The coaching change hasn’t seemed to help the Toronto Maple Leafs at all in recent games. The Leafs dropped their third straight game Thursday night, losing 3-1 to the San Jose Sharks.
Two goals 15 seconds apart, courtesy of Patrick Marleau and Tyler Kennedy, allowed the Sharks to take the lead and keep it throughout the game.
Veteran defenseman Roman Polak did score for Toronto, but the Leaf’s were never able to tie the game. Sharks forward Tommy Wingels scored an empty net goal late in the game to claim victory for the Sharks.
Leaf’s top forwards non-existent throughout road trip
It’s another frustrating loss for the Maple Leafs. But it’s certainly not due to goaltending. James Reimer did everything he possibly could to keep his team in the game. He was under siege all night stopping 40 shots throughout the game. This was a fantastic performance by Reimer. Yes, he let in two quick goals, but he never lost his composure and was solid for the rest of the night.
The team’s top players have been non-existent throughout this road trip. Forwards Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and Nazim Kadri ended last night’s game with just three shots on goal combined.
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The team’s powerplay throughout this road trip has been just as dreadful. The team went 0-3 in their last two games and 0-3 again against the Sharks on Thursday. This lack of shots and lost powerplay opportunities has really hurt this team’s top lines.
It’s difficult to find a way to end a slump sometimes, but guys like Kessel and James Van Reimsdyk have proved earlier in the year that they can score goals. Hopefully Kessel will be able to loosen up ahead of the NHL All Star game in Columbus and start scoring some goals.
The Leaf’s top forwards need to find a way to get out of this slump quickly. The season is half over now and many of the team’s at the top of the Eastern Conference standings are starting to pull away from the lower teams.
Guys like Mike Santorelli and Roman Polak have done a wonderful job stepping up and trying to spark their team. However, if the top guys don’t step up and help out, this team could be out of range of a playoff spot.
Head Coach Peter Horachek needs to try shaking up his lineups in order to try and find some more consistent scoring. I can’t wait to see if this team will be able to end this scoring drought against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.