Game Review: Game #80, Lightning 3 vs. Maple Leafs 0

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Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning - TAMPA, FL - APRIL 8
TAMPA, FL - APRIL 8: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning has his shot blocked by Tim Gleason #8 of the Toronto Maple Leafs while goalie James Reimer #34 attempts to make a save during the first period at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on April 8, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

I mostly watched this one with my eyes half glazed over, dozing in and out of consciousness, with a smell of burnt toast lingering, symbolizing the end of the Randy Carlyle era (fell asleep with something in the toaster.. BOBBY!). This was a dead team skating, one not worthy of much analysis on this night.

Phaneuf and Gleason together on a pairing looked about as we expected before the night (not good), while Carl Gunnarsson moving to the right side seemed to only exacerbate his recent struggles (he backed right off and didn’t seem sure with his stick on the 1-0 goal by Johnson). When Carlyle could get his match ups, with Dave Bolland out of the lineup, he went with the top line head to head against the Stamkos line. It wasn’t pretty. Whether against the top line or not, Stamkos was left alarmingly open on several occasions, including the shot that led to Tampa’s 2-0 PP goal (they sealed it with an empty netter).

The Leafs for their part were shut out, but not for a lack of Phil Kessel scoring opportunities. Kessel couldn’t bear down and his body language looked utterly defeated.

Carter Ashton played fairly well in this game, bringing some energy on the forecheck and cycle, with one decent jam-play scoring opportunity from the side of the net that nearly led to his first ever NHL goal. It would be nice to see Ashton stay in the 12-14 minute range in the final two games to see if he can get himself his first goal before joining the Marlies for the playoffs. Kadri, Clarkson and Ashton as a line had a few moments and is worth leaving together next game, but we’ll see what Carlyle does.

Nazem Kadri was the only forward of note among the regulars on this night. There was visible jump in his step and he led a number of good breakouts and zone entries on his own, looking generally dangerous throughout.

Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly both dazzled at points, trying to press for some offense. In the end, though, the Leafs went silently into the night along with any remaining playoff hopes.

Fenwick chart for 2014-04-08 Maple Leafs 0 at Lightning 2 - 17-41 3rd

Photo: Extraskater.com
Photo: Extraskater.com

Toronto-Maple-Leafs-vs-Tampa-Bay-Lightning

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning Boxscore

TAMPA BAY            
GOALIEDEC.SHOTSSAVESSAVE %MIN.
Ben Bishop (37-14-7)3315:43
Anders Lindback (6-12-2)W2525154:17
PLAYERGATOI+/-SOGPIMFWFLHITSBSTAKEGIVE
Eric Brewer0021:47110002100
J.T. Brown0013:43020000100
Ryan Callahan0016:50040002110
Matthew Carle0024:28022000110
Valtteri Filppula0017:031001860000
Radko Gudas0122:26130006101
Victor Hedman1225:13220003330
Tyler Johnson0018:181407100000
Alex Killorn0015:08112002201
Nikita Kucherov0012:35030000100
Ondrej Palat2017:44230001021
Richard Panik0010:56020000010
Teddy Purcell0010:45020000010
Tom Pyatt0011:47000851000
Sami Salo007:51000001200
Steven Stamkos0116:06130220010
Andrej Sustr0018:10002000100
Nate Thompson0013:10020451020
TORONTO
GOALIEDEC.SHOTSSAVESSAVE %MIN.
James Reimer (12-15-1)L33310.93959:07
PLAYERGATOI+/-SOGPIMFWFLHITSBSTAKEGIVE
Carter Ashton0012:14010003000
Troy Bodie0013:36012012100
Tyler Bozak0023:30-1109131001
David Clarkson0019:25010102000
Jerry D'Amigo005:07000000000
Cody Franson0020:28000003110
Jake Gardiner0023:57-250001310
Tim Gleason0015:53010002200
Carl Gunnarsson0017:35-100002101
Nazem Kadri0018:06-1308100110
Phil Kessel0023:19-230000100
Nikolai Kulemin0013:32000271000
Jay McClement008:45010880000
Colton Orr004:24000002000
Dion Phaneuf0021:18010001100
Mason Raymond0016:08-130000010
Morgan Rielly0020:49-110000101
James van Riemsdyk0022:40-260000020
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning Boxscore
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Offence
1 %
Defence
40 %
Goaltending
75 %
Special Teams
10 %
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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]
  • Habskilla

    Kind of forgot the Leafs were playing today to be totally honest.

  • rustynail

    fire Randy

  • sniperstar

    You are too generous. Giving the offence 1%.

  • Gozo

    I don’t believe that Kessel said “I need to play better”……….When? Does he knows the season is over?

  • Shift_Disturber1

    jesus I certainly hope not as  Coach of this team. 
    https://twitter.com/markhmasters

    https://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/453737169929003008

    Carlyle doesn’t have answers
    right now as to why this happened; says lots of questions & prodding
    will take place over coming days, weeks

  • lukethenuke

    Give me the following and ill be happy.
    JVR Stastny Kessel
    Lupul Bozak Leivo or forward for franson and Reimer
    Ashton Kadri Clarkson
    Damigo Boyle Broll/ Devane
    .
    Phaneuf Gardiner
    Rielly Gunner
    Gleason Ranger
    Macwilliam/ another Marlie ready to knock Gleason or Ranger out
    .
    Bernier .
    .
    It would be so clutch to get Stastny this summer either by trading for rights or FA

  • lukethenuke

    Oh and new coach preferably Boucher or Trotz

  • lukethenuke

    Then look for a Kadri/ Holland+ for good pwer winger for the second line and the one not traded can play 3rd line

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Gozohttps://twitter.com/mirtle

    https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/453727991399342081

    Kessel: “I haven’t been good
    enough the last 15 games. I feel like I’ve let a lot of people down, lot
    of Leafs fans. Pretty disappointing.”

  • Gozo

    It sounds like Caryle will be there next season…..he said ” I’m sure we’ re going to sped lots of time to analyze to what happened