You know that feeling you get when you know something bad is going to happen but it still angers you when it does? That’s the feeling I got as I watched the first period of tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Leafs had every opportunity to take an early lead, but would end up trailing the whole game in a 3-1 loss.
Both teams came out slow which was fortunate for the Blackhawks as they have had trouble gaining and maintaining leads on opponents. Before tonight, they had played six straight games that were decided by one goal. The Leafs had two power play opportunities in the first period but couldn’t do anything with them.
You know the recurring theme of the Leafs getting out-shot by their opponent? Well, it happened again as the Leafs only managed 20 shots compared to the Blackhawks 40.
NHL.com might only credit the Leafs with one giveaway, but I saw a whole lot more than that. It was once again a problem and the Leafs were lucky it didn’t turn into a blowout.
Jonathan Bernier did the best he could to keep the Leafs in the games but still, he has fallen off from the great start he had. If he doesn’t get back to being the superman he was in his first few games, James Reimer might just end up getting more starts than him.
Brandon Pirri was the star for the Blackhawks with a power play goal and an assist. Ultimately, the game-winning goal was scored by former Leaf Mike Kostka. What made it worse for Toronto was that it was Kostka’s first NHL goal.
Had Toronto started playing for real before the third period (11 of their shots were in the third stanza), maybe the Leafs would have won. However, you don’t give the Stanley Cup Champions that long to find their game and end up winning.
The Leafs have now lost two straight to fall to a record of 6-3 and have another tough test ahead of them on Tuesday as they take on the red-hot Anaheim Ducks.