Skip to content

Carlyle finds positives in Leafs’ fourth straight loss

Jan 10, 2014, 10:47 PM EDT

carlyleap AP

Even considering his occasional joviality in front of HBO’s cameras for their 24/7 documentary series, few would call Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle a beacon of optimism. Still, he seemed pretty positive after the team fell to the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Friday, dropping their fourth game in a row.

“This might be one of the better games we’ve played in a month,” Carlyle said, according to TSN’s Jonas Siegel.

“We’ve been begging, pleading, kicking, kissing, whatever we can do to try and find a way that we can play with some confidence.”

For those who’ve been critiquing the Leafs’ underlying stats for months now, one might quip that Carlyle should add “shooting more than our opponents” to that previous quote. To be fair, they almost did so on Friday, as the Capitals only managed a 35-34 shot advantage.

Dion Phaneuf backed up his coach’s positive outlook to Siegel.

“I think we played harder. We competed more,” Phaneuf said. “No one likes to be embarrassed the way that we were.”

Ultimately, admittedly nervous Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth was up to the task, as he won in his first start since Nov. 22. He didn’t deny his excitement after the game, either.

Whatever way you spin it, the Buds find themselves just a hair above .500 (21-20-5) while the Capitals improved to 22-16-6. Moral victories might be better than nothing, but the Leafs need to generate standings instead of style points soon or things might get ugly in Toronto.

  1. graymalkin26 - Jan 11, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Now the Leafs are soundly losing the fights as well as the games….hahaha….losers!

  2. flyersfan67 - Jan 11, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Playing harder, phaneuf is a joke and he’s your team leader. If he’s such a leader why was he cowering behind ref when erskin was in his face. If he’s toronto leader, no wonder they’re as pathetic as the are

    • joey4id - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      Because he wanted to stay out of the penalty box. His team is struggling, and desperately fighting for a playoff spot. You said it! He’s the leader so he can’t be getting involved in those scrums. Did you not read what the Montreal did to PK Subban after he got a 2 minute penalty for punching Couturier during a scrum?

  3. slickdemetrius - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    So glad Mr.Carlyle is becoming accustomed to the Leaf’s free-falling ways.
    Another positive, you will be open for golfing dates the day after the last game on schedule.
    Further positives are the chance to leave Toronto (a good way to stay alive) and with them being so pathetic, they can get a decent draft prospect. Perhaps someone from the Iron League…

  4. joey4id - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    I’ve criticized Carlyle in the past for his comments. But! This time I agree with him. The team responded well after an ugly performance verus the Caines, and team meetings where the focus is on individual contribution and play within the system. That said, they lack depth and experience on O and D. I can see them make a trade to improve their D to make a push for the playoffs. Making the playoffs means so much from a financial perspective. It’s estimated each home game during the playoffs will net the organization ~1.5 million.

  5. slysipops - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    RANDY SAYS IT’S……………………..

  6. graymalkin26 - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Clarkson was a great catch….36.7 mil….hahaha!

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1383)
  2. J. Quick (1335)
  3. S. Bennett (1333)
  4. P. Rinne (1248)
  5. K. Timonen (1206)