Toronto Maple Leafs Winning Streak Ends at Six Games

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 27: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs warms up prior to playing against the Edmonton Oilers in an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 27, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 27: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs warms up prior to playing against the Edmonton Oilers in an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 27, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs were looking pretty good in Calgary on Thursday night.

In control of a tie game until about half-way through the second period, the Toronto Maple Leafs suddenly allowed three goals on three shots, and that was the game.

I would call the final score misleading because the Leafs played a good game, for the most part. I think if you take away a few very bad defensive breakdowns and faceoffs the Leafs take the win. Jake Muzzin looked out of place and slow at times, but considering that he hasn’t played in a month, I’ll let him off the hook tonight.

Sheldon Keefe went into tonight with an extra defenseman to help ease Muzzin back in at the cost of a 12th forward. This plan didn’t work. The Leafs lost this game on several key defensive breakdowns. Jack Campbell didn’t play well against Calgary, but he didn’t have much help from his defense. Missing their 12th forward definitely didn’t help after Ondrej Kase left the game after a big hit at the blueline from Nikita Zadorov caught him in the head.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Calgary Flames

The forwards did just about everything right tonight except for putting more pucks in the net. That’s just the way this game goes sometimes. Mitch Marner’s goal streak will come to an end at 8, but don’t let that fool you. Marner played hard tonight and was very assertive, taking 10 shots. He led the Leafs in expected goals tonight. (stats naturalstattrick.com).

The Flames were the more physical team. That’s just the way they’re built and coached. However, the Leafs have been known to fold in games such as this. They did not fold tonight. The Flames definitely threw more hits, but the Leafs were not pushed around. There wasn’t one time tonight that they didn’t answer the bell.

These losses happen, and will happen again before the regular season comes to an end. But please try to remember that the Leafs just won six games in a row. I’m not hitting the panic button after a loss to another playoff team in Calgary.

These are two points the Leafs didn’t necessarily need, but certainly would’ve liked to have. With Tampa losing to the Avalanche, Toronto could’ve been one point behind the Lightning going into the rest of this road trip. Gaining a little bit of ground on Florida, who remain six points ahead of Toronto, wouldn’t have hurt either.

The Leafs do have a good opportunity to get closer to the Panthers in the standings on the remainder of this Western road trip. The Leafs play twice more against Vancouver and Seattle before the Panthers have their next game against Carolina on the 16th.

As for Tampa, assuming they beat Arizona on Friday night and the Leafs win out on the rest of this road trip, Toronto would be one point behind Tampa and two points behind Florida when they return home.

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There’s still lots of hockey to be played. Don’t be discouraged after one loss. The Leafs play next at Vancouver on Saturday night.