I know you are all thinking exactly the same thing I am thinking… What the $^&K is up with this team? Seriously, what the heck?! I am dumbfounded about what to think of the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. In many games we’ve watched this season, they fail to show up for at least one period, and end up playing two periods. In most cases, they show no interest, make bad plays, and fail to score.
Yet, once in a while, they shock you. They somehow pull out an incredible win, against all odds. For brief moments in time, they show you that they are a capable team. They show you that, with their backs against the wall, they can fight and crawl their way back and get a win. We are looking at two wins in a row now where the same thing has occurred. With their backs against the wall, down multiple goals, the Leafs have stormed back to push a game into a shootout, and get the winner.
Of equal surprise is the fact that they are actually winning shootouts. This is the team that, no matter what they do, we almost never win a shootout. Our snipers (aka Phil Kessel) barely ever score in a shootout, and our goalies almost never make the saves. Heck, almost every team goes high stick side on Giguere in a shootout. And yet here we are, two wins in a row in a shootout, and both come-from-behind wins.
The Leafs did something similar earlier this year when they came storming back from a three goal deficit against the Nashville Predators, this time winning the game in regulation.
So one has to ask: “Why can’t these guys play this good more often?”.
I’ve honestly had to ask myself this question on multiple occasions this year. On most nights, lets face it, it’s depressing being a Leafs fan. With the lack of goal scoring, lack of point getting, and lack of a first round pick, things seem bleak. And yet, against some of the best teams in the NHL, the Leafs find ways to be incredibly competitive and, in many instances, outplay a far superior team. It has to tell you that the team does have the capability to play well. So why can’t they tap into that more often? I honestly don’t have an answer for it, but I’m open to suggestions from anyone who does.
Could it simply be that the opposition takes it easy after getting a lead against the Leafs, lets their guard down, and allows the Leafs to get back into a game? It’s a fair argument, but in all honesty, a really good team (Bruins, Capitals, etc) should be able to stop an onslaught from a team like the Leafs, who have been shut out 6 times this year.
It’s a douzy of a head-scratcher. The Leafs confuse me more now than they ever have in the past. I suspect many of you feel the same.
Missed Last Night’s Game?
Below is a link to watch the game in six minutes. I highly suggest you check it out.