Leafs miss last call vs. Coyotes
Win streak ends at six on a night when http://www.eraneta.com/nate-schmidt-c-1_12.html the Leafs’ problems ran deeper than the iffy goalie interference that wiped out a potential late tying goal by Auston Matthews after a long review — but the officiating was brutal, no getting around it, Rosie DiManno writes.
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Nazem Kadri lifted his head from scanning the league literature Monday morning and said to dressing room cubicle neighbour Matt Martin: “Hey look, we’ve won six in a row.”
Kind of weird that this would come as a news flash to Kadri since everybody with even a passing interest in the Maple Leafs was giddily aware that the team had racked up half a dozen consecutive Ws, a feat unmatched since Dec. 6 to 16, 2014.
How clearly many of us recall the self-congratulatory tone around the Leafs’ inner sanctum back then.
What’s not often mentioned now is that the club immediately afterwards slumped 2-7, triggering the cashiering of coach Randy Carlyle, and subsequently staggered through a 2-17 record under the interim tutelage of poor Peter Horachek.
Perhaps Kadri, among the few holdovers from that era, has erased the disaster from his memory iPod.
It should remain a cautionary tale about how quickly the zig can turn into a zag.
But of course these high-voltage Leafs, beneficiaries of some suddenly stellar goaltending from Freddie Andersen — back-to-back shutouts over 48 hours — won’t suffer a similar fate with Mike Babcock at the helm.
No cashiering for Babcock either, come what way. Just a heap o’ cash, far as the eye can see.
So, staring up at the crest of Seven Beauties — last achieved by the Leafs in December 2003, and which would simultaneously be the longest streak in the NHL this season — against the sad-sack league-worst Coyotes.
Although . . .
Coming off a micro two-win streak of their own, with a snoot-full of rekindled pride and positivity, having knocked off a pair of Canadian clubs on the road and doubtless all those Ontario-raised ’Yotes were eager to flash some shine here at the centre of the hockey universe, in front of family and friends.
Toronto couldn’t surmount that serial-seven peak, matched speed for speed and throttled by Arizona’s ferocious trap/forecheck two-step in a 4-1 defeat, third and fourth into an empty net after Andersen streaked to the bench, slamming his stick furiously on the boards.
He was least to blame, frankly.
It was on Arizona’s 10th shot of the first period — actually, what would be their last shot of the first period — that Andersen surrendered http://www.goldenknightsproshops.com/pierreedouard-bellemare-c-1_26.html his first goal in 141 minutes and 27 seconds, a power-play marker by Brendan Perlini.
On a night of all-around atrocious officiating — figment felonies for Mitch Marner and Ron Hainsey — the most jaw-dropping game-changer was the reversal on Auston Matthews’ whip-around wrister that appeared to knot the score at 2-2 with 3:50 left in regulation time.
It was the only good chance Matthews had the entire game to that point — he’d ring one off the crossbar in a Leaf flurry of desperate offence with two-plus minutes remaining and the extra attacker — and it almost salvaged a point for Toronto.