Sports: Takeaways: Plenty of blame to go around as Leafs eliminated - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsTakeaways: Plenty of blame to go around as Leafs eliminated

08:50  24 april  2019
08:50  24 april  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Backup goalie Garret Sparks returns to Maple Leafs for practice

Backup goalie Garret Sparks returns to Maple Leafs for practice Backup goalie Garret Sparks returned to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday on the eve of the playoffs, when Michael Hutchinson needed time off for “personal” reasons, the team said. Sparks took his spot with the rest of the Leafs at practice as the team prepared for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday in Boston. The Leafs had told Sparks to take 10 days to work with the goalie coaches and training staff in an effort to get his game back after he struggled the last month of the regular season. Whether Sparks or Hutchinson is Thursday’s backup for Frederik Andersen remains to be seen. Kevin McGran is a sports reporter based in Toronto.

''If I were going to write a news story about my experiences covering AIDS for the past five years,'' Mr. Shilts said, ''the lead would be: In November of In Nebraska the day before, he said he was going to San Francisco. Everybody started making AIDS jokes and he said, 'Well, what's the hardest part

Last time the New Orleans Saints visited they aided and abetted the Minneapolis Miracle. This time, they facilitated Minnesota mediocrity.

Takeaways: Plenty of blame to go around as Leafs eliminated© AP PHOTO Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask and Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen, top right, talk before shaking hands.

This was a winnable series for the Maple Leafs.

They were in the driver’s seat with wins in Games 1, 3 and 5. Something went wrong. No. Scratch that. Lots of things went wrong.

Here’s assessing what went wrong for the Maple Leafs, not just in Game 7’s 5-1 loss to Boston, but in the series as a whole in what we normally call Takeaways for one blog post only, we might call The Blame Game.

Scoring: The Leafs shut down the wrong line. Boston’s fourth line scored twice. Meanwhile the “high-octane” Maple Leafs scored three goals over the final 120 minutes of the series. Get three in one of those games, and it would be Toronto v. Columbus in Round 2. There was an imbalance, an inability on behalf of Toronto shooters to create chances. Boston, to their credit, didn’t allow rebounds.

Leafs expecting heavy pushback from Bruins in Game 4

Leafs expecting heavy pushback from Bruins in Game 4 The Maple Leafs are certainly learning a lesson about intensity — not only from their series with the Boston Bruins but from the major upsets that unfolded in the first round of the NHL playoffs Tuesday night. “If you watch TV, you know which way the intensity is going just look at what happened last night,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday, as his team held an optional morning skate in advance of Game 4 against Boston. Players on both teams and around the league were as surprised as anyone at the four-game sweeps that eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Presidents’ Trophy winners and heavy Stanley Cup favourite, and the Sidney Crosby-led Pittsburgh Penguins.

Too often, Chaney chose to go away from what was working (the air game) to run a couple of predictably ineffective running plays, like he The Georgia coaching staff gets its share of the blame , too. In addition to Chaney’s stubborn play calls, the Dawgs continued to have clock management

It was easy last season to go along for the ride and snicker at all the open references to blue and white disease and the tough love shown by head coach Ron Wilson, because it was an easy storyline to digest regardless of how you felt about the Toronto Maple Leafs . For the legions of Canadians who

Said Mike Babcock: “They shot it in the net. Today, I think – did their fourth line get two goals? Didn't they get the first and the third goal? They threw them at the net, they went in.”

Goaltending: Frederik Andersen had his worst game of the series, with two goals within the “must-be-stopped” range. Andersen is 0-4 in Game 7s with a goals-against average of 4.16 and a save percentage of .856 (16 goals against on 111 shots).

Said Andersen: “Kind of lost my balance on the first goal on the post and wasn't able to seal it off like I wanted to. Second goal, nice quick play, nice shot off the post I think. And last one, he did a good job shooting around the stick and kind of tricked me a little bit on that one. Other than that I felt pretty good. Just trying to make the next save, and give us a chance to come back.”

TAKEAWAYS: Auston Matthews finally wins a goal review

TAKEAWAYS: Auston Matthews finally wins a goal review If the Maple Leafs truly beat the Boston Bruins in this series, the pivotal moment may well have come with 8:27 remaining in the third period of a scoreless Game 5. Auston Matthews scored and roughly the same time that Zach Hyman bumped into Tuukka Rask. The Bruins challenged. Matthews – who has had a number of goals overturned – kept his head down during the review. The NHL sided with good goal. Their argument wasn’t really all that convincing, at least to Bruins fans. Here’s what the NHL said: “After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Referees, the Situation Room confirmed the Referee’s call on the ice. The decision was made in accordance to Rule 78.

There's Plenty Of Blame To Go Around As it turns out, there are a few reasons for the seemingly endless American presidential campaign cycle, including Speaking of the presidential campaign, did you know we've got nearly eight months to go ? Doesn't it already seem as though it's gone on forever?

Other takeaways from the Patriots' first back-to-back wins in Denver in 51 years THOMAS RETURNS: After going nearly a calendar year without a touchdown, Demaryius Thomas reached ALTITUDE ATTITUDE: The Patriots aren't going home for another week. They'll train at the Air Force

Jake Gardiner played hurt. He was minus-3 in the game, including being on the ice for an empty-netter. It could be Gardiner’s last game, his legacy. Would Calle Rosen had been better? Should Kyle Dubas have added another veteran blue liner as insurance for the injuries that followed the trade deadline?

Said Babcock: “He's not mobile, it's unfortunate, but he tried to give us what he could and tried to help us. You know, obviously any time you're playing a guy that's not 100 percent, you think he's better than the guys that are available that are 100 percent. He did what he could and, in the end, it wasn't enough to help us through this series. In saying that, no fault on his part.”

Said Rielly: "Nobody cares what anyone says. He’s a f**king really good player. We want him back next year so that’s that."

Nazem Kadri: The Leafs advantage at depth at centre was suspended. Babcock acknowledges he’d have used William Nylander differently, maybe with Auston Matthews, had Kadri been around. Kadri lost control and got himself suspended for the duration of the series.

Sorry, Canada — the Leafs are your last hope to bring the Cup home

Sorry, Canada — the Leafs are your last hope to bring the Cup home The Montreal Canadiens were the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup in 1993, and it's a good bet the drought will continue. The Winnipeg Jets' elimination at the hands of the St. Louis Blues on Saturday left one lonely Canadian team remaining in the playoffs: the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Watch CBSN Live. Plenty Of Blame To Go Around . This wasn't simply going with information from sources that went unchecked, this was covering a breaking news situation, which included covering hours of public celebration by family members who claimed they had been told of a miraculous rescue.

Now, the chair umpire is, perhaps, more culpable for the mess than Williams. He went all ticky-tack on the calls, got his back up and put himself right in the middle of an ugly mess, simply by lacking common sense.

Said Babcock: “It was unfortunate, the incident with (Kadri), obviously he wasn't available, it was like an injured player in the playoffs and we thought that was going to give us some depth and would have allowed us to move Willy around a bit, which we were never allowed to do.”

Load Management: Auston Matthews played 18 minutes 48 seconds. Sure, that’s third most among Leaf forwards, but sure he and for that matter their top six forwards could have played a minute or two more. It’s a coaching decision that should haunt Mike Babcock.

Time management: The Leafs had four minutes in power play time, all coming when the Leafs trailed. The top unit played 2:20. Surely they could have played longer. Another coaching decision that is perplexing. It’s Game 7. What was he saving them for?

Digging deeper: Kyle Dubas's decision to keep Garret Sparks over Curtis McElhinney might have cost the Leafs home-ice advantage. His decision not to add a defenceman at the deadline hampered the team down the stretch when injuries mounted.

GOT A QUESTION? Email me at [email protected].

Toronto’s D.J. Smith reportedly a candidate for Ottawa’s head coach vacancy.
Toronto’s D.J. Smith reportedly a candidate for Ottawa’s head coach vacancy

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