Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Toronto Maple Leafs Are Facing A Daunting Task

05/04/2023 at 10:54pm EDT

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

A season absolutely on the brink.

In just a few days, celebration has turned to angst, opportunity has all but disappeared, and all that felt right with the Leafs seems so very wrong today — and that’s without crediting the Panthers, who have deserved both wins in the series.

And all of that, by itself, is a slap in the face. A slap at Auston Matthews. A slap at Mitch Marner. A slap at captain John Tavares. A slap at coach Sheldon Keefe. A slap at a team that lost 50-50 battle after 50-50 battle Thursday night. And if you do that, the late Pat Burns would tell you over and over again, you will lose every game.

The Leafs have lost both games in this series.

In the third period, the enigmatic William Nylander did almost everything by himself to bring the Leafs back. But he didn’t get the bounce or two he needed. Sergei Bobrovsky was again sharp in the Florida net. And Nylander got next to no help from anybody he played with.

The Leafs led 2-0 early at home, the kind of start they needed against Florida. The kind of start they couldn’t uphold.

The three Florida goals came on Toronto giveaways — one of them a weak one on Ilya Samsonov, who seemed to be guessing Thursday night but making most of the saves he had to make to give the Leafs a chance. But it was shift after shift, losing battles all over the ice, losing faceoffs, losing on board play, losing behind the net.

read on


they only have to win 4 of the next 5.  that’s been done.

they were half an inch on four or five occasions from tying and winning the game, then we wouldn’t be reading all the angst.  but they were on the wrong side of the half inch.


Panic in Toronto, but surprised Florida won the first two games there.

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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.

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