Game Review: Game #58, Panthers 4 vs. Leafs 1

Game Review: Game #58, Panthers 4 vs. Leafs 1

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One might look at a 1-0 scoreline after 40 minutes in this game and think it’s not as bad as being down four or five to Dallas a few weeks ago. And yes, there is a difference: The Leafs played better in the first period in Dallas, only they couldn’t get a save. The only reason the Leafs had a chance in the final 10 minutes in the third in this 4-1 loss to Florida was because of Jonathan Bernier, who stopped 44 of 47 shots (hey, he had an easy night against Ottawa, right? It’s the least he could do).

The concept was similar nonetheless. The Leafs were winning lately at home, took off for a southern road trip, and simply laid an egg. On one hand it is awesome that Leafs Nation is so omnipresent it can bronx cheer the team for its first shot coming 8 minutes into the game, on the other it was a testament to how bad this game was. It doesn’t matter what your system is, the only way to get outshot 19-4 by the Florida Panthers in one period is by looking at the start of this trip as a chance to take it easy. Lazy changes,  easy entries for the Panthers, second to pucks in the defensive zone, inability to get pucks deep and/or establish a forecheck… it all went into the shots total of 37-12 through the first 40.

If we’re being honest this game is right there with the Columbus, New York, Dallas, St. Louis and Carolina blowouts. This team seems to have this type of game more than most, where the bad habits they often win in spite of come home to roost. They seem to need the wake up call. Great goaltending and plenty of goal scoring skill wins this team games; when you rely on that to begin with and then put in a half-effort, it leads to games where it’s just plain embarrassing.

The other factor is that the Leafs rely on a great powerplay for a sizable chunk of their offense and sometimes to get them going in a game; they got zero powerplay opportunities in this game. It takes the minimum requirement of effort to draw penalties, though. There may have been one trip on Clarkson that could’ve been called, but other than that there wasn’t much to complain about.

The positive takeaway is David Clarkson scoring in his first game back from injury. It was his first point in 10 games and first goal in 11. Maybe that’s just what he needed to essentially start anew after some games spent on the sideline. Maybe. Nazem Kadri  extended his points streak to seven after making a nice play at the blueline to pick the pocket and set up Clarkson in the slot.

Another positive was Phil Kessel, one of few to show jump from the start. There were a couple of times he orchestrated the only successful Leaf breakout in forever by coming back deep to pick up a pass and just rushing it through the neutral zone.

These games certainly feel a hell of lot worse than a hard-fought 2-1 or 3-2 game, but it’s one out of 82 and in the standings it counts the same. We’ll see how they respond on Thursday in Tampa Bay. A wider concern over and above this one really bad game is the Leafs‘ record on the road, which falls to 10-12-5 after tonight.

Leafs-Panthers

 

fenwick-panthers-leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers Game Sheet

FLORIDA STATISTICS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GOALIEDEC.SHOTSSAVESSAVE %MIN.
Tim Thomas (15-16-3)W21200.95260:00:00
PLAYERGATOI+/-SOGPIMFWFLHITSBSTAKEGIVE
Aleksander Barkov0019:031305100111
Sean Bergenheim0018:29030005000
Nick Bjugstad0014:19030681010
Brad Boyes0017:48120320010
Brian Campbell1124:13040000010
Tomas Fleischmann0115:25040000010
Tom Gilbert1021:39030002300
Marcel Goc1013:490301050000
Scott Gomez0112:49120451001
Erik Gudbranson0014:59120004120
Jonathan Huberdeau0114:06035001000
Ed Jovanovski0015:54110001301
Tomas Kopecky0114:26020000130
Dmitry Kulikov0022:55150000100
Shawn Matthias1012:20210001010
Scottie Upshall0014:18030011100
Mike Weaver0120:20110002300
Jesse Winchester0013:08130201000
TORONTO STATISTICS
GOALIEDEC.SHOTSSAVESSAVE %MIN.
Jonathan Bernier (20-16-5)L47440.93659:48:00
PLAYERGATOI+/-SOGPIMFWFLHITSBSTAKEGIVE
Troy Bodie006:30000002100
Tyler Bozak0018:51-20012102100
David Clarkson1016:30012007020
Cody Franson0019:50-120002110
Jake Gardiner0017:34005000001
Tim Gleason0021:45-120006210
Carl Gunnarsson0021:05-110002100
Nazem Kadri0116:221101192010
Phil Kessel0018:23-130000000
Nikolai Kulemin0016:58-110001000
Joffrey Lupul0017:27-110001300
Jay McClement0018:49-1107101000
Colton Orr007:27000002010
Dion Phaneuf0018:26022002100
Mason Raymond0017:19-210100000
Morgan Rielly0021:28-120001110
Jerred Smithson005:52010012000
James van Riemsdyk0016:52020004000
Review overview
Forwards - 30 %
Defence - 30 %
Special Teams - 30 %
Goaltending - 90 %
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]
1208 comments
Savo43
Savo43

I seriously wonder how we utilize the trade deadline this year, if at all. We have a lot of enticing young assets, and a few expiring assets, that could be used to lure in some help, question is, do we need help, and if so, what is expendable, and is anybody outside of Dion and Phil safe? Whatever happens, i'm sure we have the depth to take some risks, i just hope it all works out for the best :). 

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

I don't think they get that for a rental, do they?

B.D. Gallof @BDGallof 5m

#isles will seek player under-utiltized by other team (B-level), key prospect & 1st rdr (garth prefers nxt yr) for Vanek. no stars.

Optimustic
Optimustic

Starting Sunday, Sportsnet 360 will be showing Marlies games.   It's great for those of us who don't watch them often.   I see they pulled out a win today in a shootout.   Nice to see the kids succeeding as much as they are.

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

Game day tomorrow!  Do we get Team Jekyll or Team Hyde.

Bon Scott was a Leaf fan
Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

It's been awhile since we had a Leafs Hangout.  I really enjoy(ed) them.  Hope they continue...soon.

RandomScrub
RandomScrub

This here is the lineup I would love to see but it probably won't happen. Just a pipe dream.

Savo43
Savo43

@Shift_Disturber1  Kulemin+Percy+1st. I'd consider it just to see our top 6 destroy teams. Then dump Raymond for a 2nd. Our defence would continually suck though..lolol. 

-

JVR-Bozak-Kessel

Lupul-Kadri-Vanek

Holland-Bolland-Clarkson

Ashton-McClement-Bodie


wendelsfist
wendelsfist

@wiski  They KGB is gonna kick these guys out of the country if they bad mouth mother russia

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

@wiski Fruit cup with extra protein?

Edit: Oh I see it's just really fresh honey, bee included

Optimustic
Optimustic

@wendelsfist  Anyone's guess with the way they've been playing lately.   Any word on Bolland?   Looks like Stamkos will be out for a bit longer anyway.

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

Sorry Markov ( Montreal) Has hired Sergei Berezin.

PepTalk
PepTalk

@Komas Taberle A blast from the past! I didn't know he was an agent. Good for him. Maybe now he'll learn to pass the buck.

Waiting4LSC
Waiting4LSC

Wiski: can we change the caption to "you wouldn't bench Franson, so I saved the season and ate him!" and tweet to RC please?

PepTalk
PepTalk

@BBirde  I'm not sure how we get Kane but getting Girardi at $5M and Bolland at $3.85M are highlt unlikely. Bolland will cost more than Bozak and Girardi will be closer to $6M.

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

@wiski  

It would have been funny if Matt told Boomer " When i bang your daughter I make her wear my jersey"

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

@Murph2417  

I wonder if he will mention the many times his wife had to come and drag him out of the rippers!

For Your Eyes Only VIP club was his favourite!

ProfessorRance
ProfessorRance

@Savo43 @Shift_Disturber1  Not worth it at all. Don't think we'd have any shot at resigning him let alone have the cap space to. But our forward group does look stacked.

Bon Scott was a Leaf fan
Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

@wiski @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  

I was...but I came to the conclusion that I couldn't afford the Forester XT Limited Package (leather).  It's just slightly out of my price range.  I like that version of AWD though (very intrigued by that).  I think I'll go for the Mazda now...and then upgrade to a Subaru next time when I'm due to retire.

Still thinking black exterior on tan leather.

Bon Scott was a Leaf fan
Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

@wiski @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  

Well, they start out at 23K.....and move up to 33K for the GT (which is what I've got my eye on...larger 2.5L engine with AWD and leather)...plus freight/PDI/taxes.  But I have a laundry list of accessories that I want on it: trailor hitch (cuz you just never know and I like the idea of being able to tow something if needed), remote starter, cargo cover, front and rear mud flaps, moon roof wind deflector, floor mats (carpet), block heater, and spare set of winter tires on rims.   The price without the winter tires and block heater comes out to 42K on the road.....and I figure 1K for the tires/rims/block heater (they aren't listed on Mazda's site but I'm sure I could negotiate them into the deal via the parts department as I did that when I negotiated my aunt's CRV in Quebec last year).  So...list price including taxes around 43K (perhaps a tad more).  Gonna do some negotiating though.

Bon Scott was a Leaf fan
Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

@wiski @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  

Don't like the look of them, to be quite honest.  Prefer the CX-5 (I've loved it since I first seen in buzzing down Lakeshore one day last summer).

You should hear my father....."you can get all that for 10K less in a Ford."

Fuck Ford!!

PepTalk
PepTalk

@Komas Taberle @PepTalk  Nice! He can be close to all the female Russian tennis players.Maybe he can Grabbos agent one day too. I found that both were similar players.

vinoa
vinoa

@Murph2417 @BBirde  I think they get sent down but may get a look if injuries call for it. I like having talent available for call ups. I think Nonis is slowly working on getting us some forward prospects as well so I wouldn't be surprised if 1 of them get moved in a Holland type deal.