, I’d say everyone is glad this road trip is over. Leafs dropped three of four, and no one was able to go to bed at a decent time.

It almost looked possible to go home on a high note (ha ha), but the St. Louis Blues remain the team to beat in the West, as they improve to 11-3-1, and the Leafs are now 8-7-0.

1st Period

The first period was not a good indicator of how the rest of this game ended up, except for the part where the Leafs had a really tough time getting out of their own zone (and staying out), and the part where Matt Martin contributed offensively (no, really).

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The Leafs got one power play about halfway through the period, but they could not even buy a clean zone entry.

Luckily, back at 5-on-5, Matt Martin was able to zoom just inside the blue line and slide the puck across to Andreas Borgman for the 1-0 goal!

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It seemed safe to feel a little optimistic, honestly.

James van Riemsdyk was briefly reunited with Mitch Marner and Tyler Bozak, but they weren’t as effective without Matt Martin dishing the puck, so Babcock didn’t keep that going for very long.

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2nd Period

The Blues scored three goals this period, which overall they probably did deserve. But with two of those goals coming off a weird bounce on a rebound, it also kind of feels like the Leafs could’ve almost hung on.

The line blender came out again briefly, and we saw Marner back up with JVR and Marleau, but Babcock didn’t seem inclined to implement any long-term changes.

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None of the Leafs were having much luck in the offensive zone no matter how they were teamed up, anyway.

3rd Period

Our general mood for most of the final frame was not super optimistic.

A more thorough goal breakdown will come tomorrow, but basically it went Blues, Leafs, Blues, Blues again, Leafs twice, and then the Leafs still lost.

In a short burst of excitement, Alex Steen negated a power play for the Blues, we were all set for almost two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey. Except 20 seconds into that, Bozak got thrown out of the face off, and then Marner also got thrown out of the face off. And you know what that means! The Blues got a brief 4-on-3, in which they scored yet again to make it 6-2.

This one probably should have been called back for goaltender interference, but the Leafs…did not challenge. We’re not really sure why. Feel free to debate amongst yourselves.

Scoring three goals in the third period does at least, as my mom said, “look respectable”. But unfortunately the Leafs also allowed three more, so the third period went from 4-1 to 6-4, and it’s still zero points.

Let’s have a fresh start at home on Monday! Leafs take on the Golden Knights for the first time ever.

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  • lukewarmwater

    In hockey RULE NUMBER ONE is you back up your goalie. Schenn’s cheap shot baseball swing at Andersen’s head was worthy of a match penalty. But Clown ref missed it and as the author points out it is inexcusable for Babcock not to challenge the vicious stick work and number two not have Martin or some one else take care of Schenn. The excuse is that Babcock didn’t want to use his time out. He never used it later in the game.
    Look I get the leafs have a finest team with a lot of Lady Byng candidates but when you don’t immediately go after Schenn it speaks volumes about the character and chemistry of this one game above 500 squad.
    The simple scouting draft on beating the leafs is to simply pound the small defence, especially the skating here there and everywhere Gardiner and they will cough up the puck. Incidentally that powerful, huge, rugged Steen dumped Gardiner on his ass. Poor Jake later in the game did his patented dipsy doodle skating with the puck up the ice and then did his Savardian spinerama to skate back in his own zone during a penalty. Unfortunately Jake it was your team that had the power play as you killed about 15 seconds. But heh it probably did wonders for your Corsi for the evening and we all know that is what counts man. Teams also simply man handle the likes of Marner, Nylander, Bozak and other forwards as you watch the refs only dish out penalties for slight interference , face off violations and an occasional slash. But heh slashes to a goalies face seem A Okay.
    Yep those dynamic, power house Vegas boys coming to town with more points than the leafs even though they have gone through a bushel full of goalies. For years there were business people who wanted to put an expansion team into Toronto to give the big smoke two teams. The way Vegas is playing it seems like it would have been a good deal.

    • Glen

      Agree with you 1000%. This team has great potential but I don’t like what I see right now. The only positive thing is if you are going to have a slump now is the time. Bench Willy, fine but what about Gardiner? Good to see a post from you wouldn’t want to see both brothers vanish.

  • Glen

    This year I vowed to write mostly positive posts but that isn’t possible after this trip and this game. I have watched the Leafs for nearly sixty years and have seen only a few games as bad as this one. The score was no indication of this game Leafs were outplayed on both ends of the ice. The Blues were actually laughing at them !The Leafs defence except for Borgman and Polak are soft as butter. An team that sees their goalie get slashed on the face and fails to react is gutless. Babcock was miserably outcoached in this one. He needs to be more positive with players such as Marner and Nylander or he is going to lose them. But this was a team effort and not a good one. Something is not right with this team and needs to be corrected. A team can lose because there is another team on the ice but to lose like this is unacceptable. I should have waited until I cooled down and woke totally up to write this but I am p!!!!! off.

    • lukewarmwater

      Glen well said, I totally concur with your comments. I too try to stay positive but as I stated before both you and I have seen this same old sad song once too often in our long, long, long dedicated loyalty to the leafs for 6 decades. No problem in being p!!!! off as you and I know the leafs will have turned the corner when we have a couple meat eating big leaf defenders who will take no prisoners and no gutless puke like Schenn will ever get away with using his stick like a baseball swing on a helpless goalie.

  • Capt.Jay

    For a coach that is recognized as the best coach in hockey, he has done very poor asset management. To say the team wasn’t prepared and it’s on him is an understatement. They weren’t prepared to play his way, period. All these players were offensive weapons where ever they were before coming to Toronto, whether on other NHL teams or in junior. They were getting 3-4 goals scored on them playing a game they were familiar with except they were scoring 5-6 themselves. Now playing defense which is what Babcock wants them to do they are getting 5-6 scored against and scoring 3-4. You play to your strengths never to your weekness but that’s what he has them doing. We teach this to industries. Focus on your strengths because that’s what got you here, we will curb you weeknesses slowly as not to take from you strengths. I thought this would be common knowledge for our coaching staff.