From the opening face off the Leafs looked like the team of old, looking sluggish, tired and slow. The usual jump and energy that the young crew of players typically plays with just did not seem to be there.
Players like Dion Phanuef and Colton Orr tried to spark the team by fighting, but to no avail. Looking on the brighter side of things, the Maple Leafs are warriors when it comes to fighting. They are Toronto tough guys, they fight with pride. The downside occurred in the team’s defensive core. Winnipeg was finding the puck way too easy. They dominated possession.
Winnipeg dominated possession so often that the home team lived up to their name constantly cycling in the offensive zone like a jet. The Jets were the team that seemed to have a little extra fuel in the gas tank.
Going into the MTS Center tonight Toronto previously lost games in Boston 4-2, and the Leafs most recent loss came at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4. That heartbreaking loss happened on home ice and the game was placed on the shoulders of NHL superstar Sidney Crosby.
Ending on a positive note, Phil Kessel managed to thrill Leafs Nation with two goals. Number 81 seems to be handling the puck well. He could be hitting a hot streak, as Nazem Kadri and Kessel seem to be Toronto’s backdoor secret weapons, and that’s something Leafs fans can smile about.
The Leafs next game will be a return game which will take place on Thursday. The Leafs will play the Penguins of Pittsburgh in Toronto. no doubt wanting to avenge their loss and redeem the team in the spotlight of the Toronto media.
By Anthony Sicilia