Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 2/20/13
The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to handle the Florida Panthers, but were unable to handle the Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning. “I don’t know if we demonstrated enough determination or desperation until the last seven minutes of the game,” said Leaf’s head coach, Randy Carlyle in a press conference after the 4-2 loss.  ”It seemed we were a flat group for a good period of the game.” Despite going into the game with back to back shut outs, I was very disappointed how the Leafs played against the Lightning.  They  knew they were facing a team with three franchise players.  Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and Vincent LaCavalier. The Leafs were unable to contain at least two of  the players.  In fact, while tied 1-1,  Stamkos scored on a wrap around.   He managed to find a a little space between Leaf’s goalie, Ben Scriven’s legs and slid the puck by him.  When that happen, I  knew the Leafs were in trouble. Another thing that hurt the Leaf’s in this game was penalties.  They took too many trips to the sin bin.  When you give a team like Tampa Bay too many power play chances, you will eventually get burned.   Even Scrivens took needless penalty for tripping a Lightning player.  I saw the play.  It was a bad move on Scrivens part. The only bright spot for the Leafs in this game was Mikhail Grabovski ending his 11 game scoring drought.  He scored the tying goal near the end of the first period. As soon as Tampa Bay made it 4-1, I shut the t.v. off and went to bed.  I  couldn’t watch anymore.  It was too terrible to watch.   I thought for sure they were going to  get hammered 7-1  the way they were playing.   It wasn’t until following  morning when I found out the real score that I realized they didn’t lose too badly.  I guess it was because they pulled Scrivens and put back up goalie Jussi Rynna in net in the third (period).  He played over ten minutes of the game. Nazem Kadri still leads the team in points after racking up two (one goal,one assist) in the 3-0 win over the Panthers. The Leafs will face Buffalo tomorrow night.  They have a 1-1 record with the Sabres.  On Saturday. they’ll face Ottawa.
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