10 straight losses ties a franchise record, but last night’s game worked out nicely for a number of rooting interests, current realities considered. The Leafs played the top team in the League tightly, scored some goals finally, their potential deadline trade chips all played well and produced (Santorelli, Winnik, Franson), and they ultimately lost their tenth straight to keep the tank alive (lottery odds can be tracked via the MLHS sidebar).
Onto the links.
- Anthony Petrielli: Goal scoring problems under Horachek, Reimer, Bernier, Notes, 5 things I’d do & more (MLHS)
The other interesting thing is how the Leafs are playing, and how it now affects their ability to score goals. A 5-5-5 system is predicated on zone time and movements as a unit, the antithesis of taking home run swings trying to get breakaways and 2v1s. How are they going to score goals in this system? Cycling, zone time, point shots, rebounds, goal mouth scrambles, so on and so forth. The Patric Hornqvist goals in Nashville, so to speak. Because of that, I went through last season’s goals to get an idea of how the Leafs were creating their goals 5v5 and how big of a challenge this would be.
- Interview: Nonis discusses Leafs’ core, Kessel and Phaneuf’s future (TSN)
Maple Leafs Senior VP and GM Dave Nonis joins James Duthie to discuss what kind of conclusions he’s drawn about the core of his team, the future of Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, the offensive struggles Toronto has gone through and more.
- Jonas Siegel: Phil Kessel didn’t know what to say after this one. The Maple Leafs 18-wheeler just won’t stop (TSN.ca)
Not only has the offence dried up – they scored more than one Tuesday for just the second time in the 10-game slide – but the goaltending has dipped in equal fashion. Bernier holds an ugly .898 save percentage since late December, pegged for four goals on 28 shots against the Predators while oddly returning to action after slicing his left leg.
- Jonas Siegel: Many big, difficult decisions loom for Brendan Shanahan in the days, weeks and months ahead (TSN.ca)
At the conclusion of yet another undoing, the Leafs could conceivably replace both their coach and general manager while parting ways (potentially) with their captain and leading scorer.
- Kevin McGran: Jonathan Bernier blames himself for woes of Maple Leafs (Toronto Star)
“I put the blame on myself,” said Bernier. “As a goalie, you can steal games. I feel like I haven’t done that for my team lately. I have to be better.”
- Rob Longley: Leafs tie club record with tenth straight loss in Nashville (Slam! Sports)
The latest loss will be particularly frustrating after a strong second period that continued into the third and actually saw the Leafs take a 3-2 lead and score three goals for just the third time in 14 games.
- Elliotte Friedman: Rob Blake hasn’t spoken to Leafs about job (Sportsnet)
Assistant general manager Rob Blake has no interest in leaving the Los Angeles Kings, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday night. Blake’s family is fond of the Los Angeles area and he is pleased with his role in the Kings’ front office.