It was a game that saw a team in Blue and White start well and play a good road period; they were cleanish defensively, successfully killed a penalty, and took advantage of their PP chance to win the first period.

Then the real Leafs showed up.

The period changed and the defensive coverage was awful. The Phaneuf and Aulie pairing has had a horrendous few games and it appears Aulie has more to do with it than Phaneuf, though both are guilty of basic defensive error.

A PK that has no pressure on the points, and allows attackers full access to the goal mouth, is not a successful combination. You’d think at some point a drastic rethinking of the system is in order. If that’s a lack of execution, literally no one was executing on the Wheeler PP goal.

Reimer was guilty of sitting deep in his net throughout the night in a clear sign of lacking confidence. It’s a pretty safe bet we’ll see Jonas Gustavsson on Tuesday against the Lightning.

The Leafs showed some good fight back in the third like they have all season, but you’re fighting a losing battle when you allow three or four against a night.

With the Senators picking up a point against the Sabres, the Leafs are now out of a playoff spot at the end of 2011.

Crack another one and use this thread to express your drunken dismay if you must. Try to have a happy new year everybody.

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-13 Maple Leafs Annual magazines. You can contact him at [email protected]

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