At the beginning of the week, things looked positive for the Toronto Maple Leafs, having two wins and one loss. They even managed to beat Pittsburgh 5-2 on Wednesday night. “It’s encouraging when your players understand or get the message that there is a different way to play the game,” said coach Randy Carlyle in a press conference after the game. He also told the media, however, that the team was still a work in progress and he was right.
The next night, the Leafs jumped out to a 2-0 lead and it looked as if they were going to win their second straight game. Wait, not so fast. With a 3-1 lead late in the second period, the New York Islanders scored a power play goal. It seemed to give the Islanders some spark as they tied it up minutes later.
In the third period, Leaf’s net minder, Ben Scrivens let in two quick goals and was pulled. James Reimer replaced Scrivens between the pipes, but it was too late. The momentum that the Leafs had earlier in the game was gone. The Leafs lost the game 7-4.
Things started out the same way for the Leafs against the New York Rangers as they, again, took a 2-0 lead early in the game.
Unfortunately, while leading 2-1 in the third period, they were unable to keep Rick Nash’s line in check as two quick goals were scored while they were on the ice. In fact, , the Ranger’s coach, John Tortorella, was putting Nash’s line on the ice every chance he got to get the results he wanted. Well, he got the results alright as his Rangers won 5-2.
After the loss to the Islanders, Scrivens now has a goals against average of .296 and a save percentage of .881.
The only good news for the Leafs is Mikhail Grabovski has finally generated some offense with three goals and an assist this week. James Van Riemsdyk has also turn heads this week by scoring two goals in Pittsburgh and one in New York against the Rangers. Nazem Kadri leads the team in points with five.
The bad news for the Leafs is Joffrey Lupul will be out for at least four to six weeks with a broken forearm he had suffered in the Pittsburgh game.
The other bad news for the team is that their star forward, Phil Kessel now has 24 shots on net, but no goals yet. This guy has to get going or he may see his name on the trading block pretty soon.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Leafs, at least not at the beginning of the week anyway as they will face Buffalo on Tuesday. You can be sure that Buffalo’s net minder, Ryan Miller will not be easy to score on.