"It’s a sixty minute game, generally you’re supposed to give sixty minutes of effort and that wasn’t necessarily the case tonight. Isn’t it a sixty minute game? So we get twenty minutes of effort or twenty-five, it should be sixty."
The Toronto Maple Leafs must have surely given Ron Wilson a severe case of trichotillomania. In fact, if most fans in Leafs RAUP aren't attending meetings in church basements or calling Jose Theodore to find out what can help with a receding hairline then they might not have enough emotionally invested in this team. The game was a dog's breakfast for the most part. Even when the Leafs were pressing their enthusiasm and pressure was blunted by some poor decisions.
In the link above Ron Wilson has some especially harsh words for the team's two veteran defenceman, Tomas Kaberle and Francois Beauchemin, who have had difficult seasons. Beauchemin made a ridiculously unnecessary dive on the first goal that took him out of the play. That was compounded by Dion Phaneuf getting turned around and Fredrik Sjostrom making a weak stick check attempt. The second Atlanta goal was a result of a terrible (and unbelievably passive) pinch that led to a 2-on-1.
Now, I could try to walk myself and others back off of the ledge but as Chemmy noted in the preview (and you can hear in our upcoming fourth podcast) this game was a lost cause to begin with. Also, Junior does a great job of offering up the bright side to tonight's game. The predictions that one of the former Leafs would kill them were apparently forgetting one thing: the last game wasn't at the Air Canada Centre. This time Nikolai Antropov picked up an assist on Maxim Afinogenov's opener before potting the game winner with a deft deflection past Jonas Gustavsson. So tonight, for the fifth year since the lockout the Leafs are officially eliminated, a scant five months after they were essentially eliminated. However, as Junior notes, there is some hope. It may not come to much but it's sure better than nothing.