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]
788 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?

sniperstar
sniperstar

Does the injury of Smith mean the rebirth of a Jerred Smithson led 4th line? :S

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?

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!!

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.

sniperstar
sniperstar

@Burtonboy True. I've heard some good things about the kid thus far. He could be an interesting call up.

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....

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.....

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

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

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!!!