Through the first fourteen minutes the Leafs were being badly out-chanced by St. Louis, as Toronto didn’t have an ES chance, but the game was still scoreless.

That didn’t last, as St. Louis got three goals in just under five minutes, breaking the game open and building a lead the Leafs would never challenge. Toronto were out-chanced 8-0 at ES in the first, one of their worst periods of the season. While the last forty minutes were better in terms of chances, St. Louis continued to pile on the goals, easily pulling away for the win.

StatusOverallEven StrengthES Close
TeamTORSTL%TORSTL%TORSTL%
121115.4%080.0%070.0%
25741.7%5455.6%00-
35741.7%4736.4%00-
Total122532.4%91932.1%070.0%

You can see just how terrible that first period was, as the Leafs were down 7-0 in chances when the Blues scored the second goal, and never managed to get the game back to a close score state.

ClubStPTimeTScOscNoteTorontoSt. Louis
STLES115:1900Jackman deflects Jaskin shot241920233452126235411
STLES112:1100Stastny from Jaskin24192044464521262325481
STLES112:0300Jaskin wraparound24192044464521262325481
STLES109:3900Oshie from Backes4347183514574422025481
STLES107:5600Schwartz wraparound152347233451317915411
TORPP107:1600Bozak deflects Phaneuf shot wide4281213444526745271-
TORPP105:5900Panik from Gardiner43181933514526745271-
STLES105:1100GOAL! Schwartz drives1543182464512179125481
STLES103:3001GOAL! Oshie from Steen42812133444574422025411
STLSH101:5602Lehtera from Steen234734645-12179120271
STLSH101:4502Steen post from Tarasenko222424645-26742342201
STLSH101:3102Stastny from Jaskin222424645-26742342201
STLES100:1502GOAL! Tarasenko from Lehtera2347204451451217914271
STLSH219:1103Jaskin deflects Steen shot234734634-26742342201
STLSH218:5903Stastny from loose puck234734634-26742342201
STLSH218:3403Lehtera from Gunnarsson221824434-1217914271
STLES216:5603Ott wide from Lindbohm4381213351349137525481
TORES214:5403Bozak from loose puck4281445134-12914271-
TORES212:5503Panik drives wide2447184446341217915411
TORES212:0203Kadri deflects Erixon shot431920233349267425481
STLES211:3203Ott drives24192023334913754271
TORES208:4304Kadri from faceoff1522232463412177525481
STLES206:2404GOAL! Stastny from Oshie4281212333413212325481
STLES204:4305Ott from Reaves15241935134926755411
TORES204:3005Panik drives4347184446341217914271
TORPP318:3605Komarov from Rielly23244733443417215481-
TORES317:0105GOAL! Booth from Gardiner2419203513474422025481
STLES316:4815Stastny drives241920351342126235411
TORES311:5415Kadri wide from Panik24431819513417744227411
STLES308:4116Ott from Stastny428121233349267527411
STLES308:4016Reaves from rebound of Ott shot428121233349267527411
TORES306:1716Booth drives2419204446342674205411
STLES305:0016Tarasenko from Pietrangelo431835134-12914271-
TORES304:4616Phaneuf from loose puck431835134-12914271-
STLES304:0716Gunnarsson from Backes422135134-42204271-
STLES301:4216Tarasenko from Schwartz2419202333412179125481
STLES300:1116Stastny wide from Jaskin244719244342126235411

Player-by-Player data:

PlayerOverallEven StrengthES Close
ForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiff
Brewer212-1016:0929-713:3103-3
Phaneuf38-522:5725-312:0901-1
Lindstrom13-207:0613-207:0502-2
Panik54115:5543109:5202-2
Lupul58-316:2648-412:1003-3
Booth37-414:2637-412:2803-3
Van Riemsdyk16-515:1606-610:0601-1
Sill13-209:3710105:15000
Smith25-312:1112-106:4601-1
Holland510-517:0348-412:1903-3
Erixon39-615:3719-812:1903-3
Bozak25-314:3615-409:5201-1
Kadri54115:4344011:2002-2
Rielly66022:1645-113:0903-3
Polak48-418:0243111:1703-3
Komarov37-416:1124-210:2402-2
Gardiner57-223:4447-318:3501-1
Kessel25-315:1115-410:0901-1
Bernier211-920:0008-816:0007-7
Reimer1014-440:00911-224:34000

Positives of a night like this were few and far between, as only one player managed to avoid a negative chance differential at ES Close. That was Zach Sill, who played just five ES minutes in the whole game. Nazem Kadri and Richard Panik both were -2 ES Close, but were some of the few Leafs who had decent results after that, with Panik joining Sill as the only forwards above even at ES. The top line was terrible, generating almost nothing, with Van Riemsdyk the worst forward, -6 at ES overall. Peter Holland, along with Lupul and Booth, had decent offensive output, but were easily the worst defensive line, with Holland and Lupul each on for eight Blues chances at ES.

The Erixon-Brewer pairing which started the game together looked like they would be trouble, and so it proved, as they were the two worst Leaf players in terms of chances. Erixon, who had the easiest proportion of zone starts on the defence, was a -8 in just 12 ES minutes. Brewer wasn’t much better, finishing at -7. Roman Polak was poor early, -3 at ES Close, but after that second goal was not on for another Blues chances, as was the only defenceman to finish above even at ES overall. Morgan Reilly, like Polak, recovered after a poor start, while Phaneuf and Gardiner both ended up at -3.

Cumulative numbers this season:

OverallPos#Even StrengthES Close
ForAgainst%TOIForAgainst%
KadriF6331332549.1%14:5819017851.6%
PolakD5528234345.1%18:0117418548.5%
PanikF5915616848.1%09:55919748.4%
RiellyD6435338547.8%16:4919420848.3%
KomarovF4614614749.8%12:01798548.2%
BernierG4562170446.9%45:3938141947.6%
GardinerD6230833348.0%17:3917419247.5%
PhaneufD5329034645.6%17:0717419846.8%
LupulF3816220344.4%13:319210546.7%
KesselF6534038946.6%14:5919924045.3%
BozakF6532036946.4%14:4617622044.4%
SmithF419110546.4%08:36526743.7%
Van RiemsdykF6530639643.6%14:4918124142.9%
ReimerG2633041244.5%43:1116422342.4%
HollandF5514321040.5%11:207810742.2%
BoothF429512443.4%09:34537840.5%
RobidasD5219226741.8%14:449316336.3%

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, but the way that James Van Riemsdyk had managed to avoid the harsh spotlight of the media is really surprising. While the focus of criticism has been Phaneuf and Kessel, JVR has been one of the Leafs‘ worst forwards, well behind his line-mates on the top trio. In terms of ES chances against per minute, I have JVR as the worst regular on the team, and this season when he hasn’t produced goals he’s contributed very little to the team.