Here’s the Game In Six if you missed the game last night:
The Toronto Maple Leafs are very bad at limiting shots against, and the problem is persisting. Despite their strong recent record, it’s hard to feel confident about this team making any noise in the playoffs if they can’t figure out a way to solve this issue.
The good news is the Leafs have a strong netminder in Jonathan Bernier (and a secondary guy who I still believe is starter quality in James Reimer) who, more often than not, has the necessary skills to bail the Leafs out when they’re continually giving up scoring chances.
The other good news is the Leafs have an above-average group of forwards who can score with the best in the league. The problem is the team-wide concept of defense is obviously lacking and general manager Dave Nonis basically did nothing about this issue when he decided to throw money at David Clarkson and Tyler Bozak in the offseason.
At least head coach Randy Carlyle seemed visibly distraught with his team’s performance in his post-game comments last night. But the same question keeps coming up: What’s he gonna do to fix it?
Dave McCarthy of TSN has some interesting stats and quotes from Carlyle and the players after the bad loss.
Carlyle made some interesting comments regarding one Steven Stamkos after practice today:
— Dave McCarthy (@DaveAMcCarthy) February 5, 2014
This could simply be Carlyle making sure his team is prepared if Stamkos does make his return, or maybe he and his staff know something we don’t know. If Stamkos does play, that’s good news for Canada, as it means he should be ready to go for the Olympics, with the hockey portion beginning in eight days.
As I’m writing this, the Toronto Marlies and San Antonio Rampage are headed to overtime (UPDATE: Marlies won in a shootout!) in a rare 11 a.m. game at the Ricoh Coliseum. Jeff Veillette of The LeafsNation is at the game, and spotted Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish in attendance. What does this mean? Could he be scouting Marlies winger Jerry D’Amigo because he’s interested in trading for him?
If he is, I’m sure he’s impressed after this sweet goal by D’Amigo:
WE’LL HAVE MORE ON THIS STORY AS IT DEVELOPS. (Not really.)