I came across (another) story on fansided.com this morning that made me question a couple of things. Everyone who has been following the National Hockey League this season knows that there are a few teams at least, who are stuck in a losing funk.
Yes, those Maple Leafs are definitely one of them. Losing here, there and pretty much everywhere. It’s too the point in the season where there are always going to be a handful of so-called ‘fans’ who start calling for this, and calling for that to happen. Talking about player trade and coaching changes and all of that jazz.
Anyways, these Leafs haven’t won a game since New Year’s Day, and yes that game will go down in the history of the league so we are still happy about that but, that was over a week ago and things have gone downwards since then, losing four straight games, all of them in regulation time so no points for Leafs here, and they all came against sub-par teams for the most part although the Caps are looking pretty good (yet they are the only team that did not blow Toronto away). But the worst part about those losses is they were all blowouts, except for the aforementioned last one in Washington.
So, with all of that lovely stuff in mind, what is the point of all of this you ask? With the team in a funk right now, could a loss really be that heartbreaking, fansided.com?
The Leafs did show desperation after the Ward goal, but were unable to tie the game.
It’s depressing all of the games that Toronto has been scored on in the last minute or so of a game which saw the other team snag at least a point, then when Toronto trails late in the game, they wind up losing in regulation. Last night’s game was anything but a gimme for Toronto but to not tie it up, actually hurt.
Even in the fight department, Leafs basically got their asses kicked, and it’s not very often when that happens. Colton Orr was dropped by Washington D John Erskine, who also took on Cody Franson.
The Maple Leafs did make their mistakes. They were out-shot, albeit only by one. However, this was one of the best games the Leafs had played in a while. Bernier played a good game, suffering from another bad break on the Backstrom goal.
Michal Neuvirth got the start for the Capitals and played just as well as Bernier, just slightly better in the third period, earning the game’s third star honour.
Another plus for the Leafs was that they did not allow a power play goal while giving Washington seven opportunities. While the Capitals’ last goal was scored seconds after Clarkson stepped out of the box, the fact the Leafs didn’t give up any power play goals against the NHL’s best power play is impressive.
The Leafs’ next game is Sunday at home against the New Jersey Devils.