Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 Observations from 6-3 loss to the Devils

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 06: Morgan Rielly
NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 06: Morgan Rielly /
2 of 3

Embed from Getty Images

2) Leafs’ defensive woes

For the effort the Leafs gave in the offensive end during this game, it’s a shame to see them come out flat on the defensive end of the ice.

Let’s get the glaring issue out of the way. The 5-on-3 goal scored by the Devils was collectively terrible. Jake Gardiner had a bad night, and this sequence was just a microcosm of how the entire game panned out for him.

The puck took a bad bounce off the defender’s leg, leading to a 1-on-2 break for Adam Henrique which led to Brian Gibbons potting the rebound. William Nylander made a good play, but there was nobody to cover the rebound.

The one player that stood out for the wrong reasons was Calle Rosen. Paired with fellow Swede Andreas Borgman again, he never looked comfortable in this game. He got burned by forwards on multiple occasions and tossed a grenade up the boards in his own zone which led to the fifth New Jersey goal.

Rosen looks like he’s still adjusting to the speed of the NHL, which could take some time. Playing him with another NHL newcomer might not help either. Borgman and Connor Carrick look like a solid pairing so far, so that’s most likely what the Leafs run going forward when Carrick is back to full health.