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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs weekly review: Making grown men cry

Record: 0-1-1

Two times in a week, the Leafs played at home and put themselves in a position to win, only to somehow throw it away late on. As much as I would like to sit here and blame it on Roman Polak like a lot of the Leafs fans do, I would point at the amount of chances missed by the team in these games.

That being said, there are some questionable line decisions going on at the moment that include playing Polak, giving an obscene amount of ice time to Leo Komarov and persisting with Matt Martin – he only played 9:51 this week!

Now Mike, I know you have Olympic gold medals and a Stanley Cup to your name. I respect you as a coach and I appreciate what you have done in your short time with the club. But the team are dropping points they shouldn’t be – and we have fixes in the system.

Polak out for Dermott/Rosen, Komarov on the fourth line, Martin out for Kapanen/Leivo.

Anyway, that is the last I will say about Polak.

The Leafs played on Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, led the game 2-0 heading into the final five minutes where they somehow conceded two goals. The game headed to OT where former Blackhawk Artemi Panarin scored to win the game for the Jackets.

Monday night’s game was frustrating because the team looked comfortable and had given themselves a strong chance of victory. But hey ho, we got a point and a chance to pick up another two against  a struggling Ottawa side.

The Senators are bad – like real bad. They have lost 27 games this season. And we let them win, despite recovering from 2-0 down to tie 2-2. Then we went 3-2 down before tieing for 3-3 with just eight minutes to play. Tom Pyatt won the game. Tom freaking Pyatt.

Also the Leafs have not won in regulation in seven games – they last time they did was against the Coyotes. The record in the last 10 is 4-4-2.

The Stats

Tyler Bozak was the top point getter this week, bagging himself three assists – two of which were primary ones. JVR scored the most goals with two, including a beauty against Ottawa.

Seasonal stats

Rk Player G A P
1 Auston Matthews 19 14 33
2 William Nylander 9 23 32
3 Mitch Marner 5 26 31
4 Morgan Rielly 5 26 31
5 JVR 19 10 29
6 Patrick Marleau 15 9 24
7 Nazem Kadri 14 10 24
8 Tyler Bozak 8 16 24
9 Zach Hyman 7 15 22
10 Jake Gardiner 3 17 20

A pointless week for Matthews has led to his lead as top points getter being cut. Patrick Marleau has no points in his last five games which is a bit concerning. More concerning is that Nazem Kadri has just 1 goal in his last 16 games. Jake Gardiner is proving that maybe last season was his peak, as his totals this year are more along his career averages – his highest career points total before last season was 30 points and this year he is course for about 30-35 points.

Divisional standings

ATLANTIC GP W L OTL PTS
Tampa Bay 44 31 10 3 65
Boston 40 23 10 7 53
Toronto 45 25 17 3 53
Florida 42 18 18 6 42
Detroit 41 17 17 7 41
Montreal 42 18 20 4 40
Ottawa 42 15 18 9 39
Buffalo 44 11 24 9 31

The Leafs should have built up a bigger gap between themselves and Florida this week. While they are 11 points ahead of the Panthers – they have played three more games. The Panthers have a kind schedule second half of the season with 23 home games to play. I am beginning to look over my shoulder a bit… The Leafs should too.

Player of the week

No thanks.

Conclusion

This was a difficult couple of games to swallow. The team now has a few days off to relax and reflect on what has been a reasonably successful start to the season – but we all know they can be better. The challenge for this team when they get back to play St.Louis Tuesday is to start building some momentum. This team is capable of cracking 100 points and I think the boys should set that as their target for the rest of the season.

Coming up

Three games next week, with the Blues coming to Toronto and then the team heading back on the road for games against Philly and Ottawa. What to expect? Two wins?