The Leafs played well against Washington, they played well against Columbus, and they played well again tonight. They didn’t get the 2 points they were hoping for, but they put in a good effort against the defending Cup champs en route to an unfortunate 2-0 loss in Los Angeles.
As it turns out, the Kings scored the winning goal just 37 seconds into the game.
Starting the game with a firm forecheck, Drew Doughty gave Anze Kopitar a cross-crease feed to make it 1-0 on the first shift of the night.
It didn’t get too much better as the period went along. Toronto was able to settle things down a little after an early Kings surge, but they certainly weren’t any better than Los Angeles at any point in the first.
Toronto left the period down 1-0 with a meager 3 shots on goal to show for themselves.
Early in the second, Leo Komarov jammed his forearm going into the boards on a hit from Matt Greene. Greene was given two minutes for interference, but the Leafs weren’t able to capitalize. Komarov did come back briefly, but left again after one shift and did not return.
Things opened up in the middle frame, with both teams getting chances off the rush. The Kings were able to match Toronto for the most part, but the Leafs did make a strong push as the period neared a close. All things considered it was certainly a better 20 minutes for Toronto, but they still weren’t able to get on the scoreboard.
The Leafs gave it one last push in the third, and actually carried the play for much of the early stages of the period. Martin Jones continued to stonewall them though, and they just didn’t get the bounces. No matter what they did, they just couldn’t pot one. With the net empty late, Marian Gaborik was able to get a freebee and that was all she wrote. The Leafs lost 2-0, but they certainly deserved better, getting stronger as the game went on against the mighty Kings. And for a team that under Randy Carlyle continued to get wins in games they didn’t play well, a loss in a game where the Leafs did play well is, in a weird kind of way, rather refreshing.
Returning to his old stomping grounds, Jonathan Bernier didn’t get the win he was hoping for tonight. He did, however, stop 19 of 20 shots in a game where nobody on his team scored a goal. He was excellent, and he is your Blue Warrior.
- All things considered, this was another good effort from the Leafs. They’ve looked good under Peter Horachek, and while they certainly weren’t perfect tonight the Leafs gave a pretty good push against one of the better team’s in the NHL.
- Interesting note from Chris Johnston on the broadcast today: Horachek is including Jonathan Bernier in what he plans to be weekly meetings with the team’s leadership group.
- Morgan Rielly played 20:18 today, his lowest ice-time total in the three games with Horachek as the bench boss. Looks like he has a fan.
SEE YOU WEDNESDAY
The Leafs will look to bounce back against the Ducks in Anaheim on Wednesday. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet at 10:00PM Eastern.