It was a kiss of death the second any of us pointed out that the California road trip would be the means for the Leafs to stake claim to their playoff spot. We’ve been down this road too many times before and know that jinxes and Toronto sports go together like Gin and Tonic.
So here we are two games down, and only one point to show for it.
That’s not to say that last night was a total loss. Freddie Andersen picked up his second shutout in six outings. In those six outings he also only has one game where he gave up more than one goal. Saying Andersen is fixed is an absolute stretch, but the Leafs not giving up goals with their goaltending and defensive shortcomings has helped keep me off the ledge about last night’s loss.
Of course this is also the second game in a row where offense didn’t show up against a team with shaky goaltending, and the Leafs are failing to utilize their biggest strength. That’s one hell of a problem.
Though the difference again last night that should help us feel better than we felt after the San Jose loss is that it wasn’t for the lack of trying.
The Leafs heavily out chanced the Kings, as they should, but Jonathan Quick decided that he was going to be in world beater, 2013 form last night, and the Leafs paid the price. The Kings extended their win streak to four games, so it’s not like they aren’t on a heater at the moment.
The downside is the Leafs play again tonight, and after going all the way to a shootout, there is a chance a very tired Toronto team will be playing that very bad Anaheim team.
The upside is that the Panthers didn’t gain any ground either, though the fact that they picked up a point against Boston is something they are probably feeling pretty good about.
Leafs get a welcome break after tonight, and hopefully that will help, as they start off next week against Tampa, where they will probably need their offence to show up on the scoresheet and not just heat maps.