Now that the Olympics are over (If you haven’t heard already, Canada’s Men’s hockey team won gold. YES!!!), it was back to business for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Unfortunately, nobody told the players that.
The Leafs were flat in the opening period in their first game back from the two week break against the New York islanders.
Worse, the Islanders were playing without their star forward, John Tavares, who was injured during the game against Latvia.
The Leafs gave up two short handed goals during the first period. Both goals were scored 13 seconds apart by Michael Grabner.
It’s bad enough that the Leafs gave up two short-handed goals, but it is even worse when both goals were scored by the same player.
“We gave them three goals,” said Leaf’s head coach, Carlyle in the post game press conference. “A total gift,” he said.
Carlyle did not hold back on how he felt about his team’s performance, saying that his team was fortunate to get a single point.
The Leafs did rally in the third period and were ahead twice. Unfortunately, New York won the game 5-4 in overtime.
The Leafs were flat again against Montreal. In fact, Toronto spent 8:08 of the first period in their own zone. As a result, the Canadiens quickly went ahead 2-0.
Down 2-1, the Leafs played better in the second period.
Toronto got the break the team needed in the third period. James Van Riemsdyk scored a beautiful goal on a short handed break away to tie the game at 2-2.
Phil Kessel put the Leafs ahead 3-2 shortly after Van Riemsdyk’s goal.
Unfortunately, Canadien’s defenseman, P.K. Subban scored the tying goal on a power play with a hard slap shot to push the game into overtime.
With just seconds left to go in regulation, Kessel was penalized for shooting the puck into the crowd. The Leafs had to kill off a penalty for the first two minutes of overtime.
The Canadiens got another huge break in overtime when Leafs goalie, Jonathan Bernier, was penalized for covering the puck in the face off circle. To be honest, I can’t blame Bernier for this. The Canadien’s player was right on his door step.
Bernier’s stick handling skills are not good either. The possibility of Bernier turning over the puck was great.
Needless to say, Montreal scored on the power play and walked away with the 4-3 victory.
Despite the loss, Carlyle was upbeat about the game. “We played a lot better than we did in Long Island,” he said.
The Leafs host the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.