Toronto Maple Leafs Lose Two Straight Against the Detroit Red Wings
After two straight wins against the New York Rangers and the Colorado Avalanche, the Toronto Maple Leafs found a way to remind us that we are in for a long season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs looked to continue their recent success against the Detroit Red Wings which proved to be too much of a task to accomplish.
Oct 17, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Red Wings centerDarren Helm
(43) controls the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs defensemanMorgan Rielly
(44) defends at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
In their first game Friday night against the Red Wings the Toronto Maple Leafs had another terrible performance at the Air Canada Center, one that I witnessed first hand (luckily I did not have to pay for my ticket).
The first period was the only good period for the Leafs, they had energy and sustained pressure in the Detroit end. That was until Roman Polak decided to go on a free skate with the puck behind the net where Henrik Zetterberg was able to take it away and set up Johan Franzen in front of the net for an easy goal. Not only did Polak look terrible when he coughed up the puck but no one picked up Franzen when he was going to the net. Had that goal not been scored it could have given the Leafs some momentum going into second period.
In the second period a bad bounce left Jake Gardiner chasing Zetterberg who made a fantastic pass to Franzen-who was left along in front of the net-with Mike Santorelli chasing him. It was a weird play but again the Leafs failed to defend in their own end, leaving a player wide open in front for a goal.
The third goal was the nail in the coffin with Gustav Nyquist getting a nice set up in front. It was a goal that James Reimer had a chance to make a save on but it squeaked through him. Also Nazem Kadri has to do a better job defending in that situation, he let Nyquist go to the front of the net untouched.
The game seemed like it was already over after the third goal with fans displaying their displeasure at the end of the period booing the team as they made their way off the ice.
Mike Santorelli got a goal early in the third period which made things interesting for the Leafs. The third line had been the most consistent line throughout the game and they were finally rewarded for their efforts.
After that goal the Leafs had a difficult time getting scoring chances on Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings controlled the rest of the third period out-shooting the Leafs 15-7. The Red Wings got their fourth goal of the game with Juston Abdelkader going to the front of the net (not surprising) and tipping a pass from Nyquist past Reimer. Cody Franson just stood in front of the net giving Abdelkader easy access to the net prompting this reaction from me and Bruce Arthur
Then the biggest moment of the hockey game transpired. I guess I could say that I got to see a jersey being tossed onto the ice live in person. But I have to ask why Leafs fans believe that throwing a jersey on the ice will do anything? All it does is make fans like myself angrier, so if those fans think they are sending a message to MLSE, you did and they thank you for your thoughtful jersey donation.
Oct 17, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wingBrandon Kozun
(67) exits the game with a leg injury in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Howard made 23 saves on 24 shots for the win, while James Reimer made 31 saves on 35 shots for his first loss of the season. Other than the third line the rest of the team played terribly with no energy and lacked any intensity. Jake Gardiner lead the Leafs with 22:12 TOI (time on ice) while Niklas Kronwall lead the Red Wings with 21:59 TOI. Brandon Kozun left the game after he collided into the boards, he was later diagnosed with a high ankle sprain after he git an MRI on his ankle. He is expected to miss significant time.
After the game Randy Carlyle discussed the game with reporters. He alludes to the various breakdowns in coverage saying that “two goals were goal-mouth passes so we obviously missed assignments,” Carlyle said. “You can’t blame your goalie for scoring from the crease, tap-ins.”
I wish I could say that I enjoyed watching the game in person but there was no energy in the building from the start of the game. The guests that were invited by the Maple Leafs after they were sworn in as Canadian citizens prior to the game was one of the only moments were I felt the energy in the ACC.
The only fun that I did have at the game was getting a reply from the Maple Leafs twitter account after I posted a a picture of Matt Frattin and Carter Ashton in the press box on twitter. I was able to snap a picture from the private suite that I was watching the game from.