The last home game before November 11th, this was the night the Toronto Maple Leafs organization honored the soldiers who fought for their country since World War I. A classy ceremony hosted by Andy Frost led the way into this hockey game. I too am grateful for all who fought in the World War II to stop a great evil from spreading throughout the world, liberating parts of Europe in the process. The positives end here.
1 â€“ The Leafs are… yeah, I have nothing. Missing Reimer, Connolly and Armstrong at the same time isnâ€™t helpful, but it’s not an excuse for lack of effort.
2 â€“ The early PP looked good, but the rest of our early game didnâ€™t. We may have lost Connolly for a while, but as far as I know all our players still had both legs. The effort had to improve. No excuse for a first period like that after that loss to Boston. The Leafs were outscored 12-1 on their two game homestand, that’s not acceptable.
3 â€“ Okay, some positives – the middle of the first featured a fantastic play by Phaneuf as he prevented the goal by tying up Versteegâ€™s stick. Schenn wasphysical and noticeable so it seems the scratch helped a bit. Gus was good early, but wandered out of the crease for no apparent reason for the first goal. Schenn also didn’t play his guy well on that play. Heâ€™s less to blame for the goal than Gus, but it was a freaky bounce as well.
4 â€“ During the last minute of the first period we scored one Florida defenseman. A short handed Panthers defenseman at that. Thatâ€™s gotta be worth 2 puck goals (commonly known as real goals) at least. At the same time we killed two penalties against one of the leagueâ€™s most potent PP units. A Keanu Reeves â€œWhoaâ€. The PK looked more aggressive and thus â€“ more successful.
5 â€“ Lombardi starred on the puck pursuit side of the game, was great on the forecheck and was aggressive when he needed to be.
6 â€“ Johnny Bower celebrated his birthday today. Congratulations Mr. China Wall. As Joe Bowen stated, he had his birth certificated edited more than Stallone has action movies.
7 â€“ The second Florida goal was ugly… oh look, a third. Did someone mention the Boston game? If so, why? No resemblance whatsoever. Gustavsson wasnâ€™t good. Technically, he is so far off even your average NHL goaltender. Handling the puck creates more problems that it solves. Stay in net, Gus. There’s great talent here, but like I keep stating, it still hasn’t properly put together. Will that ever happen here, in Toronto? The other problem is, how do we develop him when heâ€™s needed to feature now? Â Scrivens stepped in, and after giving up a bad goal (which is excusable I guess, coming in cold and all), played fairly well.
Goaltending crisis? Goaltending crisis.
8 â€“ We have to find an answer for teams that stack the blue line and high o-zone. Simplify, chip and chase, something.
9 â€“ Kessel scored early in the third to avoid a mini slump scoring wise (media description). Kulemin should have ended a slump of his own about ten times over.
10 â€“ Who starts next? Close to zero confidence in our goaltending but as things stand now I do have slightly more confidence in Scrivens purely because heâ€™s a better technical goaltender. Weâ€™re a better team than this, but frankly, not 9-4-1 better. Not yet.
I think more than a few of us saw this coming, to an extent. This team has been mostly poor defensively since game two against Ottawa, and its hot hands offensively have returned to Earth as of late. Combine that with Reimer’s injury, and the subsequent bad goaltending rodeo, and it all adds up to, well, a combined 12-1 loss in our last two games.