Sunday fun day was ruined for Toronto Maple Leafs fans who had to sit through 60 minutes of disaster at the hands of the Florida Panthers. It was an uncharacteristic blip for the soaring Leafs, who have gone 15-6-2 since Sheldon Keefe took over the reins.
Mitch Marner, known for his youthful jubilance and light-heartedness, was full of frustration post-game when asked to reflect on his teams’ performance.
“We need to wake up here,” he lamented to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox.
Marner cited the teams’ defensive issues and the lack of support for goaltender Frederik Andersen. “It’s been too many games now. It’s unfair to a guy that’s been with us for the last four years. He’s been our backbone for the whole time.”
All-Star bound Steady Freddy was chased from the net for the second time in three starts after allowing four goals on 12 shots by the second period. Sundays defeat marked three straight losses for Toronto, having given up 18 goals against in that same span.
Additionally, it marks Toronto’s sixth straight loss to Florida on the road. Something about the Sunshine State seems to bring out the worst in the Leafs.
Keefe called the loss a “good slap in the face, and a good reminder of how we can’t play if we have any intention at all of being a successful team.” as Luke Fox reported.
It was an untimely loss to a division rival also fighting for a playoff berth, who now sit one point below the 3rd place Leafs in the Atlantic.
The Leafs are back home Tuesday night to face the New Jersey Devils, a team riding high after two big wins against the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning this weekend.
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