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A Blown Lead For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

The Toronto Maple Leafs have gained and then squandered a 3-1 lead in four of their past five games — but this one hits different.

This one was devoid of a positive post-game spin or excuses about travel or fans or missing bodies.

This one was about a good team losing its structure and its determination, its guts and its goaltending.

“This one should bother us greatly. Because how we played wasn’t nearly good enough,” said coach Sheldon Keefe, after watching a 3-1 lead disintegrate into a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

“I just thought we got exposed today for being a team that was just soft. Soft and purposeless and just kind of playing the game and just hoping it was gonna work out.”

Mitch Marner admitted that Toronto took its foot off the gas after flying through the first 20 minutes. After two practice days devoted to protecting their net-front and managing leads by establishing a forecheck, the Leafs deviated from the game plan and tried to make the pretty play.

“It’s like we get these leads, and then go into the second thinking it’s going to be just an easy rest of 40 minutes,” Marner said. “And everything’s coming to bite us in the butt.”

continued

Game highlights are below.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com