Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
The Maple Leafs effort in overtime didn’t match their regulation intensity
By Shane Seney2 months ago
After Auston Matthews tied the game in the dying seconds Saturday night against the Boston Bruins, it seemed like the Maple Leafs were content with the one point and forgot they could secure two. Their effort in the extra frame was pathetic and attest it to whatever you’d like, at the end of the day it just can’t happen.
After outshooting the Bruins in each of the first three periods, Boston turned it on for a whopping 11 shots in OT and unfortunately for the Maple Leafs, goaltender Joseph Woll couldn’t bail them out. While Woll was once again solid in the loss, including the astonishing 10 saves in overtime, it was the players in front of him that gave up on their goaltender. There should never be a regular season OT game where an opponent gets 11 shots, that frankly just can’t happen.
What happened with Nylander and Tavares?
The two players to circle when it comes to questionable effort in the extra frame are William Nylander and John Tavares. Nylander got himself tied up with Brad Marchand at centre ice and then decided to watch Marchand make his way to the front of the net and end the game.
Meanwhile, Tavares was standing at centre ice and seemed to give up on the play. The effort was worrisome and totally not something anyone normally sees out of the Maple Leafs captain.
Head-scratching stuff from #91 and #88, however they weren’t the only two players who should be circled here. Leafs defenseman Jake McCabe took his sweet time to get off the ice and change for Morgan Rielly, which ended up prohibiting Rielly from joining the play earlier and allowed for David Pastrnak to gain a step, and eventually put the puck out front to Marchand who ended the game. Here’s the full play:
The Maple Leafs ability to line change this season is absolutely mind-blowing and horribly bad. Too many men calls are one thing, and Toronto has led the league the past three seasons in the category, but it’s line changing in general that is causing way too much concern for this hockey team. Who knows how the mid-season review will go between Brad Treliving and Sheldon Keefe, but one thing that absolutely needs to be discussed is bench in-game management and Keefe is going to have some explaining to do considering what’s gone on so far this season.
At the end of the week, the Maple Leafs did get five out of six points but the effort in overtime against the Bruins was something special, for all the wrong reasons. If this team wants to win when it matters most, they need to clean up a lot of elements of their game and bench management would certainly be a good place to start. Then ask Tavares and Nylander why they decided to give up during the biggest play of the game against the Leafs’ biggest rival.
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