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Leafs Drop Two Points to Three Trailing Teams. NYI: 5, TOR: 3

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The Toronto Maple Leafs went in to last night's game with a chance to clinch the playoffs. Instead, the three teams gunning for Toronto's playoff position picked up a pair of points a piece.

Basically, this all game.
Basically, this all game.
USA TODAY Sports

The Story

The Leafs started strong, with a killed off 5-on-3 and two goals before the first 7 minutes were up. The first, from Lupul driving the net hard, the second from Franson on a very nice centering pass from Bozak. It was all downhill from there. Boyes, Molson, Tavares, Tavares, Nielson. Phaneuf would score in garbage time.

The Game In Six

I mean, what is there to say? This defense is abysmal. They were outshot 38 to 21. They rarely gained the puck in their own zone, or any threatening ground in the offensive zone. Grabovski opened the game with Fraser and Komarov, spent time with Orr, but briefly got some talent on his wing in MacArthur and on his wing when the Carlyle was scrambling.

The Leafs spent over 7 minutes without a shot in the second. They went 24 without one in the Jersey game. Carlyle has admitted that shot quantity and quality are bad by the team's internal metrics. Without Gunnarsson, this defense has to be the worst in the league.

The shortened season will be this team's saving grace, as it looks like they're bound for the playoffs - the Jets need to go 4-0 for a shot at the 8 seed. Next chance to widen the gap will be Saturday night against the Senators.

Zone Starts - Shift Chart - Head-to-Head - Corsi/Fenwick