The Leafs are down 0-2 in the series and are being “goalied” by a terrible netminder.
They exorcised some ghosts in the 1st round, but with this organization there are so many skeletons in the closet it would have been unreasonable to expect them to break through all of them all at once.
So, while my prediction is that Bobrovsky will continue to play like Dominik Hasek incarnate against the Leafs, only to revert to looking like hot garbage in round 3 versus whoever, I can’t say I’m 100% disappointed in the year and effort that the team has put in (if, in fact, they don’t come back in this series).
The GM brought in players that fit the mold you want for playoff hockey. If he can retain some of those players (ROR, Acciari and Schenn especially) they should be able to come back strong next season as well and build off of this playoff performance. The players themselves seem more engaged, as even the likes of Mitch Marner is throwing his body around and digging in. These are great signs for future success, though I’m not as impressed with William Nylander.
Nylander was all over the ice in Game 2. He seemed to have the puck on a string all night long and got multiple looks at the net, while also setting up his teammates for quality chances. That amounted to nothing at all. His aversion to taking a hit to make a play has hurt the team when it matters most and the more of him I see in the playoffs the less there is to like. He hasn’t registered a point in four games and, while points aren’t everything, his total lack of interest/ability in defending well means that when he isn’t scoring he isn’t bringing anything at all to the table. If this is their final series of the year, I’m hoping it’s also the end of Nylander’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s been a long week for me, personally. On top of watching the Leafs blow it in this series up to this point, I’ve also been running the 6th annual JF Memorial Hockey Tournament, in support of Young Adult Cancer Canada. I will always do whatever I can for this charity, as they did so much for my cousin and best friend. If you have a minute and $5 to spare, a donation would be greatly appreciated. There are a lot of young adults (late teens, 20s and early 30s) out there that are facing cancer at a time when they should be planning their careers, starting a family and living life to it’s fullest. Supporting people through the unique struggles of going through this battle is what YACC specializes in and, especially when the diagnosis is terminal, they don’t just change the life of the person with cancer, they also help everybody around that person through them, as they did with my family and myself.
I’ll be here for Game 3 and hope to see you all here as well. With any luck we’ll see a Leafs win, while I hold my own trophy from this tournament!!