Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe appeared a bit perplexed when looking for a trigger for his crew’s unforced errors in a 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
“Perhaps we will chalk it as much as fatigue, I do not fairly know.”
Toronto dropped their third straight recreation in regulation time to mark their longest shedding streak of the season. In all three contests, the Maple Leafs had extra scoring possibilities, shot makes an attempt and a better share of the anticipated objectives.
However in all of these video games, errors price the crew factors within the standings and their offense stalled when attempting to atone for the errors.
“You both have profitable habits, or you have got shedding habits,” Keefe mentioned. “And when you have got shedding habits, you find yourself giving up free objectives, after which when you do not rating sufficient on the opposite aspect of it, you lose video games.”
Defensively, the crew regarded out of kinds. Justin Holl, who has carried out above expectations this season, had issue carrying the puck out of Toronto’s zone.
One sequence halfway by way of the opening interval noticed Holl give the puck away twice in his personal zone on the identical shift. The second occasion left defensive associate Jake Muzzin with no alternative however to take a hooking penalty to keep away from a scoring probability.
It did not matter as Winnipeg’s Andrew Copp scored on the following energy play that erased an early 1-0 Toronto lead.
Holl’s points continued early within the second interval. After one other giveaway that led to a scoring probability for Winnipeg, Keefe swapped his backside two pairs of defensemen. Holl moved to the five-six position to skate with Travis Dermott and Zach Bogosian moved up the skate Muzzin.
The adjustment did not assist as each pairs took turns being on the ice for Winnipeg’s second and third objectives of the sport.
“I believed we made some vital errors tonight that put us in a nasty spot,” Holl mentioned.
Within the third interval, Keefe reverted his defensive models again to the way in which the sport began. Down 3-2, Toronto continued to generate offense however have been met by Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who made a number of high-danger saves to protect his crew’s lead.
After dominating the possession battle, Toronto turned the puck over on an errant clearing try by Morgan Rielly. Mason Appleton beat Andersen for Winnipeg fourth purpose of the night time at 7:53.
“I feel we have simply been perhaps not as crisp as we would wish to be for 60 minutes,” Leafs captain John Tavares mentioned. “We simply aren’t ending up on the proper aspect of it.”
Toronto regarded like world-beaters once they swept the Edmonton Oilers as a part of their five-game highway journey. Athough the stats present that Toronto outperformed in two video games in opposition to the Vancouver Canucks and the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, a pair of red-hot goalies mixed with errors on their very own finish resulted in zero factors out of a attainable six.
“I feel each crew goes by way of little stretches like this however I feel there’s lot for us to remove from it,” Keefe mentioned. “It is clearly a very good factor for us that in all three video games we’re proper there. We’re in each recreation and will have simply bought factors out of every.”
Toronto’s errors overshadowed some issues that Toronto did effectively in opposition to the Jets.
Zach Hyman scored a highlight-reel purpose by going coast-to-coast earlier than beating Hellebuyck for the opening tally of the sport. He was Toronto’s finest participant of the night, driving Toronto’s third line tasked with shutting down Winnipeg’s high gamers.
“I believed he was actually good and he is been actually good for us,” Keefe mentioned. “He performed arduous. Ir was a big-time purpose he scored for us. He is working and he is doing his job.”
Auston Matthews, taking part in with a sore wrist, broke a five-game scoring droop by scoring two objectives in opposition to Winnipeg.
The primary one got here in a brand new position by performing because the net-front presence on the crew’s first power-play unit. He used his distinctive hand-eye cordination to deflect Rielly’s shot to tie the sport 1-1 within the first interval.
He scored his second purpose on a 6-on-5 that introduced the sport to inside a purpose with 1:54 remaining in regulation time.
As an alternative of sitting out to relaxation, Matthews has continued to play by way of the ache with Keefe additionally insisting that his high sniper will be useful in different areas of the sport exterior of taking pictures.
“When you get on the market, it form of simply goes away.” Matthews mentioned when requested about coping with ache. “I felt effective. My legs felt good and we did some great things. We might have wish to get two factors, however i believe it is at all times constructive whenever you’re serving to your crew.”
The sport plan for Matthews is to try to robust it out for 3 extra video games earlier than the crew will get a prolonged break within the schedule the next week.
Throughout that point, they’re going to be attempting to repair their errors which have led to an sudden slide.