Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Leafs couldn't close out the win

It's games like tonight's that have the potential to come back and haunt you later in the season. The Maple Leafs literally had the Penguins on the ropes with a 4-1 lead and just over 13 minutes remaining but couldn't shut the door. In fact they fell just 6 seconds shy of winning it when Evgeny Malkin scored the tying goal with the goalie pulled. The Leafs eventually lost 4-3 after Malkin scored the only goal in shoot out.

At least the Leafs temporarily moved into sole possession into the last playoff spot as Florida was idle.

Good - I personally am very encouraged by the much improved discipline and the defensive play of the Leafs. In the past 11 games the Leafs have only played short handed 17 which is about 1.5 penalties (or .5 per period). They have also killed off all 17 of those penalties. Tonight they played a classic road game with very few mistakes. For example they only gave away the puck 4 times tonight. This bodes well for a team desperate to make the playoff.

Bad - Failure to hold a big lead with less than a period to go is not good enough. Even though this was a road game it shouldn't have happened. With about 5 minutes remailing they just stopped skating. You need to be skating even if you are playing defense. Yet the game mght have taken a different direction if the goal below had been allowed. Zbynek Michalek bumps teammate Marc-Andre Fleury, prompting the officials to wave off the goal.

Good - The birthday boy, Mikhail Grabovski, was super hot again tonight. He had 2 goals and a assist. That gives him 5 goals and 3 assist in the past 3 games. He should have had more but he insisted on passing the puck to Nik Kulemin.

Bad - It's a good think that Grabovski is scoring in bunches because the tandem of Kessel and Lupul have cooled right off. With Grabovski becoming a free agents during the summer, the current hot streak is going to push up his value.

No comments:

Post a Comment