The Leafs finished their three-game road trip through Western Canada on a losing note, falling 4-0 to the Vancouver Canucks. The game began with the Canucks dominating the Leafs. James Reimer came up huge on a few early Vancouver chances, but finally allowed a power-play goal from Daniel Sedin about midway through the first period. As the first period continued, the game began to get rough. There were big hits thrown, tons of shoving matches and Phil Kessel even dropped the mitts with Alex Burrows. Unfortunately, the Leafs weren’t able to benefit from the game’s physicality, as they allowed goals from Zack Kassian and Chris Higgins in the second period. Toronto couldn’t seem to get anything going to be able to make a third-period comeback possible, and Vancouver’s Dan Hamhuis would put the game away with a late third-period goal.
To start, let’s talk about the negatives from the game…
The Leafs managed to once again get horribly out-shot by their opponent, as they allowed Vancouver to get 47 shots on net while only obtaining 21. Getting outshot has become a theme for the Maple Leafs, one that needs to come to an end if they have any hopes of continuing their early-season success. While the Leafs have been able to find ways to win games while losing in the shot department, it can’t be done on a nightly basis as was proven with this game. Any night a team allows 47 shots on net and is outplayed for the majority of the game, the goaltender can’t be blamed. The players in front of Reimer weren’t able to get anything done in this game, which sadly shows on the scoreboard.
As well as a less-than-stellar effort from the Leafs in this game, they were also hit with another injury. Dave Bolland suffered a leg laceration after Zack Kassian’s skate got a piece of him as the two went into the boards. The injury comes at an inopportune time, as Tyler Bozak was just placed on long-term injured reserve earlier in the day. The Leafs are now in a difficult spot with two of their top-three centremen out with injuries, but can hopefully find a way to generate offense without them.
Now for the positives…
Umm…the Leafs went 2-1 on their road trip through Western Canada? I guess that’s about the only positive that can be taken away from this game.
The Leafs will look to rebound from this loss in their battle with the New Jersey Devils on Friday.