After a scoreless first period of play, the San Jose Sharks opened up the scoring in the second period with two goals from Patrick Marleau that lead them to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The game remained for the most part penalty free with two minor infractions against the Leafs and absolutely zero calls against the Sharks.
The Leafs couldn’t find their legs early in this game to no surprise, they also only managed to put five shots on net in the first period. The Leafs don’t look like a team ready to attend the playoffs with any confidence let along hold onto the last spot in the Eastern Conference.
James Reimer returns tonight after giving up four goals on 18 shots and being pulled midway through the second period on Saturday night against the Canucks. With GM Brian Burke admitting that he is ready to “explore” the possibility of trading for a goaltender at trade deadline; all eyes would be on the netminder tonight.
Reimer remained quiet during the morning media scrum and decided it was best that his teammates deal with the barrage of questions regarding the poor performances in-goal. Tonight wasn’t a terrible night in-goal for Reimer, however it wasn’t a stellar performance by any means either. 2 goals against on 25 shots. Brian Burke must be working the Blackberry Phone in order to drum up some goalie trades. I am interested in hearing what Reimer will say to the media tonight, will he remain silent or confront the media with some humbled words.
The Leafs have a great puck moving defenceman in the way of John-Michael Liles, his ability to grab the puck in any situation defensively and find a safe route out is superb. He reminds me of a young Tomas Kaberle in many ways, Liles however does like to shoot the puck off the rush; something Kaberle often chose not to do. Liles was a bright spot tonight on the blue line and continues to impress me throughout his first year as a Leaf.
As the trade deadline approaches it is unclear to me exactly what will cure this ailing Leaf team. I have been for a regime change basically since the day Burke gave him a new contract, Coach Ron Wilson is clearly not leading this team in the right direction. Without a four or five game winning streak behind this team it looks slow and unorganized. This team is losing confidence as they are losing games. I have said it once and I will say it again; this has to be the last year Ron Wilson is behind the bench of this team playoffs or not.