The Toronto Maple Leafs skated to a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings. John Tavares scored for Toronto, while the Kings got goals from Adrian Kempe, Andreas Englund, Arthur Kaliyev, and Philip Danault. Quinton Byfield got two assists in his first game in his hometown with his family in the building. Joseph Woll allowed four goals on 27 shots. Cam Talbot stopped 30 of 31 shots he faced.
Defense is a game of mistakes, and the Leafs have too many players who regularly make mistakes who lose the Leafs chances to win games. Klingberg is a regular hot mess all over the ice. Reaves makes the fourth line unplayable. And when you get to Domi, you're already getting worried about three guys Treliving brought in.
Without McCabe out of the lineup and Kingberg not able to be relied upon, the Leafs bottom pair (and now bottom four) are struggling to keep up. Liljegren has been a high point as he looks like he's taken a step and is much more capable in all three zones, but they're still having to rely on Giordano as the #3.
It's early in the season against a good team and the Leafs didn't have a good effort, but there are still holes in this lineup to deal with.
Leafs got the first power play
Andreas Englund from the fourth line opened the scoring with a backhand off Giordano's stick.
Reaves got completely lost in the middle of the ice, totally out of place, and Danault scored.
Leafs got out-shot by 10 in the first and were unaware of the puck being an important part of the game most of the time.
Willy was a bright point, but they still had a two-goal deficit going into the second. Lots of hockey left.
Huge save from Woll after a total defensive breakdown by the Leafs. Gio, Liljegren, and Tavares nowhere to be found in front of the net. Boy, I'm saying that more often this season about this team.
Powerplay after Fiala tripped Knies who was jumping into the offensive blue line. Leafs first unit couldn't get settled after losing the faceoff and Klingberg's turnover near the blueline when they did get a good entry.
This was the one good shot they had.
Bertuzzi gave power play to the Kings less than a minute after the Leafs power play expired by tripping a King back. Probably a soft call but Laferriere sold it that time.
Marner and Kämpf did well to kill the first minute, then they had to go off and Knies+Gregor+Rielly+Liljegren lost battles, chased their positions, and...
LA's fourth line took a penalty on the next shift after the goal and gave the Leafs a second chance. This time Rielly was on the first unit. They had zone time and chances, leading to a good shot for Tavares in front of the net and a shot for Nylander.
Keefe gave Matthews, Marner, and Nylander the last five minutes of the period, but they only got one shift as Tavares with Järnkrok and Bertuzzi got stuck in their own zone for a full, deadly 2:45 shift.
Reader, they weren't on the ice enough to go All-Star Mode.
A deflating end to another bad period by the Leafs. And not so much hockey left.
The Leafs good players didn't have enough time in the offensive zone to do much. The rest of the lineup was keeping the team stuck in the defensive zone. It was basically a critical mass of negative players that sucked the life out of the offense.
I almost forgot the third period started. My partner asked if the Leafs knew the period started, too. Apparently they didn't with how the first five minutes went.
Klingberg is useless.
Woll stood tall and stopped pucks.
Again, I think Marner-Kämpf is a significantly better PK pairing up front than anyone else the Leafs have. Maybe they should bring up some Marlies or find some vets who can do it.
We ended up seeing Nylander-Matthews-Marner for the rest of the period, withe Knies-Tavares-Domi getting the second line time.
Just as the Leafs got some life in them, Kempe scores from Kopitar and Byfield. Klingberg way behind Kopitar on the set up.
Domi got dumb and emotional at Kevin Fiala, throwing some slashes. All the Kings did was point at the scoreboard. Domi, who got a penalty on this play, shouldn't have been one to talk after his performance. The Kings put their fourth line on the power play.