Toronto Maple Leafs: Observations from 3-2 Loss to San Jose

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 14: Goaltender Frederik Andersen
MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 14: Goaltender Frederik Andersen /

The Toronto Maple Leafs laid an egg to start their California road trip, dropping the first game 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks.

EMBARRASSING. I was incensed while writing the last observations post for the loss against Carolina. But at least the Toronto Maple Leafs offence showed up in that game.

The only bright spot for the team on Monday night was Frederik Andersen, who made 36 stops. It was good to see him have a solid outing as he’s come off several rough games at home. This could have easily been 6, 7, or even 8-1.

Andersen was beaten by Tim Heed on an absolute cannon of a shot from the point. No goalie in the league is stopping a shot placed that perfectly.

The defence was also terrible, again. I shouldn’t even have to say that anymore. It’s just expected.

The Buds are now 1-3 since signing Roman Polak last week. None of these losses is on him alone, but it looks like the ability to clear the front of the net didn’t solve all the Leafs problems. The fact Connor Carrick is going to collect dust in the press box so Polak can play every game gives me heartburn just thinking about it.

Jake Gardiner was back to throwing grenades on the breakout. Morgan Rielly looked good, especially with the puck. He made players miss on a couple of occasions.

Andreas Borgman scored his first career goal, or so we initially thought. The goal was quickly given to Nazem Kadri.

Let’s get the main gripe of the night over and done with. The Leafs decided they didn’t need to shoot the puck after the first period ended. Auston Matthews scored his ninth goal of the season, and his line was all over the ice early.

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Other than that, nobody really played well. As I mentioned, Kadri tipped home a shot late on, but the forward core as a whole didn’t show up until there were five minutes left in the game.

Tyler Bozak was stapled to the bench in the third, where the centre only had three shifts. Patrick Marleau took over between James van Riemsdyk and Mitch Marner, even taking some draws in the final minutes of the game.

The fourth line was awful. Matt Martin should not be in the lineup for the rest of the trip. Kasperi Kapanen and Josh Leivo should be given their shots here, but Mike Babcock won’t sit the Toronto Maple Leafs hidden weapon in Martin.

All around, it was a terrible performance from the Maple Leafs. The fact I have to hear “Carlyle Era Leafs” when fans are talking about this performance should tell you how painful it was to watch this game. Add onto it that Leafs Nation had to stay up late to watch it, and there’s bound to be some grumpy individuals at work this morning.

Next: Leafs looking to survive California road trip

What is your take on the performance in San Jose? Are we being harsh, or do you agree with our assessment of the Toronto Maple Leafs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.