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Five Takeaways From Leafs vs. Islanders

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

Slow Start Again

The Islanders flexed their speed and skill early on. New York were highly motivated and it showed, firing 18 shots on goal and cashing in on two of those early. It’s been an ongoing issue, particularly on the road, where Toronto have given up at least one first period goal in their last four road games. Had it not been for the play of Jonathan Bernier, the game could have been over early.

Panik Continues To Excel

Richard Panik continues to show signs of progress. Acquired early in the season off waivers, Panik had a goal and an assist on Long Island. Panik’s 9th goal of the season keeps him first on the team in shooting percentage at 17.6%. It was his second goal in the last three games and Panik is two points away from matching a career high in points (13). Saturday’s game will mark his 51st game, which will also be a career high.

Special Teams

The Maple Leafs had their string of games with a power-play goal halted at three. Particularly disappointing given the Islanders have the worst PK. Conversely the Leafs were three-for-three on the penalty-kill.

Digging Out Of Two Goal Leads, Just To Come Up Short

The Maple Leafs have yet to win a game this season when trailing by two-or-more goals. On back-to-back games, the Leafs managed to get themselves on the level after putting themselves in a two-goal deficit. There is progress there. But the Leafs need to turn that tenacity level up just another notch.

Defensive Toughness

Nice to see Roman Polak get in front of the shots, blocking six of them. He and Korbinian Holzer showed aggression and were among the best players out on the ice for the Leafs. There were issues in other departments. Ultimately, the rest of the team needs to step up heading down the stretch.

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