TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 17: Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs fights Nick Foligno #71 of the Ottawa Senators in a game on January 17, 2012 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The Senators defeated the Leafs 3-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
I didn't watch the third period, and from the box score it doesn't seem like I missed any Leafs hockey. I'd like to be clear that tonight's game wasn't a terrible one for the Leafs; they generated a lot of shots (final tally Leafs 39 Sens 21), they generated a lot of chances, and they didn't win.
The game tonight is a terrible example of what's wrong with the Leafs. The second goal on Reimer should probably have been goaltender interference and that's probably the only thing representative of the Leafs: harping on bad bounces.
The Leafs have a team PDO well over 1000. They've been getting the bounces. They're ahead of where they should be. The Leafs get outshot and out puck possessed most nights and sometimes win anyways. This is the opposite: sometimes you're better than the opposition but it doesn't matter because Craig Anderson shuts the door.
The Leafs problem isn't nonsense like "not burying their chances". The Leafs are 6th in the league in goals for per game and 22nd in shots per game. If you want to make an argument as silly as "they take bad shots" or "they can't finish" you should probably explain why they score so much on their few shots if they're bad quality shots that they can't finish on.
The Leafs problem is the same problem they've had for half a decade: they give up a lot of shots and let a lot of those shots in. Toronto is 22nd in the league in shots allowed per game, but they're only 0.6 shots per game ahead of being 29th.
Similarly despite Reimer's above average .931 EV SV%, the Leafs sit at 23rd on the season, about four and a half goals above 28th place. For all Burke's talk about building from the net out the defense does a lousy job preventing shots and the goaltending does a lousy job stopping the pucks they see.
I'd like to congratulate Dion Phaneuf for his second period. He got clipped and drew a power play and then because he can't control himself he took a "roughing" penalty and got jerseyed by Nick Foligno. After the Leafs killed off the PK the Sens scored to tie the game with Toronto's best defender in the penalty box. Toronto's defense is thin enough, Phaneuf's got to know better than to drop the gloves for his stupid honor or the dumb fucking "code"; our defense and goaltending make being down a guy an awful bet.
Sixteen teams make the playoffs, and the Leafs are in the bottom third of the league in both shots taken and shots allowed. A lot of Leafs fans laughed at Ottawa ruining their draft pick by winning and hoped they'd finish 9th. Hope what's good for the goose is good for the gander.