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‘This loss stings': Leafs fall to Habs, lose fourth straight

Mar 22, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

These aren’t good times for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

They lost their fourth consecutive game, this time by a score of 4-3 to the rival Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Tomas Plekanec gave Montreal the lead for good with a goal just after a Habs power play with under nine minutes remaining in the third period.

Plekanec beat James Reimer short side with a wrist shot from a bad angle, in what was another tough night for the Toronto netminder. The Habs opened up a two-goal lead in the first period, beating Reimer with a pair of soft goals on the glove side.

The Maple Leafs remain in the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, but only by two points over the ninth-place Columbus Blue Jackets.

“This loss definitely stings,” said Leafs forward Mason Raymond, as per Mark Masters of TSN.

Added Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf: “We gotta pull ourselves out of it … close isn’t good enough right now.”

The subject of goaltending has dominated the conversation lately in Toronto. However, Jonas Siegel of TSN Radio 1050 reports that injured puck stopper Jonathan Bernier will not travel to New Jersey for tomorrow’s game between the Leafs and Devils.

For the Habs, the victory came with a price. Lars Eller left the game after the second period and did not return because of a lower-body injury, according to Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press. The Habs will recall Michael Bournival.

  1. elguapo12 - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Looks like last year’s playoff appearance was an aberration, not a corner turned. They don’t have the leadership to hold on to their position. No leaders. Just Heatley 2.0 and a lousy D. Throw in several albatross contracts that will stifle them for years and you’re looking at the NY Knicks of hockey.

    • realemman - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      You’re referring to Kessel as Heatley 2.0? Ok then.

      • elguapo12 - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:22 PM

        Well, Heatley has been to playoffs several more times, but, in general, yes.

        Both excellent goal scorers who have an amazing 5-6 year window and then turn into liabilities.

        Kessel is still well within his prime, and he’s a great piece to have, but he can’t carry a team.
        He needs depth around him that the Leafs don’t offer and won’t with current management.

    • kclovesgaming - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:23 AM

      The Leafs have had really decent goaltending most of the year. But we see what happens when it’s even average. If they had sub par goaltending all year they wouldn’t be in the playoffs and if they were in the West, they’d be as bad as Edmonton.

      • alliceishome - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        You can say the same about every single team in the playoffs, though. Their goaltending of late has been decidedly subpar.

  2. bsaures - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    Reimer was just ok not great lol

  3. blomfeld - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    THE BOTTOM IS SIMPLE FOR YOU PEOPLE… NO BERNIER EQUALS NO WIN !

    1) Jonathan Quick
    2) Martin Jones
    3) Jonathan Bernier :)
    4) Ben Scrivens
    5) Cory Schneider

  4. slaugin - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    That Dion Phaneuf contract extension will Haunt Toronto. He will never live up to that money

  5. canucks30 - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:22 AM

    Dion Phaneuf is the most overrated defenseman in hockey.

    Garden variety top 4 defenseman living off a reputation from junior and his first couple of seasons.

  6. withseidelinn - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    No idea what has happened to Reimer. Biggest game of the year so far for this team and he gives up 2 soft ones within the first 7 minutes. They will never win with that type of play.

  7. stratomaticfan - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Looks like the annual Leafs collapse has begun. If only the season was longer last year, the Leafs would have had time to fold in the regular season, rather than choke away game 7 in the playoffs.

  8. icrew29 - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    Don’t usually watch the Maple Leafs but thought it would be a good game. In my opinion after watching Hockey for over 53 years, the Leafs are not a motivated team. First two goals were scored by a lack of defense and a goalie not paying attention. What topped it off was Kessel making a fool of himself by hollering at VanReinsdike for not passing him the puck. In the 50’s and 60′ Kessel would have got his butt whipped by a team mate. Maybe that would put a fire under their butts.

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