Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 5-3 defeat to Lightning

It was the meeting of two teams that lacked players. Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning are injured players; however, that night, the Lightning played a neater match than the Maple Leafs and walked away with a 5-3 victory.

It’s not that the Maple Leafs aren’t playing well; they did – regardless. However, they also did not play well. The Lightning also plays well – regardless. However, the difference is that, while Maple Leafs performed poorly, Lightning did not. In the end, that’s the difference.

In this edition of Maple Leafs’ takeaways, I’ll share three things I’ve learned from the game. It is not if the 18-8-2 season’s record is poor; However, it is worrying that the team has lost three of the last four matches.

Related: Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Spezza, Rielly, Nylander & Mrazek

Takeaway One: Mistake, Mistake, Mistake

In a way, last night’s game was nuanced by the Winnipeg Jets. In a game against the Jets on the street a few days ago, the Maple Leafs gave up on too many weirdo dashes – really, any weirdo dash was too much. Against Lightning, it’s a game full of mistakes; but apparently it was the Maple Leafs who made them all. Lightning produces very little; and, when Toronto implemented them, they capitalized.

To counter the Jets, it’s an odd man in a hurry; against Lightning, it’s a gift of defense. Both will kill a team; and, in the case of Maple Leafs, within a week, both.

Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning
Steven Stamkos, led Tampa Bay Lightning last night

After the game, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe spoke to the media about his team’s loss. Keefe is clear, “You can’t do that kind of play and score three goals in five out of five. Give them a power play target, but a goal of five out of five is indisputable. Those are gifts against a team like that.”

Keefe added that he “didn’t think we played a lousy game. I think we worked hard and had a chance. You just can’t come up with such things. Our decision-making and execution were poor. We have to pay the price. ”

In my opinion, he was right.

Takeaway two: What’s the story with Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl?

What’s the story with Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl’s closing defense pair last season? Last season they were gold. This season, no.

Specifically, they had a really tough October. And, in one post, I even speculated that Muzzin is still injured from last season’s knockout stages. Both Holl and Muzzin have a much better Captain; though the rest of the team did the same. But come December, it’s back to its old, error-prone ways.

Last night, both started the first three goals of the Lightning, then the Maple Leafs coaching staff divided them for the rest of the game. For his time, Muzzin’s new partner is Timothy Liljegren. Holl’s new partner is rookie Kristians Rubins. As Sportsnet’s Luke Fox reported after the game, it was a night where rookies were tasked with carrying veterans.

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Timothy Liljegren, Maple Leafs rookie defender

After the game, Holl echoed my note on the last night’s reflection on the Jets’ game when he noted, “We gave them too many free javelin. It’s something that has crept into our game a bit over the last few games. ”

Currently, the defense of the Maple Leafs is at a loss because both Rasmus Sandin and Travis Dermott are injured. When these two young defenders return, however, it will be interesting to see what the coaches do with Muzzin and Holl. They don’t seem to be themselves.

Holl had a nice run of five games throughout early November, and there were even commercial rumors about him. Muzzin’s plus/minus is a minus of 2 this season when it was a plus of 21 last season. And, he often has bad games. As Fox noted in its post, if this doesn’t change for the rest of the regular season, some personnel “adjustments” could be made.

Takeaway three: Ondrej Kase is showing off his offensive power

When Ondrej Kase was signed last season, no one knew if he would be able to play. His history with debilitating concussions made him a shell of his former potential during two difficult seasons. But, Kase seems to have returned. Not only did he come and play well as a third-line partner with his childhood best friend from the Czech Republic David Kampf, but he also started scoring more often.

Last night, he scored two goals, bringing his tally for the season to eight. He is also playing well in power play in Mitch Marner’s position. After the match, Kase also noted what several others had noted. He said, “The game was tough for us. We made a lot of plays, so that’s where I feel we lost the game. ”

He’s right.

Related: Three Maple Leafs Takeaways 5-4 Win Over the Blue Jackets




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Subhankar Mondal

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