The Toronto Maple Leafs' 6-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night was a mixed bag. While it as good to see Joffrey Lupul get off the mark with his first two goals as a Leaf, it was an off night for a goalie and defence that had been playing extremely well of late. The defensive coverage ranged from terrible to atrocious while James Reimer posted just his fourth sub-.900 save percentage in 18 appearances.
Whether the Maple Leafs make the playofffs or not will ultimately determine whether this was an important point gained on a night when the team struggled or a point lost to a team that was there for the taking. The narrative is open to interpretation so take your pick.
- Phil Kessel picked up two assists to give him six goals and four assists in his last nine games. No surprise then that the Leafs are 5-1-3 over that same period.
- Joffrey Zoolander Lupul scored his first two goals as a Maple Leaf. One came off a rebound because he planted himself in front of the net and the second came on a three-on-one rush where he picked Marc-Andre Fleury's five-hole.
- Dion Phaneuf notched a powerplay good which was good. It came about 30 seconds after he coughed up the puck for a shorthanded goal which was not good.
- Clarke MacArthur notched his 19th of the year. Earlier Burke was asked about his future by Elliotte Friedman. He said a number of interesting things including stating that Monday was not the deadline for MacArthur to sign, that he was listening to any offers for him, that he would be ok with him going to arbitration, and, most importantly, that he's trying to evaluate whether MacArthur is a one-hit wonder.
- As usual, when the Leafs' defence coverage struggles it can be directly attributed to the Leafs' maddening habit of getting the puck to the blueline but not out. Once the puck returns into the zone the Leafs seem to have trouble identifying their men.
- While Reimer struggled last night it was certainly heartening to see the strong overtime that he had. His save on Kris Letang was the picture of calm confidence. The Alex Kovalev snipe that beat him was probably unstoppable.
- The Toronto Marlies have helped fuel the Leafs' run. They're a middle of the road AHL team. It's no surprise that a strong AHL program in Wilkes-Barre has kept the Penguins playing relatively well in spite of two major losses in Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.
- The last minute goals in the first and second were dispiriting to say the least.
What did you like/dislike from last night's game?