In the last few weeks, the Leafs have clearly established an identity. Unfortunately, that identity is one of a team that isn’t ready to play at the start of the game.

It was another abysmal first period against San Jose. The Leafs generated just two chances in the twenty minutes, while the Sharks had seventeen, including thirteen at even strength. As with their game against Vancouver, the Leafs were lucky to escape the period down by only one. The Leafs were better at even strength in the second, but gave up a power-play goal, and a goal in the last five seconds of the period that broke open the game. The third period was a lot quieter, as the Sharks were able to shut things down and secure the win.

StatusOverallEven StrengthES Close
TeamTORSJS%TORSJS%TORSJS%
121710.5%21313.3%21313.3%
27653.8%4450.0%1150.0%
33633.3%3442.9%00-
Total122929.3%92130.0%31417.6%

That first period was really terrible, with the Leafs getting just 13% of chances at ES, as the Sharks had 19 of the first 21 chances of the game. The Leafs managed to stay even in chances over the last forty minutes, but were out-scored 3-1 in that stretch.

ClubStPTimeTScOscNoteTorontoSan Jose
SJSES119:4800Karlsson deflects Dillon shot232021351458196844131
SJSES119:3700Karlsson deflects Mueller shot232021351458196844131
SJSES117:4500Tarasov deflects Smith shot wide1522533514571892144131
SJSES117:3600Thornton from faceoff232021244458196844131
SJSES116:1100Marleau deflects Irwin shot wide428118335745124850528831
SJSSH115:2400Thornton drives22472345-81219398831
TORES115:1700Rielly from faceoff232124445-85744131-
SJSES114:2100Thornton drives192035145-819448831-
SJSES114:1500Pavelski wide from loose puck192035145-819448831-
SJSES112:5800GOAL! Hertl from Tierney4781212574548507144131
SJSSH112:1501Marleau from Burns422035745-81219398831
SJSES109:1801Mueller wide from Pavelski4281184451458196844131
SJSES109:1101Karlsson from Thornton4281184451458196844131
TORES108:5101Van Riemsdyk drives23202124445124850528831
SJSES107:0801Thornton from loose puck4281182444581968446131
SJSSH106:2501Thornton deflects Marleau shot wide234735745-81219398831
SJSSH105:1101Tierney from Vlasic234735745-485068446131
SJSES103:3801Nieto wraparound428121445145395783446131
SJSES103:3401Nieto from rebound428121445145395783446131
SJSSH218:0401Marleau wide from Burns424723345-81219398831
SJSSH217:5401GOAL! Couture from Thornton424723345-81219398831
TORES217:0302Van Riemsdyk from Kessel42812151574512505745231
TORPP214:4802Kessel from Van Riemsdyk42812134445812446131-
TORPP213:5002Phaneuf wide from Rielly428121344451921418831-
TORPP213:3902Bozak from Kessel42812134445883446131-
TORES210:4412Booth wraparound wide23192024445395783446131
SJSES209:4112GOAL! Karlsson from Thornton4281213514581968528831
TORES208:4213MacWilliam from Panik47186733574571892144131
TORES205:5413Van Riemsdyk drives wide42812124445124850446131
SJSES205:4613Marleau wide from Tierney42812124445124850446131
SJSES203:0413Wingels from Couture4281213514539578344131
SJSES200:0613GOAL! Wingels deflects Nieto shot42812124445395783528831
TORES318:0614Panik wide from loose puck471867515745124850528831
SJSSH315:4914Hertl wraparound422023345-485071446131
SJSSH315:1514Tierney from rebound of Vlasic shot2220335745-485071446131
SJSES312:0614Pavelski deflects Burns shot2319203574581968528831
TORES309:0514Kozun drives471867351458125044131
SJSES307:0214Vlasic from Braun42812124445395783446131
SJSES306:2514Pavleski deflects Burns shot4718673514581968528831
SJSES306:0114Tarasov drives15225333574571892144131
TORES304:1814Kessel deflects Gardiner shot42812135145395768446131

Player-by-Player data:

PlayerOverallEven StrengthES Close
ForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiff
Brewer410-619:0546-215:51330
Phaneuf513-822:3129-716:3706-6
Lindstrom02-208:3602-208:3601-1
Panik35-214:2135-213:5604-4
Lupul13-213:4213-213:1812-1
Booth29-717:3926-413:5425-3
Van Riemsdyk811-315:40511-613:3027-5
Sill04-411:4202-209:1901-1
Smith36-317:4434-114:32330
Erixon16-518:1712-114:3001-1
Bozak615-918:16311-813:5807-7
Rielly79-218:1349-516:0836-3
Komarov37-415:3232111:4701-1
Gardiner412-819:38412-819:09010-10
Carrick02-209:0602-209:0601-1
MacWilliam38-522:1634-117:4702-2
Kozun31212:0731212:07000
Kessel612-615:47312-913:4708-8
Bernier1229-1760:00921-1250:01314-11

The top line was terrible, one of its worst games of the season. Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak were not on for a single ES Close chance, and were the two worst forwards in defending chances. Kessel was on the ice for twelve Sharks chances, and was a -9, while Bozak wasn’t much better, a -8. James Van Riemsdyk didn’t start the game with that line, but was put on it in the second, and was terrible in that period too, finishing a -6, and a -5 at ES Close.

Richard Panik, who started on that line, wasn’t good either, a -4. The only forwards who had decent nights were Brandon Kozun, who was a team high +2 in 12 ES minutes, and Leo Komarov, who also ended up in the positive. Trevor Smith had a strong start to the game, one of the only forwards to be even at ES Close.

Jake Gardiner was the worst skater on the team at ES Close, as he was a -10, and, like the top line, not on for a single Leaf chance until the Sharks had a two goal lead. This came despite the most offensive zone starts on the back end. Dion Phaneuf also struggled, a -6 at ES Close, as his pairing with Gardiner had issues. Eric Brewer was one of the few defenders who had a solid game in chances, even at ES, although he did give the puck away to lead to the back-breaker fourth goal. Andrew MacWilliam and Tim Erixon were both decent, ending up in the negative at ES, but only narrowly, while Morgan Rielly had some defensive struggles, on for a lot of Shark chances, equal with Phaneuf.

Cumulative numbers this season:

OverallPos#Even StrengthES Close
ForAgainst%TOIForAgainst%
SillF12172144.7%06:518753.3%
KadriF6632234248.5%14:5119218950.4%
PolakD5628634645.3%17:5417418848.1%
KomarovF5317317250.1%12:028810046.8%
RiellyD7138643846.8%16:4921023946.8%
BernierG5167980245.8%44:4141748546.2%
PanikF6618220347.3%10:1310011746.1%
GardinerD6935339747.1%17:5219222645.9%
PhaneufD6032839945.1%17:0419022945.3%
LupulF4518624043.7%13:2110012145.2%
KesselF7237243546.1%14:5420926344.3%
SmithF4811413146.5%09:02648343.5%
BozakF7235041845.6%14:4118524343.2%
HollandF5916523441.4%11:368712042.0%
Van RiemsdykF7233244242.9%14:4119226741.8%
ReimerG2936545244.7%42:3116423041.6%
BoothF4911616441.4%10:076210636.9%
RobidasD5219226741.8%14:449316336.3%
CarrickF11122532.4%06:36112035.5%
KozunF17214432.3%07:1392130.0%

Sam Carrick enters the table after his 11th game. Like Sill, his sample size is pretty small, but his numbers have been pretty poor. Still, it’s unwise to draw many conclusions from someone who’s played so sparingly.