Injury-depleted Maple Leafs keep sliding | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaInjury-depleted Maple Leafs keep sliding

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | 11:06 PM

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Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer (34) and forward Peter Holland (24) defend against San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels (57) during the third period of Toronto's 4-2 loss Tuesday. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters) Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer (34) and forward Peter Holland (24) defend against San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels (57) during the third period of Toronto's 4-2 loss Tuesday. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)

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Injuries and a lack of discipline continue to be issues for the Toronto Maple Leafs. So it was no surprise then that Toronto lost 4-2 to the San Jose Sharks -- the Maple Leafs' fifth loss in a row.




Injuries and a lack of discipline continue to be issues for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With the team already missing centre David Bolland and left-winger Joffrey Lupul, centre Tyler Bozak -- who already missed 12 games with a hamstring injury this season -- left the game in the second period with what coach Randy Carlyle described as an upper body injury.

Bozak missed the second half of the game, playing just 12 shifts and 12:33.

When you couple that with the fact the team was also without centre Nazem Kadri, who missed the game to be with his family upon the death of his grandfather, the Maple Leafs were behind the eight ball against a power house club like the San Jose Sharks. So it was no surprise then that Toronto lost 4-2 -- the Maple Leafs' fifth loss in a row.

Toronto goalie James Reimer said it is getting a little frustrating to have so many players out of the lineup.

"I think it's annoying for everyone, but at the same time guys get opportunities and you've got to step in and play well as a team," Reimer said. "Last year we had lots of injuries to key guys for long periods of time and we found ways to win. This season we have to do the same thing and fight for each other."

Reimer said the Maple Leafs have to pick themselves up and work hard at practice Wednesday to prepare for Thursday's home game against the Dallas Stars.

"We have to focus on the day-to-day tasks," he said. "You can't look in the past and you can't look ahead. We believe in each other in here I believe in this team like I never have. We've got a great team in here and I think that's how everyone feels."


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Down two men, down two goals:

The Maple Leafs learned a lesson about putting the Sharks on the power play when they went down two men in the first period with both Jay McClement (hooking) and Mason Raymond (tripping) penalized. It goes against what Carlyle has been preaching in terms of remaining disciplined. San Jose's Joe Thornton scored to make it 2-0 with the two-man advantage.

"Those are new rules hockey calls," Carlyle said. "The hooking is pretty much automatic or you make yourself vulnerable when you reach in there and do that. The tripping call, the ref had no choice. The stick was in the guy's feet. We go down five-on-three and that took the momentum away. You can't take undisciplined penalties 200 feet from your net."

NHL - No Hit League

San Jose's Andrew Desjardins caught Toronto's Jerred Smithson with his head down and delivered a bone-crunching body check at 5:37 - a clean hit. Of course the Maple Leafs went after Desjardins and wound up with the only penalty on the play, two minutes to Frazer McLaren for roughing. Another lack of discipline by the Maple Leafs.

"Our reaction to the hit on Smithson was poor," coach Carlyle said. "It was one where we could have said something versus drawing a penalty. In today's hockey it seems like every body check has to have an answer to it. I think part of those things have to change, particularly in the position we're in where we're not getting bounces or breaks going for us. We're going to have to earn more of those."

Bad decision by rookie

At one point in the third period the Maple Leafs fourth line of Smithson, Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren got stuck in their own end for what seemed like an eternity teenage defenceman Morgan Rielly had a chance to ice the puck and stop play, but didn't. Had he iced it, the team's fourth line would have had to remain on the ice, but Toronto could have taken a time out to give it a rest.

Instead the Sharks wound up scoring the game-winning goal.

Carlye said there were two opportunities to clear the puck before that, but moving forward he hopes his 19-year-old defender learns from his mistake.

"It seemed like Morgan took a softer approach [than what was needed]," Carlyle said. "If you're in your own zone for 35 or 40 seconds and you're hanging, we'll take the icing and we'll call a time out. It happens to a lot of players, not just young players. It'll be a learning curve, but I hopes he realizes we'd be better served by taking an icing."

Kessel joins 200 Club

Toronto right winger Phil Kessel scored the 200th goal of his career in the second period from the side of the net with the Maple Leafs on the power play. It was the 532nd game of his career.

Psst! Remember me?

Former Maple Leaf Mike Brown opened the scoring with his second goal of the season, on a weak shot that found James Reimer's five-hole. Brown played parts of two season in Toronto scoring two goals and three assists with 144 penalty minutes.

Shots on goal

Toronto routinely gets outshot so it was a rather uncommon sight to see the Maple Leafs get two shots on goal on the first shift and then hold the Sharks shotless until 7:36 of the first. Of course reality eventually set in and San Jose out-shot Toronto 13-5 in the opening period.

Rare fight

Checking centre Jerred Smithson, playing in his 601st NHL game, got into just the sixth fight of his career when he tangled with San Jose's Andrew Desjardins in the second period.

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