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Leafs bitten by the curse of the awful goal once again
After Phil Kessel opened the scoring to give the Toronto Maple Leafs an early one goal lead, a familiar face came to see the Maple Leafs in their efforts against the Winnipeg Jets tonight. It was another really bad goal against due to goaltending that simply isn't up to the task. Jonas Gustavsson let a really soft backhand from a near impossible angle get by him
North York - February 8, 2012 - After Phil Kessel opened the scoring to give the Toronto Maple Leafs an early one goal lead, a familiar face came to see the Maple Leafs in their efforts against the Winnipeg Jets tonight. It was another really bad goal against due to goaltending that simply isn't up to the task. Jonas Gustavsson let a really soft backhand from a near impossible angle get by him and the Jets would tie the game. Winnipeg would later score again to make it 2-1 and held the lead through the rest of the game.
For it being the second game in back to back nights, the Leafs put together a very honest effort. The team as a whole worked hard throughout the game, and maybe didn't deserve to win, but at the very least it should have been a tie game through regulation. The Leafs were hesitant to shoot the puck, often electing to make one more pass for the perfect goal that just didn't materialize. That being said, they didn't deserve the fate they walked away with tonight.
Up until James Reimer took back the number one starter job in the last few weeks, those watching the Maple Leafs were all ready to watch an awful goal make it's way into the net behind a blue and white jersey. Joe Bowen's excited voice saying "he would like that one back" would ring in my ears game after game. I had almost forgotten the feeling altogether for the past few weeks as Reimer backstopped the Leafs to a few wins with some very steady goaltending.
Coming off a six game streak where they went 5-0-1, it was almost inevitable that the Leafs were going to struggle to get any points in tonight's game. I will consistently reiterate that I don't think Gustavsson is a terrible goalie, he does make some big saves every game, but the fact that he lets in an absolutely terrible goal almost every single game is unacceptable. He will not be the goalie that will take the Leafs into the playoffs or beyond as the year progresses. I would expect him to get only a handful of starts from here to the end of the season as the Leafs battle for the post-season.
The only good news around the East for the Leafs is that the Senators lost again against the St.Louis Blues. The Devils beat the Rangers 1-0, the Penguins lost in a shootout but managed a point. Washington played Florida, so from a Leafs perspective as long as that game didn't go into overtime they'd be fine, and the Capitals beat the Panthers 4-0. So the Leafs still hold the 7th spot with one point over the Senators and two games at hand. The Panthers drop to 9th as the Caps take the division lead, but the Panthers have only played 52 games, two less than Toronto and four less than Ottawa.
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