Leave it to the Canucks coming out of a 3 week long covid hiatus to bring me back from my own mini sabbatical. Like Frank Costanza said “Ive got a lot problems with you people! and now you’re gonna hear about it”.
I think there was an underlying understanding that anything short of a win on Sunday night would be considered a massive failure. The Canucks didn’t look overly rusty and the Leafs didn’t look overly interested. Had Campbell made a save in OT and we went the other way and scored, the narrative would have been he had a good game.
Don’t worry though. David Rittich wore the scapegoat narrative proudly. All of a sudden Big Save Dave makes Jack Campbel look like the second coming of Dominik Hasek. The last 10 minutes of the 3rd period was just an overall testament to the Leafs compete level in this 2 game series.
Here are my 2 Game Post Series Thoughts:
•I’ve been critical of John Tavares all year. I’ve also tried to overly praise him when he does well to cancel out both narratives. However with 14 points in his last 10 games and now sole owner of the hardest worker on the ice with Hyman out – our captain is looking postseason ready.
On this play I like how Tavares goes hard to the net and brushes off the defender to make room down low to receive a pass from Willy. The benefit of Robertson on that line is there’s another outlet for Willy to pass to and it spreads the defence out.
•Despite the losses I’m glad to see Nylander and Tavares had instant chemistry once Willy came back. We knew they would need half a season to become adjusted to one another and I was worried 2 weeks ago because they still were not clicking.
The nice thing about this goal is it’s somewhere in the middle of a skilled play and a relentless forecheck crashing in on the net. Something we want to see more of moving forward.
•If you read my post the other week, you would know I suggested Wayne Simmonds looked like he was coming back to pre injury form. That annoying pest who always brings a lightning bolt of energy.
I retract that statement, I apologize to anyone who read that post and want to with a lump in my throat echo that Simmonds is becoming the odd man out.
For my own sanity I will not post the Hyman knee on knee clip here. Simmonds had one job. He didn’t have to fight Myers, he didn’t have to go after Hughes after the whistle. What he did need to do though was finish every single check with force for the rest of the game. He didn’t do that.
When a vet like Thornton is receivng this praise from his coach in his age 41 season while a struggling Simmonds is on the same team, you know it’s bad.
Effectively Keefe is calling out the whole team. Jumbo isn’t a future HOF just because of his stats but because when his game isn’t going he knows the other elements he needs to bring. Hint hint nudge nudge Jimmy Vesey.
•Nick Foligno will make his Leafs debut tonight and i think we’re all excited to see what he brings to this team
•I’m having a hard time trying to best identify where Galchenyuk fits into this team. No doubt he has skill and talent but he seems to play hard for the first 10 minutes of a game then sort of disappear.
•The bottom 6 should be rotated and changed consistently until you find 6 guys that work together. Forget name, cap hit and pedigree. Play the guys who have the most chemistry.
•Frederik Andersen hasn’t has a great season but now we’re seeing exactly why he still has starters value. I’d be mildly worried going into the postseason without him