Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's 2012 and the Leafs aren't holding a playoff spot

So 2012 begins the same way as 2011, with the Leafs chasing a playoff spot. Clearly the optimism that develop with the great start in October has totally evaporated. Sure management can talk about the Leaf's record from January 1 - December 31 last year but the NHL season runs from October to April. You don't carry over wins from last spring to the fall. The only thing as bad as waking up on New Years Day with a hangover is waking up with the sobering experience of seeing the Leafs fall 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets the evening before.

Bad - Well it's tough winning games when going into the 3rd period your team has only had 12 shots on net up to that point. And you can't score many goals with the puck in your own end.  It was almost 10 minutes into the game before the Leafs actually had a shot on net and by then the Jets had 10. The Leafs finally came alive in the 3rd but couldn't tie it up.

Good - Well Phil Kessel did get number 21 for the season which keeps him on pace for 40 goals. Though he has dropped back in the NHL point scoring race and goal scoring race. Still he continues to be the best forward for the Leafs in most games.

Bad - Yes, the Leafs gave up two more powerplay goals last night.  The worst penalty killing in the league continues to sabotage this team's drive for a playoff spot.  Last night Ron Wilson blamed his penalty killers for screening James Reimer.  What we are witnessing is a lame duck coach with a one-year extension twisting in the wind.  He has no answers to their penalty killing dilemma and searches for scapegoats.

Good - James Reimer kept his team in the game for two periods but no one was able to really come to his rescue.