After the Leafs came out flat for the better part of two periods on Wednesday against Phoenix, they will need a substantially better effort against the Sabres tomorrow in Buffalo. Media is blaming the Grabovski line for the -3 they laid in the 2nd period. Wilson is blaming the defense(*cough*Finger*cough*). But a better reason is the busy schedule and the fact that the Leafs don't have the time to address any of the nagging issues left over from the October/November melt down. Among those, the obvious deficiency on the penalty-kill, the free-falling power-play and the general defensive positioning of the team.
As long as the Leafs continue to forecheck and get the puck out of their own zone at the right times, they can get back to winning. Pretty easy to type from where I sit, but with the holidays around the corner and families to think of, these players may still have 4 more games before then to plummet to that final spot in the East again. There are 2games against a Buffalo team that always presents a problem, a game against a Boston team that continues to embarrass Kessel and the Leafs as well as a 1 off against the Islanders. The Leafs could either be sitting pretty in 10th or licking their wounds in 15th. I'll try to get another article or 2 in before the holidays, but if I don't have a great week!