What has become a common theme lately is the inability to close out games for the Leafs. A two goal lead in the 3rd is like handing them a grenade at times.
But what has also come apparent is the fact that it isn’t the kids making all the mistakes. Let’s take last game for example, the line of Tyler Bozak, James Van Rymsdyke and Mitch Marner were on the ice for most of the goals against. With JVR playing soft defense on the tying goal by Washington and Bozak not completing his assignment in the defensively zone.
Than on the overtime winner by Washington, we saw Komorov over compensate on the play which had him on the wrong side of the puck which allowed for the pass on the winning goal.
This young team will need to rely heavily on its veterans if they want to make the playoffs and when they don’t play to a level required it takes away from the progress the team has made. After watching the game, I almost wished it had been the kids that had been making the mistakes than you could justify in part the outcome by placing some blame on the rookies still learning. When it is the veteran players on the team making these errors it makes what happened last game so frustrating.
Mike Babcock and his staff will have to continue to work with this team to iron out these wrinkles in the team’s play because there is so much to like and be excited about to have it spoiled by poor play in the final period of a game.