I’m not going to sugar coat this one, it was ugly from start to finish. The Leafs were noticeably sluggish from start to finish, they had zero net front presence, and basically did none of the things that made them successful through the last half dozen games. The back to back situation was clearly a tough one, but over the course of the season both games of a back to back can’t be dropped. On to the analysis
– Cody Franson again looked solid on the power play
– The penalty kill remains perfect for 2012
– The tributes given to the armed forces deserve special mention. These things are classy and deserve praise, the organization has not always acted in this manner.
– Not much else
– The team completely lacked speed. And from my perspective it was not that the NY Rangers played that much better, but they did enough to win.
– As mentioned earlier, no net front presence at all.
– Goals like the one scored by Paul Gaustad last night and Brian Boyle tonight are the kind that Jonas Gustavsson can not continue to let by. They are team killers.
If the team is looking to excuse themselves due to the schedule, they have played two games since their victory over the sabres Tuesday. That kind of mentality will cost them a playoff spot, as they have back to back games in what seems like most of March. The only solace that can be taken from tonight is that other than the Ottawa Senators, the Northeast division did not have a great day. Still, the Leafs at this point in the season are well in control of their own destiny and they must act with urgency in securing points for a postseason push.
Next up is the red hot Ottawa senators, which when looked at in September seemed like a certain victory. With the weekend the buds just had, it has become must win.