FINALLY (POST GAME OPINIONS)
For the first time in almost three weeks, the Leafs finally win a game! No joke! And at the same time, end an eight game skid and put themselves within one point of the playoffs. The score: 3-2 for the Leafs, and it was against the Flames. It has been a while, but to finally write about a Leaf win is as rewarding as passing your driving test!
While we celebrate this "historic" moment, lets take a look at the bigger picture. So the Leafs now have 82 points, which keeps them in 9th in the East. Fortunately, they are only 2 points behind Detroit and 1 point behind Columbus. However, both teams have games in hand. Yes, I am more than happy that the Leafs ended the drought, but there is more work left to do in order to make the playoffs.
Here are the three reasons why the Leafs ended the 8 game drought:
1) Secondary scoring
Where or where have you been, secondary scoring? We missed you so much! The timing of this could not be any better, and it was three secondary offensive players who provided the scoring. These include McClement, Bolland, and CLARKSON! (WHAT?!) If the Leafs are going to make the playoffs, and make a run for the Cup, (once they get there [if they can]) then secondary scoring needs to come alive more, and help the Leafs, so that the Top Line is not needed all the time. That means you Lupul!
2) SOG against were low
Seriously, when was the last time the Leafs out shot an opponent, kept the shots against low, and won? I do not remember, but that is exactly what happened tonight. In fact, the Leafs were able to prevent Calgary from getting 30+ shots on Bernier, and still only took 23 shots on the Flames' net. It is a good sign for sure, but the shots against needs to be down consistently down the stretch.
3) A total team effort (and a bit of desperation)
FINALLY! The Leafs actually took my advice (well, not really) and played a bit more desperately than before. On top of that, the team seemed to play together as a unit, and it payed off. Ever since the loss to New Jersery, I knew that the Leafs were going to exit the slump once they played more desperately, and although it took way too long for that to happen, I am glad that they won before it was too late. More team work and desperation are needed for the Leafs to go 6-0-0 to end the season.
I did not predict what was going to happen in this game, but every side gets a point. Because, why not? Right-3 Wrong-5.
The next game will be this Thursday against the Boston Bruins, (oh no!) and pay attention, because this is a potential first round preview. See you then.
P.S. Since the Leafs ended the slump, I might as well include this: