The Leafs dropped the ball tonight and lost 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes, ending their win streak at 6.
It was a really ugly first period for the Leafs. They were thoroughly outplayed by last-place Carolina, allowing two goals including one shorthanded. Both were on nice passing plays that gave Jonathan Bernier little chance of a save. The Leafs were out-possessed, out-chanced, and outplayed with the shot totals after one 16-9 Carolina.
The Leafs were better in the second period outplaying the Hurricanes by a decent margin Guys like Lupul, Holland, Kessel, and Bozak had their fair share of chances, and they were rewarded for that when Peter Holland fed Dion Phaneuf late in the frame to cut the lead in half. Bernier was perfect in the period, and the Leafs left the second down 2-1.
The Leafs started the third period strong, but a bad interference penalty by Cody Franson lead to a Carolina powerplay that ultimately made it 3-1 Canes. The Leafs didn’t stop pushing though, and threw all they could at Cam Ward. It was too little, too late though and the Hurricanes were able to close it out after scoring an empty netter to cap it off at 4-1.
All in all the Leafs actually played pretty well. They were the better team for the latter two periods by a pretty visible margin, but it just wasn’t enough. Their start was too ugly and they were never able to recover. And when you fall in a hole early, it makes every mistake that much more costly. We saw that in the Hurricanes third goal. The Leafs have been on a great run record-wise, but their play has been slipping a little bit of late and they were bound to get burned by that eventually.
He didn’t steal the show tonight, but Jonathan Bernier gave the Leafs a chance all night long to stay in the game. Stopping 33 of 36 shots, he’s your Blue Warrior.
- Cody Franson became the 12th defenseman to hit 20 points tonight, drawing an assist on the Phaneuf goal.
- Roman Polak returned to the lineup for his first game after missing 10 with a leg injury. Korbinian Holzer was a healthy scratch.
- Before tonight the Carolina Hurricanes were losers of 6 straight, having scored only 1 goal in 7 straight games. They were also 30th in the NHL, but leapfrog the Edmonton Oilers with the win.
- The Leafs haven’t won a game in Raleigh since March 2001.
- Former Leaf and usual puck possession nightmare Jay McClement actually lead the Hurricanes with an 82% Corsi tonight.
- Team Corsi totals: Carolina 57.69% Corsi, Toronto 42.31% Corsi.
- Toronto’s Corsi King: James van Riemsdyk at 58CF%.
- Toronto’s Corsi Goat: Daniel Winnik had just a 16% Corsi tonight.
SEE YOU SATURDAY
The Leafs return home Saturday to face the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00PM Eastern on CBC.