Toronto Maple Leafs Weekly Report: Offence Continues to Support Defence

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3-2 Loss to the Arizona Coyotes

Nov 4, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) and Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (34) and defenseman Cody Franson (4) watch the puck during the second period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Out of all the games this week, the one game I expected Toronto to win one than the others was against the Coyotes. But in true Leafs fashion not only did they lose, they looked terrible doing so.

The Leafs found themselves down 3-0 midway through the second period. They were outshot 10-3 in the first period. Near the end of the second they were only outshot 27-18 and down 3-1. I would actually go as far as saying the Coyotes were playing like the Leafs in the last half of the game, getting outshot badly and letting your goalie keep you in the game. The Leafs had chances to get back into the game, but in a way it was better if they lost because they would be able to look back at the game and figure out what went wrong.

What hurt the Leafs in this game was their inability to protect the puck. Every goal the Coyotes scored came from a turnover behind the Leafs net.

The first goal is a perfect example of where the Leafs have a chance to get out of their zone, but they make an unintelligent decision with the puck and it ends up in the net.

Nov 4, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner (51) carries the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Joffrey Lupul (19) defends during the first period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Holland starts the play off by skating the puck behind then net, where the Coyotes forward goes to intercept him. Instead of passing it up to Leo Komarov who is open along the boards, Holland tries to skate it out. He is forced to pass the puck back to Jake Gardiner who makes an ill-advised pass behind the net that is picked off and leads to a wide open chance for Sam Gagner. If Gardiner tries to skate with the puck or make a better pass it probably does not lead to a goal, but the play was doomed from the start when Holland decided to send the puck back to his teammate.

The Leafs had a hard time capitalizing on the power play coming into the game, but they were able to get two goals on the power play to get back in the game. Earlier in the first period the Leafs had a five-on-three power play, but they did not even register a shot – basically helping the Coyotes penalty killers, who did not have to do anything.

Nov 4, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) celebrates with center Tyler Bozak (42) and right wing Phil Kessel (81) after scoring a power play goal in the second period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto were able to capitalize on their power play chances later in the game, with Dion Phaneuf blasting a rocket of a shot past Mike Smith. It’s too bad Phaneuf does not do this more often, because he has the best one-timer on the team. Then Cody Franson got the Leafs within a goal on another power play, where the Leafs got a lot of traffic in front of the net. JVR passes the puck off to the side, where Franson picks it up and puts it into the net. However that was all she wrote for the Leafs and they could not muster anything else, losing 3-2.

Quick Game Notes

Phaneuf led the Leafs with 25:41 minutes along with James van Riemsdyk who had 25:11 minutes.

Phaneuf and Komarov led the Leafs with five hits each.

Richard Panik and Roman Polak each had three blocked shots.