This past Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs faithful down at the ACC were treated to another startlingly consistent display of inconsistent play by the blue and white. In typical Toronto Maple Leafs fashion, the Leafs let a 2-0 lead go down the drain, albeit this time they let their lead evaporate in the first period, rather than letting fans down in the third period (although, they did this as well, more on that later…).
Toronto came out strong Saturday night in the early going, potting two goals past Roberto Luongo thanks to the likes of Fredrik Sjostrom and Phil Kessel. I must admit, I was shocked to see the Leafs get the first goal in this game and was cautiously optimistic that they could maintain that lead. However, I had a nagging suspicion that things wouldn’t last, I mean, this is the Leafs for crying out loud. For the Leafs, 2-0 leads disappear faster than Phil Kessel at TD Garden.
Sure enough, the Leafs allowed the Canucks to come storming back. By the end of the first period, the Leafs were back in a familiar place, having given up a 2-0 lead and deflating the mood in the Air Canada Center, something that has become all to common.
In the second period, the leafs continued to allow their opponent to take 2 points away from them by allowing Kesler to pot one past Giguere, putting the Canucks ahead 3-2. Thankfully, Mikhail Grabovski came through to tie the game before the period was out. Grabovski has been doing quite well as of late, amassing 3 goals and 4 assists in the past 6 games. Perhaps coach Ron Wilson whispers to Grabovski that the other team proclaimed Belarus to be weak.
In the third period, the Leafs continued their tradition of showing up to a game and dominating it in the third period, only to fail to score a goal dispute a flurry of activity in front of Luongo. As fate would have it, with the game tied, Mason Raymond blasted a 45 foot shot through the legs of Giguere (the same Giguere who, several nights earlier, blasted his team mates for sub-par play. Oh, the irony).
All said and done, the Leafs are now winless in 8 games, and have only won once in the last 12 games. Suffice to say that things are no longer bad for the Leafs, they are down-right pathetic. It is almost comical to watch this team somehow blow it every night.
The only bright spots to come out of Saturday night’s game was the play of Kadri and Aulie, both of which played quite well and didn’t make any big mistakes. Expect to see them both get action on Tuesday, when the Leafs take on the Nashville Predators.
After Saturday’s routine loss, the Leafs entertained their hardcore fans to a skills competition at the ACC on Sunday afternoon. The players did what best they could to have fun and give the fans something to cheer about. I will spare you all from discussing the outcomes of every competition held on Sunday, however one skill that the Leafs didn’t display during the skills competition was their ability to lose. Despite the fact that Team White was facing Team Blue, one of them actually did end up winning. I know, I thought they would both lose somehow as well, but alas, things can change.