With less than 30 games left on the schedule for the Toronto Maple Leafs, every win now is a must win.
After winning 4-2 to Philadelphia earlier this week, Toronto came out flat against the Montreal Canadiens and lost 5-2. In fact, head coach, Randy Carlyle said it best in the post game press conference. “We were flat, flat, flat, and flat,” he said.
There was a incident during the game that has brought on some debate. It happened during a five minute major penalty that Leaf’s Mike Brown received for boarding. Montreal’s Brandon Prust tried to get Leaf’s captain, Dion Phaneuf into a fight, in which Phaneuf refused. The debate is whether Phaneuf should have took on the challenge or not. This is a tough one for me. The Leafs needed a spark, so there is a part of me that feels he should have took the challenge. However, they were killing off a five minute power play.
There was some good news for the Leafs. Goal tender James Reimer is back from injury.
He was on the bench against Montreal, but was between the pipes against the New York Islanders. How he did he do? Well, he started out shaky, but managed to have a fairly good game in net. The only real bad goal he let in was the tying goal in the third period.
The game against the Islanders turned out to be the Nazem Kadri show. He got his first NHL hat-trick. He also played good physically as well. “He’s a scrappy player,” said Carlyle after the game.
It should have been the Leaf”s shining moment, but they came out in the third (period) and squandered a 4-2 lead.
Leaf’s captain, Dion Phaneuf was the overtime hero as he scored the winner to give Toronto the 5-4 victory.
Kadri now leads the team with 21 points and has eight goals this season.
The Leafs have three days off, which might help them get their game back. They face the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.