It’s the same old story for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. First, they look great and provide hope and potential at the beginning of the season but then, midway through, the stats start to balance out. Then on the home stretch, things start to go wrong and the team falls well below expectations.
It’s been this way for the past four seasons for Toronto and this was proven yet again in the team’s 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils last night.
But here is what I really don’t like about last night’s game: everybody goes on and on about the goaltending woes that Toronto has had over this five-game stretch.
I agree that James Reimer letting in three goals on 10 shots is dreadful. However, not many people have been asking, where is the offensive response is when the team falls behind?
This is the question that fans should be asking long before pointing fingers at the goaltending. Phil Kessel, JVR and Tyler Bozak can’t do it all themselves. The organisation spent a pile of money on David Clarkson and keeping Nazem Kadri. That being said, where has Clarkson been all season? All he’s done is struggle with injuries and get into fights.
Plus, the defensive side of things has not helped out the goaltending at all. Bringing in Tim Gleason hasn’t seemed to help that much and captain Dion Phaneuf has been inconsistent all season.
Yes, it’s not the position the team wants to be in, but the blame certainly should not all be put on Reimer. This team needs a boost in every aspect. Toronto still holds the last wildcard spot, but the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings are right behind them.
And unfortunately the last nine games won’t be easy. The Leafs face the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday and it’s still unclear whether or not Jonathan Bernier will be ready to start that game.
Whoever the starting goaltender is, the fact remains that this Toronto team really needs to win.
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