Maple Leafs 0 v. Lightning 4: Blanked

"I don't understand why it's not happening. There's nothing given in this league. It's a tough league to win in, especially on the road. You need to show up ready. Things might not go your way, that's understandable, and you're not going to win them all but after you lose a few in a row like that, you need to start showing something.

"Tonight we didn't even have a chance."

That is Jean-Sebastien Giguere expressing the same frustration and confusion as fans of the Maple Leafs. It was great to see him continue to fight throughout the game and give the team the kind of goaltending that could have drawn a win if the other 22 players had helped. There's much more in Mirtle's article but that captures the gist. Over the past few games the Maple Leafs have been sunk not by lack of effort but lack of smarts. Tonight's game is a good example. The 5-on-3 showed exactly what happens when players are not scoring and are over-thinking things. Francois Beauchemin was given a perfect feed by Phil Kessel and rather than just blast his cannon he give a touch pass back to Tomas Kaberle who obviously didn't shoot either.

On the first Lightning goal, I don't agree that the Leafs' PK was necessarily at fault. Rather, they faced a powerplay with three huge threats. The set-up is similar to, if not identical to, Toronto's with Martin St. Louis playing the role of Tomas Kaberle, Vinny Lecavalier taking the spot of Beauchemin and Steven Stamkos replacing Phil Kessel. Painful to read right? Where it works is that Lecavalier and Stamkos are one-timer threats. That helps to spread out the penalty killing box and keeps the goalie moving. If you cheat out to the side then St. Louis and the other two Lightning have the centre to play with.

I'll try to break down one of the other goals but you can sum them up pretty easily. On the second Tomas Kaberle made a soft play and coughed up the puck. On the third goal Colton Orr heard footsteps and failed to clear the zone while Kris Versteeg was apparently so eager to see if Dan Ellis was having any problems that Randy Jones had plenty of time to find Dominic Moore for an easy deflection because his damn stick wasn't tied up. On the final goal, Korbinian Holzer didn't tie up Stamkos in front of the net and he was able to bat it in out of midair.

But let's go back to Jean-Sebastien Giguere for the final word on the game:

"this is unacceptable."

The Game in Six is after the jump.

Corsi and Fenwick EV Face-Offs | H2H Time On Ice

Game Summary | Event SummaryRaw Charge Recap

 

Sorry, my mistake. The real game in six is below:

 

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