The Maple Leafs are looking for a bounce back performance in Tampa tonight. After all, these good men deserve better:
— Chemmy (@felixpotvin) February 5, 2014
Said Joffrey Lupul: “We’ve had too many things going in the right direction to let one night impact the way we’re doing things. Hopefully we bounce back. I suspect we will. As long as you don’t let it turn into a snowball effect, I guess you can accept it once in a while — not accept it, but deal with it once in a while.”
Randy Carlyle will almost certainly give Jonathan Bernier his fifth consecutive start after he did his best to hold the Leafs in it, waiting and waiting for the team in front of him to wake up only to ultimately get let down on Tuesday. “We look at it as a wasted effort [from Bernier]. That’s one where if we play a little better he could’ve stolen us one… He’s been phenomenal all year and we feel bad for wasting efforts like that. But he’s a good guy, he’s ready to do it again next game.”
Lupul also alluded to the added challenge Tim Thomas’ puckhandling ability posed in stopping dump ins and diffusing the Leafs forecheck which struggled to establish itself in any shape or form on Tuesday. For the Leafs’ part, though, they have to place pucks into areas that can actually lead to a retrieval, which apparently was a focus in practice yesterday. The Leafs weren’t getting powerplays, weren’t able to gain controlled entries, and need to be able to fall back on a forecheck & cycle game in those type of situations. Said Loops: “When you’re having a bad game in you’re own end, the easiest way to fix that is to get the puck down in their end and spend some time there. We weren’t able to do that.”
The Lightning also lost on Tuesday, meaning the Leafs remain three points back, although the Lightning have two games in hand. Seems we have us one of those “four point games” on tap tonight.
Some Leafs links to fill the day leading up to game time:
- Steven Stamkos ruled out of Olympic competition at TSN
Where oh where will they ever find another highly-skilled winger to replace him?
- The latest edition of Leaf Report at TSN has an update on Bolland.
- Nikolai Kulemin says he would love to stay with the Leafs.
One of many expiring contracts.
- Mirtle’s latest in the Globe preaches caution on extending Bolland while he’s injured.
- Traikos at the Post on how Bolland plans to use the Olympic break to get back up to speed.
- Tie Domi to pen a memoir
Where does he find the time between those Comwave commercials?
- Can David Clarkson find his rhythm in Toronto?
He scored on Tuesday. Goals are good… goals help.