Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo Sabres

One last chance …

- March 30th, 2012

The Leafs really have nothing to play for down the stretch and the players are taking the concept far too literally.

As little heart and pride as they’ve shown the past week, it’s hard to imagine a shift in the remaining four games, but if they have anything in them, a home-and-home series against the Buffalo Sabres would be a good chance to show it.

The Sabres – who are at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday and play host to Toronto on Tuesday – are a division rival fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Leafs, who have rolled over to too many teams, have a chance to show some competitive fire and at least made it difficult on the Sabres.

We said it in our recap of Thursday’s 7-1 loss to the Flyers, but the resistance the Leafs offered to a Philly team that has been a decent rival over the decades was embarrassing. Losing 11 in a row at home  has no explanation and no excuses. The “Let’s Go Blue Jays” chants Thursday night were impossible to ignore, but will there be any response on Saturday?

A couple other morning-after thoughts:

* Defenceman Carl Gunnarsson said the Leafs troubles are mental. “It’s probably between our ears,” Gunnarsson said. “It’s just no confidence in ourselves, in each other. That’s what it feels like.”

* Coach Randy Carlyle was asked about captain Dion Phaneuf tussling with rookie Brayden Schenn late in the game. (No real punches were thrown so it was hardly a scrap.) Carlyle didn’t really address that incident, but took the Flyers Scott Hartnell to task for not scrapping Mike Brown.

* Interesting to see Phil Kessel a more regular participant in post-game scrums lately. We’re just guessing here, but it wouldn’t be a shock to learn that some one on the coaching staff or management team has strongly suggested that he become more accountable.