Posted December 8, 2013
Watching the Toronto Maple Leafs do their usual third period swoon against the Ottawa Senators Saturday night, after playing 30 games, they might figure that things aren’t working the way they should.
The team has many able players, but two are out with long-term injuries. The two goaltenders are being put through a meat grinder every night as the Leafs are outshot by a wide margin.
On Saturday, the team played shorthanded for 16 minutes. That represents about 23 per cent of the total game time of 60 minutes. What do you think is going to happen? The Senators (name change coming here?) fired 52 shots at Leaf Goalie James Reimer with the Leafs getting 31 on the Ottawa goalie.
Remember when the Leafs lost in Pittsburg recently they failed to get a shot on the Penguin’s net for the entire third period? And how do you explain getting beaten by Buffalo, in the third period?
Is it a lack of conditioning? Could it be that some off-ice activities may be impairing the team effort?
Perhaps the responsibility rests with Coach Carlyle. A coach is a teacher; an analyst and creative play designer. He is also charged with preparing his team to play their best, regardless of outside influences.
Toronto has the talent but collectively folds at different times during the game.
Ultimately, the coach is responsible. He’s in charge of preparing the team and its on-ice performance.
Despite the recent losing streak, it has not knocked the team out of playoff contention. As of December 7, they are only six points out of first place.