While the Leafs did well to battle back and take a 4-3 lead in their eventual shootout loss to Detroit on Saturday, once again they failed to shut down a game when they needed to.
I went back and counted up the number of times the Leafs have forfeited a third period lead. Here’s the list:
|Game||Description||Players on Ice|
|Carolina||Leading 2-0 going into third, lost 3-2 in regulation.||4, 12, 19, 43, 44, 45; 3, 12, 36, 42, 45, 81; 3, 12, 36, 45, 63 (PK)|
|New Jersey||Leading 1-0, coughed up lead with 4:45 to go. Won shootout.||3, 11, 21, 36, 45 (PK)|
|Minnesota||Leading 1-0, coughed up lead with 4:17 to go. Lost shootout.||12, 15, 21, 44, 45, 81|
|Washington||Leading 1-0, coughed up lead with 4:10 to go. Won shootout.||3, 11, 21, 34, 36, 41|
|Pittsburgh||Leading 5-3 entering third period. Coughed up lead by 13:19. Lost in shootout.||3, 36, 42, 45 (PK); 12, 15, 36, 41, 43, 45|
|Dallas||Leading 2-1, coughed up lead with 2:46 remaining. Won in OT.||2, 3, 12, 23, 45 (PK)|
|Ottawa||Leading 3-1 going into third, coughed up lead by 9:30 of the 3rd period. Won in Shootout.||4, 12, 23, 34, 41, 51; 2, 4, 23, 29, 34 (PK)|
|Phoenix||Leading 1-0, coughed up lead with 4:52 to go. Won in Shootout.||3, 11, 34, 36, 41, 71|
|Detroit||Leading 4-3, coughed up lead with 6:16 to go. Lost in shootout.||21, 26, 43, 44, 45, 81|
Those are some valuable points the Leafs won’t get back. The only reason the Leafs aren’t out of a playoff position right now is because they’re competent in the shootout, but the lack of ROW could hurt them down the road, too, in terms of tie breakers.
Only one of those third period collapses came with Bozak and Bolland in the lineup (the Carolina loss). Bozak had played parts of the Pittsburgh game but left for the third period. With Bozak and Bolland hurt, the result is often that Jay McClement plays a lot when Carlyle looks to protect a lead. The pecking order in terms of Carlyle’s trust in his centers late in games seems to go, in order: Bolland, Bozak, McClement, Kadri, Holland.
Whatever the reason – the missing personnel at center, system, psychological scarring from May 13 – the Leafs are “receiving” too much late in games, and it’s costing them points and ROWs that could come back to haunt them in April.
Christmas Eve Eve in New York
Tonight, the Leafs look to enter the brief Christmas break on the right note with a win in New York. The Rangers are the one of the opponents on the outside of the playoff picture but within strikable distance of the Leafs as we approach the half way point of the season.
After scoring just a goal a game in three straight, the Leafs had an offensive outburst vs. Detroit, and yet the Leafs’ top line remained absent outside of an assist for JvR and Kessel on the powerplay. The trio of Kadri, Kessel and JvR needs to be better tonight. Those two powerplay assists are the trio’s only two points in the last four games and they’re a combined -14 over that span.
Jonathan Bernier is expected to start and Colton Orr is expected to return to the 4th line.
The Rangers, playing in a back to back scenario, will start Cam Talbot in net. That’s not necessarily a good thing for the Leafs; Talbot’s 7-2 with two shutouts and a .936 save percentage.
Has there been any discussion on here about the possibility of the Leafs trading for Dan Girardi yet?
I'm not saying there are any rumours out there, but he is a pending free agent and I think he'd be a solid stay-at-home righty to play with Rielly on the third pairing.
why not put clarkson jvr and kessel on the pp instead of kessel jvr and lupuland let kessel take shots while clarkson buries them home
The thing that pisses me off the most is how people say dions not a leader, its ridiculous, he plays with all his heart each night and all the boys seem to love him. Go Dion!
WTF?!?!? After our best victory of the year against the cup champs and our boys are cranking miley fucking cyrus in the dressing room???? i am beyond embarassed. what a bunch of pussies.
so does anyone have any ideas of how we can take our team to the next level and get a 1C in the blue and white. all i can think of is joe thornton this offseason, but that's very unlikely to happen.
@.JVR.And he's from Toronto.
@.JVR. I'd say it's more likely Marc Staal is available. Only 3 points in 30 games, -7, and getting under 20 minutes a game. Girardi is getting 24 minutes a night now, so they probably see him as being pretty important to get resigned.
@Doorman Hey...I've read this prediction before I believe.
@Zep2 Big time, that fan has every right after 8 years of that futility....make it 9 years.
Lupul - Holland - Kessel
JVR - Kadri - Clarkson
Raymond - McClement - Kulemin
D'Amigo - Smithson - Orr
@Doorman Sure did....didn't even have to throw a hip check, either! lol :)
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Happy to hear you made it to the cottage, Bon. ..our power did go off a few times but came back on immediately. Hubby was sayin' last night that it looked like a couple buildings at Lakeshore and 10 looked to be without power when he drove by, on his way home. We're further west than you are. Not like there's anything you can do, so enjoy the cottage and Vape on!
@Jmessih He's taking quite a few starts from Lundqvist, lately.
@BrandonCheema Colour me shocked that some have managed to read exactly what they wanted to read into these episodes re: Dion
@BrandonCheema Was just watching 24/7 and I have to agree, Dion seems to be a great leader and one that his team wants to play for.
@Bring the Cup Home Orr and McLaren are the biggest champions of the song apparently
No matter how useless or useful you think those two are, they're tough as nails
@Bring the Cup Home they say orr and maclaren like it...next topic LOL
@Bring the Cup HomeNot every tough guy listens to Slayer while shaving his beard with a commando knife
@Bring the Cup Home Get a grip.
@Bring the Cup Home Calm down, who cares
Oh yea, he showed up for his 3:10 of icetime, haha
@wendelsway1 @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 12 fucking hours yesterday. No power, no light, no web, no TV, don't even have a transistor radio. Almost went squirrely. No phone either and was down to my last candle when the power finally came back on. I'm fucking useless without electricity. Way too dangerous to walk anywhere and the stores on the other side of the street had power all day, but I couldn't get to them.
@dnksdad yeah i jus found it on youttube