Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/13/13
When I heard that the Toronto Maple Leafs lost a thriller to Pittsburgh in a shoot out, I was quite pleased that they got at least one point.  After all, their next opponent would be the Winnipeg Jets.  A team that has been struggling lately. I thought for sure that Leafs would get an easy two points off the Jets.  Wrong. At a time where I didn’t want Winnipeg’s goalie, Ondrej Pavelec to shine, he did.  He made 24 saves during the game and robbed the Leafs of a goal a few times with his quick glove hand. Down 1-0, Phil Kessel tied it up early in the second period.  At this point I thought “Here we go, the Leafs are going to score in bunches”.  Unfortunately, the Jets scored a few seconds later and took the lead for good as the Leafs fell apart after that. The big turning point in the game is when the Leafs were unable to capitalized on a two man advantage midway in the second (period).  I  practically gave up on them after that.  I knew that killing both those penalties was going to give the Jets a boost of confidence and it did.  Winnipeg went on to score three more goals and win it 5-2.  Even the Leaf’s head coach, Randy Carlyle acknowledged in the post game press conference that not scoring on the five on three really hurt his team. While watching the press conference,  I can tell that Carlyle was not a happy camper and why should he.  His team has now lost three in a row.  They now have slipped from fifth place to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. What really ticks me off about this loss is they lost to a team that was near the bottom of the standings.  From what I heard, it  seemed they played better against Pittsburgh and they are in the top three of the Eastern Conference standings.  The Leafs will  have a rematch against the Penguins tomorrow night.  They must get at least point.  Better, yet, they must get a win.  The Leaf’s can not afford to lose four straight in order to stay in the playoff race.  There is only 25 games left for them. THE TWO CAPTAINS CLASH: Dion Phaneuf fights Andrew Ladd in a 5-2 Leaf’s loss to Winnipeg.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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