Traditionally, the Toronto Maple Leafs have always had an easy time against the New Jersey Devils; unfortunately, the Maple Leafs have found themselves in a bit of a panic. At one time, a sure thing to make the playoffs has quickly slipped into panic mode. The Maple Leafs are coming into this game in desperation mode and I thought that it would work out for them; it turned out that was not meant to be. The Devils did one thing that they have had a hard time doing all season: putting the puck in the net.
The Devils shot out to a quick lead in 1-0 lead in the first and continued to pressure the Maple Leafs. The Leafs quickly panicked and could not get out of that funk. The Maple leafs’ defense, in my opinion, has never been that good or physical, and was practically bullied by the Devils’ offense. The Devils, for some reason or another, seemed inspired tonight and continued to just pick apart the Maple Leafs’ defense. The Maple Leafs quickly deteriorated over the course of the game and just seemed a little too worn down and had an extremely hard time keeping the puck out of their zone.
Despite a late comeback, the Devils did hold on and proved to be the better conditioned team. The Maple Leafs have taken a beating all season and tonight was nothing different. I guess the real question here is what can the Maple Leafs do to get out of this funk? Get some new players on the ice? Get determined? I would say those two things and a bunch more.