THE STRUGGLING BUDS (POST GAME OPINIONS)


It seems like the last two games have been like a train wreck. You know that it is bad, but you still cannot look away. The Leafs lose 3-2 to the injury riddled Red Wings. You would think that after such a poor showing the previous game, the Leafs would improve. But tonight, very little signs of improvement were shown.

The question on most people's minds is "Are the Leafs going to make the playoffs?" And the answer is a good old YES! Just because the Buds are not performing well, does not mean our playoff chances are flying out the window. Even the best teams go though adversity at some time during the season. I guess the Leafs really do miss Bernier. On the bright side, JVR finally scored for the first time since early March and the power play showed some life. Still, it stings to lose this one.

Here are three reasons why the Leafs could not come away with the win:

1) Unlucky Bounces

Reimer played exceptionally well in this game, which is rare considering the type of season he has had. But, he did give up two stoppable goals from Nyquest, and Kadri's goal was disallowed because of a kicking motion. Also, the Leaf killer, Alfredsson, scored the GWG. All in all, the puck was not bouncing in the Leafs' favour tonight.

2) Too Many Penalties at Key moments

The good news is that the Leafs killed all of their penalties in this game. The bad news, however, is that the timing of these penalties were at times when momentum was in the Leafs' favour. One such incident can include a holding penalty from JVR when Kessel had a great chance to score. It is extremely disappointing to look back at the stats and think of how different the game would have been if those penalties were not called.

3) Jimmy Howard

Howard has struggled heavily this season, due to countless injuries and a losing record this year. But, he played exceptionally well. So well that the Leafs could not buy a goal until (of course) the third period. Howard made some big saves that helped the Red Wings score timely goals to take away momentum from the Leafs. He was the deciding factor in this one.

My prediction for this game was:
"It will seem like a close game, but the winner will have a two goal advantage, but not in a shutout."
The Leafs could not come away with the two points, and my prediction was way off. The score is now: Right-2 Wrong-1.

Now that the once surprising and now disappointing road trip (2-3-0 was the record) has come to an end, the Leafs will play again at the ACC on Wednesday to meet the Lighting. Hopefully, the drought ends at home!

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