Five is a great number, isn’t it? I mean how can that number apply to this game? Well, five is the amount of times we heard that Columbus cannon go off. Five minus one is also the amount of penalties the Leafs took in the 2nd period. Here’s another one, five is the amount of points Josh Leivo has this season. What else? Oh ya, five is the amount of hours the Leafs should spend on learning how to defend the front of the net. This roller coaster is not an enjoyable one. Leviathan, Behemoth, those are cool roller coasters. Not a fan of the, “Yesterday you blow out the Islanders and today you forget defence again” coaster. Babcock’s mighty blender was in full effect. Besides Kadri’s new line with Leivo (we’ll discuss that later), the rest of the team didn’t bring it tonight.
Oliver Bjorkstrand took advantage of his call up with the Blue Jackets. Instead of putting him on the fourth line, Torts gave him an opportunity in a top 6 role. The team was able to take advantage of their many opportunities, including Nick Foligno who scored the fourth goal of the game in the second period on the powerplay. Also, Korpisalo. Apparently one of the reasons McElhinney got waived was to give this guy an opportunity in the NHL. He gave his team a chance making critical saves in the first two periods. Without his play, it’s unlikely that the Blue Jackets get and sustain that lead.
This team…the lack of consistency by the Leafs is so frustrating. While the offence is there, the lack of defence and the missed assignments discount it. The first two goals are due to poor maintenance of the front of your net. Hunwick allows Anderson to poke and push the puck into the net for the first goal of the game. On the second goal, Rielly is left by himself with two Blue Jackets in front of the net with no support. The third goal is a terrible turnover by Kadri, in combination with an irresponsible pinch by Gardnier. This allowed Bjorkstrand to break in by himself for the third goal of the game. The Leafs need to get off of this defensive roller coaster and play right for success.
The refs strike again. Hyman gets a high stick and there is no call. Blood and everything, but no call. Anderson is allowed to push the puck along with McElhinney into the net for a goal. Don’t know how that is not reviewed for goalie interference. Maybe they looked into that when they were reviewing whether the goal went in.
Additionally, Marner might be hurt…Jeez. And the Leafs blow an opportunity to leapfrog Boston and Ottawa in the standings.
With two assists tonight, Leivo now has 5 points in 6 games. Babcock is really starting to trust him providing him with an elevated role on Kadri’s wing as well as more power play time. It’s great to see that although he was sitting for a large portion of the season, his level of play hasn’t fallen.