There isn't much that needs to be said about the game last night that you can't read elsewhere. I'd recommend Cam Charron's recap as a good starting point. He touched on something that I saw in at least a few tweets including this one from Noah Love of the National Post:
Pretty clear from shots of the bench that the players have tuned him out. Funny that it's only been 100 games or so, but it is what it is.— Noah Love (@noahlove66) December 18, 2013
I am starting to wonder if that's not happening. I'll have a piece up later quickly talking it up but Cam had the same thought:
Throughout the game, the broadcast showed images of Randy Carlyle furiously scribbling away on a whiteboard and nobody on the Leafs bench seemed to really pay attention to him. That's sort of become the theme for Toronto. Randy Carlyle is just flat out of answers. He benched Jake Gardiner for an extended period of time against the Florida Panthers because of one giveaway, yet never feels the need to hold other Maple Leafs players accountable for the same rare moments of lapses.
As it turns out, the giveaway by Gardiner was elementary. The Toronto Maple Leafs demon on Tuesday night again, was familiar. This team can't score, and this team can't score because it was put together by an inept management group that favoured intangibles and birthplace over talent and production. It was 3-1 Florida, but who cares.
Just as worrisome? James Reimer isn't happy
Reimer on taxing schedule: "There’s never an excuse. Injuries, tired, it’s all BS. Those are excuses and they’re useless."— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) December 18, 2013
Reimer: "We either have guys or half a team or a full team that don’t show up at parts and then things go wrong."— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) December 18, 2013
Reimer generally has the right mindset. There's definitely no excuse at all for the Leafs. The problems are of their own creation. Whether it's faulty systems, faulty team creation, a failure to motivate, or a lack of talent, the problems are self-inflicted and are far from unique. The team isn't performing and haven't been for a long time. Since the end of October the Leafs have played at a 65 point pace over their 19 games. That's a quarter of a season where they've been almost an expansion team.
But let's cheer up! Last night, I went to MapleLeafs.com hoping to grab the Game In However Many Minutes Of Highlights We Can Squeeze Out Anymore when I saw that the social media team (62K Social Interactions! was touted) had arranged for twitter and instagram posts tagged with #SeaOfBlue to appear on the splash page. Being a joker, I tried to see if a joke about the Leafs being more like a #SeaOfPoo would make it up there. Lo and behold, it did. And thus started two hours of people on Twitter trying to get their ridiculous and occasionally hilarious tweets on the front page of the team's website with nary a response from the social media team at MLSE. There were more than a few references to their shortcomings but the gallery features some of the best ones that I could capture.
Idiots that don't buy hockey tickets 1, Billion dollar corporation 0 #SEAofBLUE— Pension Plan Muppets (@mlse) December 18, 2013
Who could have ever predicted that this idea could ever go wrong?
Update: They are sorrrrrry
Apologies to Leafs Nation for a #SEAofBLUE hashtag filter issue on our website last night. Working to ensure it is family friendly again.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 18, 2013