What looked promising for the Toronto Maple Leafs a few weeks ago is now a cause for concern. Despite going 7-3-0 in the last ten games, the Leafs find themselves in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, tied with Boston with 22 points.
After losing to Tampa Bay 4-2, the Leafs bounced back and beat the hapless Buffalo Sabres 3-1.
“I just think in tonight’s game we didn’t start very well,” said Leafs head coach, Randy Carlyle after the 3-1 victory. ”We got our skating game going in the second period.”
James Van Reimsdyk scored two goals against the Sabres. Phil Kessel got two assists.
There was also a milestone for one of the Leaf’s defenceman. Captain, Dion Phaneuf scored his 100th career goal against the Sabres.
Leaf’s net minder, Ben Scrivens made 31 saves.
The Leafs got off to a good start against Ottawa two nights later when Mikhail Grabovski scored the first goal. Ottawa tied it up at the end of the opening period.
The second period was very exciting with end to end action.
Down 2-1, Toronto tied it up at 7:10 of the third (period). With seconds to go, it looked like the game was going to go into overtime and Toronto was going to get at least one point. Then it happened.
With less than 30 seconds to go, there was a breakdown in the Leafs zone. As a result, with 24 seconds left, Ottawa’s Colin Greening scored the winning goal. ”We gave the point away,” said Carlyle after the game.
Boy! He’s got that right.
I was so disappointed. They couldn’t get a single point against Ottawa. A team whose best players are out with injuries.
Van Reimsdyk leads the team in goals with 11. Kessel leads the team in assists with 12.
Scrivens now has a goals against average of 2.19 and a .929 save percentage.
Believe it or not, despite dropping from sixth to seventh in the conference standings, there is some positive news for the Leafs. Their special teams.
They are now 15th in the league for power play percentage (17.28) and 15th on the penalty kill (82.54). That is a huge improvement from where they were just a few weeks ago.
They will face the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow night. Let’s hope they don’t blow that one.