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Title - Chris Savard
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Slow start costs Maple Leafs in desert
By Chris Savard
HometownHockey.ca

Slow start costs Maple Leafs in desert
The Toronto Maple Leafs managed to register just three shots in the first frame this evening against the Arizona Coyotes. While they ended up showing more life later in the game, their slow start contributed to a 3-2 loss in the desert.
PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com

Stoney Point - November 4, 2014 - The Toronto Maple Leafs managed to register just three shots in the first frame this evening against the Arizona Coyotes. While they ended up showing more life later in the game, their slow start contributed to a 3-2 loss in the desert.

Sam Gagner, Martin Erat and Antoine Vermette tallied to put the home team up 3-0 before the game was half over. The Leafs would claw back on goals by captain Dion Phaneuf and Cody Franson but it wasn’t enough on this night. Phil Kessel continued his hot play with two assists.

James Reimer got his second start in as many games and was not provided with a ton of support by his teammates early in the game. The Leafs gave up 33 shots in the loss. Coyotes’s goaltender Mike Smith looked strong making 28 saves for the win.

Jake Gardiner continued to struggle in his own end and if this sort of play continues, it is hard not to imagine that it will have a negative impact on his ice time. Nazem Kadri was only 42% in the face-off circle tonight as his challenges in the face-off circle persist. Phaneuf and Leo Komarov lead the Leafs with five hits apiece.

The Leafs outshot Arizona 12-6 in the third but for the most part the team in Blue and White played a rather uninspired game. Toronto is 5-0-0 when scoring first but 1-5-1 when surrendering the opening goal.

Matt Frattin and Stuart Percy were the Toronto scratches tonight.

The Leafs continue their mini Western Conference swing on Thursday night when they travel to Colorado to take on the Avalanche. They return home on Saturday for an Original Six match-up with the New York Rangers. Sunday is the make-up game with the Ottawa Senators after the recent cancelled game due to the shooting on Parliament Hill.

Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start against the Avs on Thursday. Toronto (3-1) lost for the first time on Tuesday this season. The Coyotes and Maple Leafs will meet again in Toronto on Jan. 29.

Follow Us on TwitterIn his lifetime, Chris Savard has spent time as both an elected official and a hot air balloon pilot. As such, FULL OF HOT AIR seemed to be an appropriate name for this column. Savard will provide his thoughts on a number of topics including hockey on this site, as well as politics and local issues on OurHometown.ca. His opinion combined with $1.60 will buy you a medium coffee at Tim's! You can email him at csavard@ourhometown.ca



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