Game in 10: Game #36, Panthers 3 at Leafs 1

Game in 10: Game #36, Panthers 3 at Leafs 1

959

Despite losses in two of three, the Leafs looked to be fighting their way out of a slump with some good efforts against some good competition in San Jose, Los Angeles and Chicago. A 50/50 game to the Pittsburgh Penguins was kind of a writeoff defeat. A loss as sloppy as this one to the Florida Panthers, though, suggests the tailspin is still very much in progress.

1 – Three minutes into the game, Dion Phaneuf lost a gamble in an attempt to provide the drop pass option to Kadri, only for Kadri to force a pass into the middle and lose the puck. Phaneuf was caught and Gunnarsson was a step behind Tomas Fleischmann, who beat Reimer from the right circle on a shot that could have been stopped.

2 – Messy defensive coverage in the first 10 minutes. To be clear, no one was without fault, but the reinsertion of Mark Fraser doesn’t help matters. He creates issues when he’s on the ice with his inability to move the puck quickly enough; bobbles, flat footedness, losing it in his feet, you name it. Liles really didn’t deserve to sit.

3 – The Leafs woke up a little in the second half of the period, but Scott Clemmensen was up to the task on point blank chances for Kadri and a redirect off a Franson point shot, in particular. The Leafs were still pretty disjointed for the remainder of the period.

4 – The first line provided a good first 40 seconds to the 2nd period, only for a joke of a second shift to cripple any momentum. The Leafs played hot potato with the puck in their own zone until Reimer took a holding penalty.

5 – Six minutes into the 2nd period, Kessel got knocked over without the puck on what should have been an interference call. Not sure he was getting to the puck anyway given the angle Franson had chipped it off the glass, but it’s still interference. The initial point shot got gloved down and jammed in by Sean Bergenheim.

6 – Last time this team played in a back to back scenario against St. Louis, Randy Carlyle described his team’s play as braindead. That may be the best description of the team’s second period, in particular, tonight. For example(s), all of this came within the span of a few minutes:

  • A good chance opened up for Holland and Clarkson on a 2 on 1. Holland went wide as though expecting Clarkson to crash the back post, instead Clarkson followed Holland across the slot and was easily picked up by the defenceman in front.
  • Picking up a loose pick to the side of the net, Raymond, instead of getting a puck to the net with bodies in front, turned away from the net and forced a pass that led to a 3 on 1 the other way which, fortunately, Rielly had the wheels to cover back on.
  • Kessel tried a rinky dink move instead of getting a puck to the net with traffic in front, leading to a turnover.
  • There was frustrating non call on a Raymond trip moments earlier, but that didn’t explain the decision by Raymond to drop the puck to Phaneuf with a forechecker in his face and no available out. Phaneuf should have just hammered it down the ice or something instead of trying to beat the forechecker, but alas he got caught trying to deke and a few seconds later Brad Boyes scored.

There was a total of one good chance in the 2nd period for the Leafs, when Rielly fed Kadri in the slot. The Leafs didn’t have their best effort tonight, but this type of poor decision making and inappropriate fancy play made it that much harder on themselves.

7 – Gardiner sat for a good chunk of the 2nd and much of the first half of the third with Leafs trailing and in need of offence. Inexplicable. Picking one dumb defensive play on the 2nd goal out of the pile of slop in this game is nonsense. Gardiner only played 16 minutes tonight.

8 - Here’s the really concerning part about Clarkson: He hasn’t just been a nonfactor. He might now be hurting the team. The  suspension doesn’t seem to have give him much of a reset. His contribution in the first period amount to a penalty, the result of his constant use of  the free arm, and falling over during board battles.  In the 2nd period came that bizarre play on the 2 on 1. Clarkson opened one decent chance for himself in the third, but the concern is that his play is so off right now he’s a detriment to whatever line he’s on.

9 – Here are the results from the second game in the last four back to backs:

  • 4-2 loss to Montreal
  • 5-2 loss to Boston
  • 6-3 loss to St. Louis
  • 3-1 loss to Florida

If legs aren’t all there, this team hasn’t had much to offer. In a midseason back to back against a team like Florida, they just don’t seem to have the ability to grind out wins by winning battles in the trenches.

10 – Not a lot going right for the Leafs at the moment. Even Phaneuf seems to be forcing some things trying to get his team going. The top line had its chances tonight, but has been unable to break through in the past three games except for the 7th goal against Chicago. It’s at the point where we, as fans, and seemingly the players, are expecting bad things to happen when one thing goes against them.

What now? Beats me.

Leafs/Panthers Shot Location Data

Leafs/Panthers Shot Location Data

NO.
PLAYER
POS
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
S
HITS
BS
GVA
TVA
FO%
PPTOI
SHTOI
TOI
2M. FraserD0001016220-0:00:001:22:0013:36:00
3D. PhaneufD000-2046110-2:21:002:36:0024:43:00
4C. FransonD000-1024140-2:21:001:57:0023:36:00
11J. McClementC000002501245%0:00:002:24:0013:35:00
12M. RaymondL1010020100100%1:51:000:45:0016:17:00
19J. LupulL0001030011100%2:09:000:00:0016:04:00
21J. van RiemsdykL000-20320000%2:09:001:13:0021:33:00
23T. SmithC000000310025%0:00:000:44:009:27:00
24P. HollandC011002111145%0:00:000:00:0013:49:00
29J. D'AmigoR0000010011-0:00:000:58:0010:44:00
36C. GunnarssonD000-1004200-0:35:002:03:0022:28:00
40T. BodieR0000011000-0:00:000:00:007:17:00
41N. KuleminL0000000000-0:00:001:52:0012:37:00
43N. KadriC000-203210037%1:51:000:02:0020:10:00
44M. RiellyD0000002211-1:39:000:00:0019:38:00
51J. GardinerD000-1011021-1:04:000:02:0016:03:00
71D. ClarksonR000-1212000-1:51:000:00:0015:27:00
81P. KesselC000-2032010-2:09:000:02:0021:05:00
Goalie
NO.PLAYERSAVES - SHOTSSV%PIMTOI
34J. Reimer20 - 230.87257:51:00

Review overview
Forwards - 30 %
Defence - 20 %
Goaltending - 70 %
Special Teams - 50 %
Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]

SIMILAR ARTICLES

906 comments
Axle_Goalie
Axle_Goalie

We lose against teams we should beat because we get too fancy. We compete against teams that are better than us, because we play a simplified game. Imagine if we just always played a simplified game.... Things'd be good. 

rustynail
rustynail

did I just see a comment flash before my eyes?

Jon5200
Jon5200

Largusmeans.......good point....imho while it has as much to do with what Bolland brings on the ice...it has alot to do with what a player like Bolland brings in the dressing room, at practise, in general, off the ice.  I think being on a cup team has shown him u have to bring it EVERY game....something i dont think is apart of that room right now....even when the team falls behind, a guy like Bolland settles the team down and says we can still win this one....Carlyle has said on many occasion...."Bolland's work ethic is 2nd to none!!"  It seems without him the guys get out to an early lead like in the Chicago game and they roll(confidence high)....but if the other team scores, like last nite, players go missing?

LargusMeans
LargusMeans

Leafs with Bolland 10-4.

Leafs without Bolland 7-14. 

Does that stat truly mean as much as it looks like it does?

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

@Axle_Goalie I agree simplicity really fits Phaneuf's game particularly well (ohh the double entendre)

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

@rustynail some type of anti phaneuf rant.   I wonder if anti-carlyle or anti-clarkson rant would get the same reaction.  any one care to try?

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@Jon5200 If Bolland is the only guy bringing that though, the team is trouble and needs to make some big personal changes. 


Look at the Blackhawks, they lost Bolland and are the best team int he league right now. This goes to what I said the other day, guys like Kessel and Phaneuf and Lupul etc..., the veterans who should be the leaders need to bringing that as well. 

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Jon5200

i'd like to say right here, right now, that my 8 year old works harder than them all

he's awesome

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

@lou19 He would talk about how his wife can score more goals then Phaneuf post game. 

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

@LargusMeans That stat is important and relevant if it supports your narrative.  And is not relevant if it does not support your narrative.  That is the whole trick with advanced stats - simply pick some data that supports your position to make your position sound even stronger.  

loomx
loomx

@LargusMeans A 3rd line C shouldn't impact the way the whole team plays. It was rotten to the core even when Bolland here. Only difference is they found ways to win. Now they're not.

vinoa
vinoa

@LargusMeans Bolland kept our top 6 facing weaker competition. Need him back ASAP because we can't replace his role internally.

Mind Bomb
Mind Bomb

@LargusMeans Some, its more of losing both your top centers, but yes Bolland was a big help

Jon5200
Jon5200

@Greg Fenton@Jon5200GregF....i TOTALLY agree 100%.....i just think Bolland, being on a cup team, 2X, knows 'what it takes'.....i think Kessel/Phaneuf/Lupul are talented but need that something that Bolland can bring....i'm not nescessarily hung up on Bolland but the leadership intangible he brings....like a John Madden for example...not an elite player but on cup teams and knew/knows 'what it takes to win and win consistantly....imho thats why he play on different teams after his time with the Devils until he was 40!!

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Greg Fenton

those guys you named appear to be bringing it every night, they're not the problem

LargusMeans
LargusMeans

@dlb eh @LargusMeans ok, here goes

with Bozak, 7-9

without Bozak 10-10

Not nearly as much of a factor on our win-loss record.  Bolland brings intangibles, leadership and a winning attitude, I really think it speaks volumes of his importance.

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@loomx

Bolland plus McCLemment to use in matchups is a LOT better than McClemment and the alternatives we've seen.

he's a 3rd line centre in respect to getting the tough assignments

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Jon5200

how much more can Kessel and Phaneuf do?  i swear Kessel could play 4 shifts in a row and create 10 scoring chances and some people would act like it never happened.

remember the game against BOS where Kessel's line had Chara hemmed in his own end for half their shifts?  i didn't think you'd remember something like that.  nope.  never happened, right?

if you blame Phanuef for last night's first goal you've been begging for something to point to.  that was Gunnarsson's mistake, and Kadri's.  Phaneuf did what any good defenseman would have done there: got involved

Jon5200
Jon5200

@Greg Fenton@dlb ehexactly...while i do think Kessel is getting better...he/phaneuf and lups have to lead with a SUPERIOR work ethic....

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Greg Fenton

you don't agree that our best players compete every night.  I say they compete just fine.

i say it's the supporting cast that isn't bringing it right now.  you say that was key in 93.  i say that would go a long way in making us a better team NOW.

highlight READ all you want you hypocryte

and it wasn't because Glimour didn't allow it.  the players had it in them before they fucking came to Toronto in many cases.  revise history if you want, but tell me the players who suddenly learned how to play hard because Gilmour was their captain.  he lead by example, but he had WILLING FOLLOWERS.  jackass

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@dlb eh @Greg Fenton Did you even READ what I said? "They best players ALSO brought compete etc..."


No one slacked on those early 90's teams because guys like Gilmour and Clark and Anderson made it unacceptable to do so. The Leafs don't have top guys right now (or so is appears) that do that, so when the one 3rd line guy who does is out......

Jon5200
Jon5200

@Greg Fenton@Jon5200u definitely cannot rely on one guy to do that, i agree totally.....cause if u do...u have what u have now.....

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Greg Fenton

so what you're saying is that the best team we've had since the 60's didn't rely on only their top couple players for character (compete and energy)?

but now, this team must?

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@Jon5200 @Greg Fenton I agree, I love what Bolland brings and lots of great teams have that impactful 3rd line player (Chris Draper was another guy like that). I just dont' think a team can be successful if they only relay on 1 guy to do that, espically 1 3rd line guy. 


Forget other teams, just look in Leaf history. In 93 (probably the best team since the 60's we've had....?) they had a great 3rd line/shut down unit that brought everything to table that Bolland does, but their best players also brought compete and energy and work ethic etc...

Jon5200
Jon5200

@Greg Fenton@Jon5200the fact that Reimer and not phaneuf has to come out in the press and say to forget the excuses and players go missing etc....says something

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Greg Fenton

this math is laughable.

if Kessel was invisible all night long but scored a goal in every game what would you say?  would you tell me to "watch the game"?

you have no evidence to persuade me.  none.

i like how you added played "and produced" to your argument.  you initially said he played liek a 50 point player.  in your world that's the same thing.  i guess Raymond played like a 200 point player the other night when he got 4 points but did pretty much fuck all else for the entire game.

you only see numbers.  but you know what your watching.  i've never heard you break down a play or a situation or anything.  only points.  you're a former rugby player i suppose.

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@dlb eh @Greg Fenton Proof he isn't "bringing it" every night because he hasn't playing to the peak of his abilities. 


Kessel has scored 14 points int he last 23 games (thats 64% of the games he has played this year - so most). That averages out to 49.91 points in 82 games. For most of the year he has played and produced like a 50 point player. 


I want the best players ont he team to be at their best every night and carry and demand the other players play at their peak every night. And they aren't/haven't. 

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Greg Fenton

Phaneuf's worst offensive season ever - proof he's not playing good hockey?

Kessel playing like a 50 point player for most of the year?  - bullshit.  other teams are terrified of him.  he's creating 5 quality scoring chances on average every game.

Lupul's point totals might be attributed in part to having no one to play with and injuries and a lot of things...but he's been the least effective of the 3 on a regular basis i would agree.

you want these guys to hold the hands of the other players, eh?  you're so balanced in your opinion haha

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

@Greg Fenton @dlb eh At least the media is focussing the hate on Clarkson and his offesnive and brain dead struggles and laying off of Phaneuf and Kessel and Kadri

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@dlb eh @Greg Fenton Hardly. Phaneuf is having his worst offense season ever, Kessel has been playing like a 50 point player for most of the year. Lupul has 2 goals in his last 12 games and is pointless in 16 of the 27 games he has played. Theyd playing terribly, they aren't the ONLY problem (There are issues up and down the roster), but they haven't been bringing it every night. 


And if they aren't able to lead the rest of the team, as it was suggested Bolland do, it is a problem because you need your best players to be leaders and get (by whatever means) the rest of the team to follow. 

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@wendelsfist

haha

he knows his way around a whiteboard

with my help, he could coach ;-)

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@LargusMeans

thanks.

i wonder if that would change if we had Bolland in without Bozak for a stretch.  in other words, how critical is it that we have at least 3 of Bolland, Bozak, Kadri and MccLemment dressed?

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@loomx @dlb eh Buffalo yes but I said last night before the game started  I was concerned about Florida . The just beat the Habs and Detroit in back to backs . With the Leafs playing poorly and on a back to back I'm not really surprised we lost. However I did expect a better effort then we saw.

loomx
loomx

@dlb eh @loomx True. But no matter which player we lose, there's no excuse for playing like this. Even if Kessel went down, you should still be able to play adequate defense and squeeze out some wins against the Floridas and Buffalos of the league.

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@wendelsway1 I'm going to pull this trigger if Smithson's called up. 

I really mean it this time!!!