With the Raptors off to a slow start, the Leafs are doing everything they can to retain their “worst team in Toronto” title. The Leafs dropped a 4-1 decision to the Panthers tonight, their 7th loss in a row and 10th in 11 games. While the Leafs outshot the Panthers 33-28, the same problem that has cost them in their other losses plagued them once again–they couldn’t put it in the net.
Mikhail Grabovski’s second of the season from Clarke MacArthur and Kris Versteeg broke Tomas Vokoun’s shutout bid, but more importantly for the Leafs, they were able to avoid their 4th shutout in their last 7 games. Only the New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators have scored less goals than the Leafs this year. (The Preds have played two less games than Toronto this year). Leafs star player Phil Kessel was also held off the score sheet for the 7th consecutive game.
Outside of Vokoun, the Panthers received big games from Michael Frolik, who picked up a goal and two assists, and Shawn Matthias, who had a goal and an assist. Bryan Allen and Steve Reinprecht also scored for Florida.
With the loss, things may have gotten worse for Leafs head coach Ron Wilson. The media began to question Wilson’s job security when the Leafs dropped their 5th straight a few games ago, which prompted GM Brian Burke to give Wilson a vote of confidence. In Wilson’s defense, the Leafs knew going into the off-season they were going to have trouble scoring goals, and addressed it by getting Kris Versteeg, a guy who was a pretty good third liner on a great Chicago team, but maybe not the right fit for Phil Kessel’s top line. Isn’t the lack of scoring an issue the GM should have taken care of?