Postgame: Leafs crack in third period, fall in shootout to Kings


USA Today Photos/ Gary A. Vasquez  

Oh wow.

WOWOWO. Wow. They blew it again.

On the brink of clinch a fine and very respectable 2-0 win against the 2-time Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings, the Toronto Maple Leafs fell 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout. 

ONCE AGAIN: Wow. They blew it again.

The Rundown

Well, could you fault the Leafs for this one? Absolutely you could.

The Leafs caught a 2-0 lead off a pair of goals by Tyler Bozak and Nikita Zaitsev.

With our own Managing Editor Jeff Veillette off the GIFs for tonight on his Vancouver Hockey Analytics Conference road trip, we’ve got a guest to provide you with the highlights.

Tyler Bozak scored just over 2 minutes into this one… before this happened in the second period.

 But if you’ve watched a Toronto professional hockey team in this millennium, the main thing you’ve probably picked up is that no lead is ever safe.

Anze Kopitar and Tanner Pearson found the back of the net in the third period to tie things up. UGH!

The major positive to tonight is that the Florida (computer boys) Panthers lost as well, making the Leafs still holding a playoff spot.

The stats

Screenshot 2017-03-03 at 2.07.31 AM

Not dominance, but not far away either. 66-61 CF in all situations for LA tonight.

Blue Warrior

Tough one for tonight, but Brian Boyle’s assist to go along with 50% CF% on 5v5 wins him the MCMVP.

Up next

The Leafs take on the Ducks at 10:00 p.m. Friday night in Anaheim. See you then.

  • LukeWarmWater

    A rookie laden squad once again got schooled in the third period. It truly is a learning curve. I’m sure there are a few leaf fans simply clicking the remote when it gets to a shoot out. But heh Andersen got his average over 50% so there is a positive. Yep he went from 10 goals allowed in 20 attempts to 11 goals in 23 attempts. Another solid game from Frederick who has allowed 22 goals against in his last 9 starts in regulation and o.t. But shoot outs man he truly is the Detroit Piston Drummond who went 1 for 10 in free throws the other night. He is kind of a David Price who will get you to the dance but he won’t be taking you home in the shoot out

    A lot of pressure on the rookies in the shoot out, maybe not the place for Babcock to experiment with all three shoot out performers being rookies. Should have could have would have.

    A tired squad now plays the back to back and 3 games in 4 nights, just the way M.L.S.E. likes it. They don’t call this trip for the leafs death valley for nothing.

    As I’ve stated all year long, the club has come a long way in the actual year of rebuild, sorry not here to get into semantics, as to me you tear down then you start the rebuild. Still it would be sad to see them miss by a point or two for the playoffs as they play those outrageous 18 back to backs and your goalie can’t stop a beach ball in shoot outs.

    Say now there is a home work assignment for the stat gang. Check the record of other teams vying for a playoff spot in o.t. and shoot outs. Just asking. Also check the last 20 games and see how many games the leafs got more power plays than the opposition. Finally check the last 20 games between the leafs and Habs and see if there is a game where the Canadians got more penalties than the leafs when they faced each other. That should keep you going for awhile.

    • Glen

      Looking at harsh reality Anderson has played well for the most part but he has cost the Leafs the last three games, bad decision on Shaws goal, bad angle goal against SJ and of course he is poison in the shoot out. Bottom line you win nothing with that at crunch time. I hope he improves.

      • Draper55

        How can you blame the goalie for the last three loses? Seriously? Have you watched the games? Against San Jose, Marleau comes in 1 on 3 yet somehow is able to pass the puck to a wide open Hertl. There should never have even been a shot allowed on that play so you can’t blame Andersen. Last night, Reilly completely misses a bank pass from Kadri behind the net and turns it over while Komarov loses his check on the way to the net for the tying goal. The last thing you ever do is blame the goalie especially when he’s making 30+ saves a night and only giving up 2 goals a game. When your goalie is putting up stats like that, it’s time to look at the team in front of him not giving him the goal and defensive support to help get those wins.

        • Glen

          See Price right now when the games really matter. See Quick’s save on Nylander with the game on the line. See Anderson on Kopitars SO described by Dreger as a softie. Agreed he is not the only culprit but seems error prone when the heat is on.

          • Draper55

            Price is the best goalie on the planet and Quick was lucky Nylander didn’t lift the puck above his pad otherwise he would have scored. I feel like you haven’t watched any of the actual Leaf games recently because Andersen is the only reason the Leafs are even competitive allot of nights. He bails them out 5-6 times a game when there are break downs defensively. Yes he’s not good in the shootout we all know that. But how many leads have the Leafs had in a shootout? Outside of Marner’s goal against the Sens I don’t think I’ve seen the Leafs score in the shootout in a long time. Blame Andersen all you want but you can’t win a shootout if you don’t also score.

    • LukeWarmWater

      Brother Luke having actually studied the remainder of the schedule this death valley cali trip is the last major rapids for this talented young squad. The game last night was the one that I was ready to drop kick the t.v. 65 yards through the goal posts. But again young teams will indeed make these type of mistakes and veteran teams like the Sharks, Kings and the Ducks will take full advantage. The race for the playoffs could go down to the wire and we face the defending champion Penguins and a solid Columbus squad of course in back to back games to end the season. But my theory is that both those teams will use their back ups and tend to rest their stars, so a desperate leaf team should be able to take advantage of at least one of those final two games.

      • Glen

        Who ever gets a ten game hot streak will get in. The Leafs are due. In any case you got to love what you see from Nylander and Matthews the last few games even if they have been losses. I have been hard on Freddy but I have to admit that goal of the helmet was just an unlucky fluke.

  • LukeDaDrifter

    Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4 Toronto Marlies 3 – Final OT

    Trevor Moore (10) ASST: Dmytro Timashov (11), Travis Dermott (17) (PP)

    Andreas Johnsson (18) ASST: Frederik Gauthier (6), William Wrenn (6)

    Andrew Nielsen (12) ASST: Kasperi Kapanen (18), Seth Griffith (18)

  • tealeaves

    Another shoot out loss for the leafs. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to hurt them at the end of the season. I don’t like the team defence keeps giving up the lead. The leafs with a missed assignment on the kings tieing goal happens too much. That is the biggest problem

  • Stan Smith

    While it would be nice to see the Leafs win a shootout now and then, if they miss the playoffs by a point or two you could blame the fact they didn’t get more points in the SO, or credit the fact that tey were that close because they picked up 14 extra points by taking the games past regulation in the first place. In the past these games would have probably been lost in regulation.

    As for Andersen he is a vast improvement over pretty much anyone that has tended nets for the Leafs in over a decade. As coaches like to say, you want your goalie to play well enough to give your team a chance to win. I think you can probably count on one hand the games the Leafs played with Andersen in nets where they were never in the game.

    As for the shootout, he has struggled, but the Leafs have been equally inept at putting the puck in the net themselves, so I think the blame goes both ways.

    One more comment. The more I see Marchenko the more I like him, and the more I see Rielly, this season, the more he pisses me off.

  • jimithy

    This team is so badly coached it’s not funny. The defense is useless. All they do is lob the puck out instead of carrying it out of their zone. Even lobing the puck out seldom succeeds. At least learn how to lob the puck properly, since it is one of the teams favorite pastimes. Also, as soon as Bozak and JVR or Kadri and now Nylander hit the ice the game is lost. This team is slow and lazy and nobody seems to care, in fact the fans seem to enjoy it. Like clockwork the time has come once again, like the swallows of Capistrano, to miss the playoffs. Fortunes are made while the puck waits patiently to be carried out of the Leafs zone. But alas, nobody is man enough or smart enough since 1967 to do it. Freaking out whenever under pressure in your own zone is not what your coached to do. Is this a fake hockey team? You be the judge of that. As long as your not a fake judge.

  • Draper55

    After watching the past few games I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to cut ties with JVR and Bozak and bring in a more defensively minded top 2 defenseman. Watching the Marner line in the first period and a half of every game is a treat, they forecheck, the create chances, they play fast and score goals. Once the second period starts to wind down and the Leafs have the lead, I notice both Bozak and JVR really seem to sit back and let Marner do the majority of the heavy lifting for that line and give him very little support once he gets into the other teams end. The Leafs last night dominated the first period and outplayed LA for the majority of the rest of the game but the Marner line, excluding Marner seemed to go into slow motion after the second Leafs goal instead of attacking for more and playing to their strength which is to play offensively. Also Reilly, as much as we all want him to be our version of Drew Doughty, he’s really not playing well. Coughs up the puck way to often and he appears to panic when he gets the puck in his own zone. Maybe it’s just me but he has allot of growing and improvement to make before he can be considered a top 2 defender in this league.

    • LukeWarmWater

      Well said Draper. It appears there is no form of vaccine to cure Kesselitis. Both Bozak and J.V.R. far too often resort to not playing a defensive game. I totally agree that it is Marner carrying this line on his 19 year old back.

      • Draper55

        Thank you. I don’t know if it’s necessarily Kesselitis as you call it but it seems like there’s just a lack of effort after they get a lead. Whether they think they can sit back and hold it or maybe they’re tired I don’t know but something has to change with those two or else there is no chance at a playoff spot this year. It’s hard to say that because I see so much potential in those two, they’ve been very good players for this team for a while now, through the good and bad (mostly bad), but they don’t appear to want to make things better it seems.

  • The China Wall

    Wait, wait, I have the answer…

    Let Andersen shoot in the shoot-out as well, so when he misses (if he misses) his shot, he can be blamed for the loss that way…sheesh.

    OK, I’ll get down off my soap box and wait for the inevitable comment saying Andersen was at fault for the goal that went in off Zaitsev’s face!

  • Capt.jay

    I’m going to look at it this way. Playoffs or not this team has been in most games. Expectations were low and if we missed the playoffs by 1-2-3 points I’m ok with it because it signifies that we just as easily could’ve made them had we done better in the skills competition. We are led by by teenagers right now, pure and simple. I can’t think of too many other teams that can say they’ve done the same in the last while and the ones that have turned into cup contenders.

    It’s sad because if we miss the playoffs many will say we failed. If we finish the year 95 points and get in it was a huge success. If we get 94 and miss many people will say we crumbled and failed.

    All is well. Go Leafs go!

    • LukeWarmWater

      Capt I keep reminding people that a rebuild will take time and after the tear down this is truly the first year of the rebuild. I think the vast, vast majority of true leaf fans are delighted with the progress this young team has made.