This game was a dud. I would like to say it was something more than that but it was. In fact of note there isn’t much to say.
The Sharks toyed with the Leafs for most of the game and Leafs, to their credit, looked good at times in the first and at times in the second. However, it was pretty clear the Leafs would be lucky to walk away with even a point in this game and with 1:32 left on the clock, Sharks dashed that hope away.
My notes on the game itself are minimal at best because it got repetitive. The rookies are playing elite level hockey in every sense of the word. They had the strongest shifts, they made the smartest plays and they held it together. The vets were comatose. Bozak and JVR in particular constantly made the wrong play or whiffed on great chances. Bozak had 2 empty netters which he manage to fumble. JVR looked like he was out for a pleasant skate with some buds. Komarov was….wait was he even there? Oh right, he missed two great chances in the first. Kadri was actually really good. I had very little issue with his game, he played hard and did his best.
Nylander, Marner and Matthews were the whole team. It is unfair to them for the vets to play the way they are. It’s okay for the Leafs to have lost this game because in reality they are playing one of the best teams in the league. As Mike Babcock put it “They were physically stronger and more determined on pucks than we were. We have to be better at those things. Every once in a while you get a lesson, and you have to learn the lesson.”
Let’s hope the lesson was received and walking into Thursday game, we see a Leafs team that plays complete. That doesn’t depend on Andersen keeping them alive or Matthews to score a goal. Let’s hope everyone does their part or else the playoffs might not happen.
MIKE BABCOCK POST GAME SCRUM
THE BOX SCORE
GOALS BY PERIOD
Toronto Goal 6:41 A. Matthews (31) (power play) assisted by J. Leivo and W. Nylander
San Jose Goal 12:17 B. Dillon (2) assisted by K. Labanc and J. Pavelski
San Jose Goal 18:36 T. Hertl (8) assisted by P. Marleau and B. Burns
San Jose Goal 19:37 J. Pavelski (21) assisted by J. Thornton and L. Couture
SHOTS ON GOAL