The Leafs dropped their first December contest to extend the losing streak to five games, and six of the last seven. San Jose hurled 41 shots on the net and James Reimer was pretty good yet again, but it was another game where a poor first period meant that the Leafs were playing catchup all night.

What really stood out on Tuesday night was the pace and puck control an elite team like San Jose sustains throughout the majority of the 60 minutes. The Leafs have shown the capability of dominating stretches of play, but are a ways off of the consistency of the elite teams in the league like the Sharks; or the Kings, Blues and Blackhawks, each of whom the Leafs play in the next week and a half.

It was also another game with more injury fallout. Tyler Bozak left the game for a stretch in the second period and returned briefly, only to leave the game for good and miss the third period. Early indications suggest it’s an upper body injury this time, unrelated a to the hamstring issue that had him on IR in November. Just as Nazem Kadri returns, the Leafs are down another center.


Don’t panic yet, but Phil Kessel also left practice early with what is rumoured to be an ailing wrist injury, although that is unconfirmed at this stage. Randy Carlyle didn’t seem to think it would impact his ability to play tonight. Jerred Smithson was waived by the Leafs yesterday and will report to the Toronto Marlies today if he is not claimed by noon, which he almost certainly will not be.

Next up is the Dallas Stars tonight as the tough December marches on.

Some Leafs links on this Wednesday morning:

Previous articleThe NHL Plans to Grow HRR by $1 Billion in 3 Years
Next articlePreview & GDT: Stars at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Sportsnet)
Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited independent team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast). Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide-ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, and a weekly feature piece entitled "Leafs Notebook." MLHS has been cited by: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBC News, USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland, CTV News, CBSSports, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, Huffington Post, and many more.