Toronto Maple Leafs turnovers almost cost the team a sure victory

Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs tries to stop Brandon Hagel #38 of the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs tries to stop Brandon Hagel #38 of the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

It looked like the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to let a win slip away as they struggled to adjust as the Chicago Blackhawks comeback fell short.

Over the last few games, we have seen the Toronto Maple Leafs revert back to some of the troubling issues that plagued them at the start of the season.

Fortunately, on Saturday night they were about to score their way out of trouble but that shouldn’t excuse what happened against the Chicago Blackhawks. It is tough to remain focused with a commanding lead early as the opposition tries to put pressure on to try and get back in the game.

What the Leafs did against Chicago was give them an opening to get back into the game by giving them off-man rushes off turnovers. It’s one thing for a team to dig in and make a comeback, it’s another to make it look easy on them which Sheldon Keefe alluded to after the game.

Petr Mrazek didn’t get off to a great start with Jonathan Toews beating him on a shot that the Leafs goalie would want back. At the same time, there were moments in this game, especially in the second period, where Mrazek had to step up and make a bunch of difficult saves.

Like we have come to see from Jack Campbell’s play, the Leafs have needed above-average goaltending from their starter this season. If Toronto insists on being careless with their defensive coverage, then they will need some heroic goaltending to win them games.

David Kämpf continues to show his value for the Toronto Maple Leafs

David Kämpf has been a valuable addition to the Leafs with his defensive play providing the team with a stable third line centre and valuable penalty killer. Kämpf was rewarded with the game-winning goal against the Blackhawks.

It was a fortunate play with the puck going off the stanchion as Kevin Lankinen was caught behind his net. Sometimes you find luck when you play the right way and many would agree that Kämpf does exactly that.

When Kämpf appeared to suffer a head injury against the Los Angeles Kings, many feared that it would mean losing the third line centre long-term. Just seeing the reaction from Leafs Nation alone shows how much of a positive reputation Kämpf has built despite some questioning his signing in free agency.

Now, as the Leafs prepare to travel to Western Canada, Toronto will need to learn from what could have been a disappointing finish against Chicago. It’s harder to teach these lessons in a win but that’s where the leaders on the team need to bring it upon themselves to deliver the message to the rest of the team.

Related Story. Ryan Tverberg named to Team Canada WJC camp. light

What are your thoughts on the Leafs win over the Blackhawks? Does the team’s defensive play concern you? Let us know in the comments below.