Skip to content

What they’re saying about the slumping (collapsing?) Leafs

Mar 24, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT

Alex Galchenyuk; James Reimer AP

We asked on Thursday if it was “panic time” in Toronto. Since then, the Leafs have dropped two more games, running their losing streak to five straight in regulation and seeing their playoff chances drop to 34.5 percent, according to Sports Club Stats.

So, if it was time to panic then, is it time now for Leafs fans to……crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside? (H/t Kent Brockman.)

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston paints a bleak picture for a fan base that’s already become painfully familiar with collapses, be they down the stretch or in Game 7 of the first round.

There is no relief in sight with the league-leading St. Louis Blues set to visit Air Canada Centre on Tuesday and a tough back-to-back against Philadelphia and Detroit on Friday and Saturday. This is already quite bad, yes, but it could easily get worse.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle writes that goalie James Reimer doesn’t deserve to the scapegoat, despite the fact Reimer’s been between the pipes for almost all of the recent slide:

The reality in all this is that this Leafs team has been playing on a knife’s edge all season, allowing a historically high number of shots and leaning on [Jonathan Bernier] to clean up the mess that systemic issues create in front of him.

That Bernier was able to do so for 44 games before going down with a groin injury was the main thing saving this team from contention for a pick in the draft lottery.

That Reimer hasn’t been able to do the same – after a half season of pulling it off a year ago – speaks as much to the variance in goalies’ play in small samples as the difference between the two Leafs backstops.

Ditto for @DownGoesBrown:

Finally, taking the contrarian route, the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox doesn’t think this current Leafs’ slide changes anything, because Toronto’s best days are in the future, not the present:

The Leafs believed they had improved their roster with the off-season additions of Bernier, centre David Bolland and David Clarkson, and that was partially true. Bernier has been outstanding. But Bolland has missed most of the season and Clarkson has been a disaster as a free agent signing so far.

The core of the team, however, has been good. That would include Bernier now, of course, as well as Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Dion Phaneuf, as well as youngsters Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri.

Latest Posts
  1. Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do

    Mar 27, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

    Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Andrej Sekera AP

    Three straight road wins has the Kings looking postseason-bound.

  2. Blues confirm Elliott will be playoff starter

    Mar 27, 2015, 11:12 AM EDT

    Brian Elliott AP

    “We’re on the course that we set two months ago when we made the decision that Ells was going to be the guy, and we’re not changing that course.”

  3. Nichushkin, out since November, moves closer to rejoining red-hot Stars

    Mar 27, 2015, 10:49 AM EDT

    Valeri Nichushkin Valeri Nichushkin

    Russian sophomore has missed nearly the entire season with a hip ailment.

  4. Caps’ Orlov (finally) set to return to game action

    Mar 27, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Dmitry Orlov Getty Images

    He’s been assigned to Hershey on a conditioning assignment.

  5. Report: Flyers’ Pronger eligible for HHOF

    Mar 27, 2015, 9:50 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Changes to the bylaws allow the Philly defenseman to be inducted.

  6. Report: A formal announcement expected ‘soon’ regarding Vegas expansion

    Mar 27, 2015, 8:50 AM EDT

    Las Vegas Getty Images

    The group is nearing its goal of securing 10,000 season ticket deposits.

  7. Coyotes ‘win’ against Sabres in OT

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:48 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    The real winners might be the Edmonton Oilers.

  8. Video: Cam Ward flashes the glove on David Perron

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    Update your save of the year highlight packages.

  9. Video: Sandwich hit not delicious for Devils’ Gelinas

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT

    sammich

    He seems OK after that tough, 2-on-1 check.

  10. Red Wings pull Howard after one period

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:41 PM EDT

    Jimmy Howard AP

    Three goals allowed in 20 minutes by Detroit’s embattled starter.

  11. Martin St. Louis resumed skating on Thursday

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:23 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v New York Islanders Getty Images

    The Rangers forward felt encouraged by this latest step.

  12. Yes, Krejci is back (and at RW)

    Mar 26, 2015, 7:03 PM EDT

    krejcigetty Getty Images

    He’s lining up with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to start.

  13. Pens say Ehrhoff will miss several days with upper-body injury

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:37 PM EDT

    Christian Ehrhoff AP

    A Vladimir Tarasenko hit shook him up on Tuesday.

  14. Signing Day: After getting Baun, Chicago inks Paliotta

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp - USA Blue v Finland Getty Images

    Vermont power forward was the club’s third-round pick in 2011.

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (2359)
  2. P. Datsyuk (2307)
  3. H. Lundqvist (2143)
  4. D. Byfuglien (2016)
  5. B. Little (1839)