CALGARY, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Paul Byron #32 of the Calgary Flames was given a penalty shot after this play against Dion Phaneuf #3 and Jonas Gustavsson #50 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in second period NHL action on February 14, 2012 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Images)
As Sportsnet leads every commercial break with Rick Nash news people everywhere want Brian Burke to add a "forward with size". Ignoring the enormous cost of both Nash's contract and the likely trading chips to bring him here: it doesn't make sense. Toronto is sixth in the league in goals for per game and twenty second in goals against per game.
To be fair Jonas Gustavsson wasn't horrendous tonight, most of us have certainly seen him turn in worse performances, though saying he played "well" or really even "kinda ok" is a big stretch. At the team level between Gustavsson and Reimer's struggles the Leafs team goaltending is yet again among the league's worst (18th).
Tonight was an absolute horror show by Dion Phaneuf, and the easy jokes for radio call ins will be that Calgary is glad to be rid of him. They only see him once a year now and after the game he turned in I'm not sure he did a lot to disprove them. It's only one game for him, though without Carl Gunnarsson who might be the only defensive d-man on the team the Leafs D is in trouble. Toronto had climbed all the way to 19th in shots against per game, a number sure to get worse the longer Gunnarsson is gone.
This team's issue is the same thing that's plagued the Leafs since the lockout: poor defense and goaltending. These are needs that absolutely have to be addressed if the Leafs want to improve. The Sundin and Raycroft era Leafs scored a ton of goals, bad goaltending means that doesn't matter.
A bright side? This is hopefully the low point of the season. An awful run of games sees the Leafs 1 point up on ninth though the Capitals have a game in hand. Toronto has time to turn it around starting tomorrow night in Edmonton.