The winless streak is now 10 games long. But here are some takeaways from their most recent effort.
It was a little bad and a lot of good for Nazem Kadri. After a first period where he committed a few turnovers (one of them happened when he collided with Jake Gardiner on a rush), Leafs interim coach Peter Horachek mixed up the lines by shuffling the centres, moving Kadri down to play alongside Richard Panik and David Booth. Once that change was made, Kadri pushed his game forward and ultimately moved to different line combos before the night was over. Kadri was aggressive on the forechek and finished the game with a goal.
Santorelli and Winnik
Each had a goal and helped the Leafs get back into a game that seemed out of reach after one period of play. Daniel Winnik’s shot in the second period was set up beautifully by Mike Santorelli, finding him just inside the blue line for Toronto’s first goal. Both players were solid, especially in shifts with Kadri.
When Jonathan Bernier left the game late in the second period with a cut to his leg, James Reimer came on and was solid. He didn’t allow a single goal in just 5:04 of ice time. While in goal, the Leafs got two quick goals early in the third period before Bernier returned to the game. A difficult decision, and one that became a talking point because of how the game finished.
It was a tough call. Jonathan Bernier was healthy enough to return, but a lot of time had elapsed since his exit, including the second intermission. It didn’t have any bearing on the quality of goals that were let in but given the change of leads, it’s a talking point. There was justification for and against the move. Horachek looks to Bernier as a leader and felt he owed him a chance to get back in the game.
The amount of scoring chances the Maple Leafs had compared to the Predators was nearly two-fold. If you haven’t watch the last ten games to see exactly how bad the Leafs luck has been, just watch the 17 minute mark of the final period. That’s when Predators goaltender Carter Hutton made what will be arguably known as the save of the year. The shot towards the net – which was redirected by Daniel Winnik – should have been the equalizer for Toronto. On to the next one.