It's been shown through various studies that teams are more likely to lose on the second half of a back-to-back. The Leafs apparently read those studies incorrectly. The Islanders were stuck on the JFK tarmac until 3am last night due to weather in Toronto and played in tonight's game like a team who had been stuck on the JFK tarmac until 3am. Problem is, so did the Leafs.
The Islanders have the second worst team SV% in the NHL this season (.894. Edmonto is the worst at .892), and their starting goalie Kevin Poulin has a nice little .891 going himself. Yet somehow the gameplan wasn't "Get as much rubber on net as humanly possibly". Or if it was, it went to shit in a hurry because the Leafs only managed to get 26 shots on goals against a team who played the night before, slept on an airport runway, and took fives penalties (for a total of 9:38 of PP time) as tired teams are oft to do. How does that happen to a professional hockey team? The Toronto Maple Leafs, that's how. Kevin Poulin was exactly Kevin Poulinesque as he let in 3 of those 26 shots (Side note: 26 shots is expected for a team on a B2B, not a team that's two days rested) for a .885 sv%, but it didn't really matter because at the other end of the ice Jonathan Bernier was Kevin Pouliner, letting in 4 of the 24 he faced including some absolute stinkers.
There was an unscreened wrister from Kyle Okposo 45 feet out that Bernier had to clue on. Then, as he is want to do, Bernier was far to cavalier in handling the puck and gifted Michael Grabner the easiest goal of his career. Lastly, the game winner, and first of his career, by Calvin de Haan was a nothing shot from outside the blue line that took a deflection five feet inside the blueline and still beat Bernier five-hole. These kind of goals are more and more becoming the hallmark for Bernier and it's not good.
The few bright spots in the game were:
A) the play of Nazem Kadri who tallied two assists and whose line dominated in possession with a CF of 63%.
B) Tim Gleason who was 2nd among D with a CF of 55%. This brings up not a bright spot. Jake Gardiner led the defense in CF with 55.2%, had an assist on Raymond's game tying PPG, and was yet again stapled to the bench for the final 10 minutes of the 2nd period, probably because he took a 2 minute 16 second shift even though most of that came on sustained O-zone pressure.
C) Mason Raymond continues to be the best value player in the entire NHL
City and State of New York - 2. Maple Leafs - 0.
I gotta go. My damn wiener kids are listening.