The Toronto Maple Leafs put up only 20 shots in a game that saw them defeated 3-1 by the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Leafs looked strong entering the game with the return of James van Riemsdyk and James Reimer appearing to be fine after a hit that could have been a lot worse, but it was not to be.
The Blackhawks came out and moved the puck well, playing their game and forcing the Leafs to as well. Bryan Bickell put the Blackhawks to an earlier lead, scoring just over five minutes into the first period.
The Leafs were able to answer the Blackhawk’s first goal with Nazem Kadri getting a power-play goal to tie the game at one. The Leafs were unable to keep with the the passing of the Blackhawks and were unable to see much time in the offensive zone due to an inability to gain the zone and cycle the puck for most of the game.
A familiar face to many Leafs fans, Mike Kostka, this time dressed in red, not blue, scored his first ever NHL goal, which turned out to be the game-winner.
The Blackhawks scored one more goal, by Brandon Pirri, in the second period to give them a 3-1 lead. There was no more scoring for the rest of the game.
Toronto, who went 1 for 5 on the power play, was out-shot again by their opponents. The Leafs have been out-shot in almost every one of their games this year, which is the start of a worrying trend.
Though it is true that a team that is winning usually shoots less, this does not account for the what we are seeing with the Leafs.
The Leafs currently have a couple of their depth players injured, but they do not have too much more time to wait for the return of David Clarkson. Clarkson will play his first regular season game as a Maple Leaf on Friday Oct. 25 vs the Colombus Blue Jackets.
The Maple Leafs will play their next game on Tuesday Oct. 22 against the Anaheim Ducks. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m. The Ducks are currently 6-1 while the Maple Leafs are 6-3.