The Toronto Maple Leafs passed up on another winnable game Thursday night in Los Angeles. For the second time in two games, the Maple Leafs were dispatched by a team that won’t be going to the playoffs in 2019-20. Jonathan Quick got the shutout and the Kings won a shootout to edge the Maple Leafs out by a score of 1-0.
The Maple Leafs were losers in San Jose a couple of days before by a score of 5-2. The defence showed up in Los Angeles, though the offence was non-existent. That can’t happen against a team like the Kings. Quick was sensational between the pipes, but the Leafs have too many playmakers to get blanked by a 58-point Kings squad.
A lack of effort can be attributed to their losses against the Sharks and Kings. The same goes for their loss against a Zamboni driver. When Mike Babcock was head coach, players weren’t responding well to his coaching philosophy. It’s been better with Sheldon Keefe directing the ship, but his players didn’t give their all in San Jose or Kings.
This is the same team that lost to a Zamboni driver, beat the Lightning, and now have losses against the Sharks and Kings all within two weeks. There is no rhyme or reason to what is happening in Toronto. The Leafs head into Anaheim with a record of 35-24-9 and 79 points. The Panthers continue to falter, so that’s the good news. Toronto still owns a 5-point advantage on the Panthers in the Atlantic Division.
The Leafs have to stop doing standings watching and start focusing on their own game. Yes, they have a decent lead at the moment, but that could change in a hurry. And that mindset isn’t going to work in the playoffs against a focused opponent. Their opponent tonight, the Ducks of Anaheim, are coming off a mighty fine win against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.
They needed overtime to do it, but that’s a monster win for a team that hasn’t had a lot to celebrate in 2019-20. It made for only their third win in the last nine games and first in three attempts after being defeated by the Devils and Blackhawks. We’ll see if they can secure another win against a quality opponent Friday night at the Honda Center. Head below for our free Maple Leafs vs. Ducks pick.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Anaheim Ducks Betting Odds:
Maple Leafs vs. Ducks Prediction:
The Maple Leafs have to stop playing down to their opponents. That’s essentially what it comes down to. They have the talent to beat nearly everyone in the league, we saw that against the Lightning the other night. However, if they’re just going to go through the motions when they think it’s an automatic win, it tends to add up at the end of the season. Once they got that wakeup call against the Hurricanes, they turned their frustrations into gold against the Lightning in Tampa. This is another one of those opportunities for the Maple Leafs against the Ducks.
Frederik Andersen was called on against the Kings and was excellent. He made 30 saves on 30 shots and the Leafs only have a point to show for his tremendous effort. Andersen deserved a win, but like often in the past this year, his teammates provided no help. Whether it’s the offence going cold like last night, or the defence providing no help in the defensive zone, it has to be frustrating on Andersen.
Jack Campbell will likely get the call against the Ducks on Friday night in Anaheim. The former King has played well with the Leafs, and flashed the leather in big spots against the Sharks, though he didn’t get the support necessary for a win. Despite allowing 4 goals on 37 shots, he was better than that indicates.
Campbell has allowed 2 goals in four out of his six outings with the Maple Leafs. He has posted a 2.73 GAA and 0.913 save percentage with his new team. The defence showed up last night for the Leafs, though they’ve allowed an average of more than 3 goals per contest in their previous ten outings. The offence has typically played quite well on the road this season, though. They have averaged 3.59 goals per game on the road in 2019-20.
After a donut last night, expect the Leafs to breakthrough in Anaheim. The Ducks have yielded 3.5 goals a game in their last ten games. They’re 25th in the league with 3.18 goals against and 29th with 2.52 goals scored per game. The Leafs are 13-3 in their last sixteen meetings, which includes a five-game winning streak. Playing at the Honda Center in Anaheim hasn’t been a problem, as they’re 6-2 in their last eight trips. The Leafs should be awake tonight, and likely look like a contender on Friday night in Anaheim.