This was one of those nights where both lineups to their best Wade Redden impressions.
One where both teams throw defensive responsibility into the wood chipper.
The exact type of game where lazy, over the hill, bottom feeder castoffs float to prime spots and appear to be dangerous for the split second they poke their sticks out of the woodwork.
But in the end it was an opportunity missed. This was a “should win” game at home versus a powerhouse with manpower issues. A win would have put the Leafs within 2 games of Carolina and shrunk the gap on Buffalo who still has 2 games in hand.
So where did this game go wrong? It became clear at the start of the 3rd that the Leafs abandoned all defence in order to tie the score; a solid move that paid off and continued until they gained the lead. The problem was Wilson was either unable or unwilling to reign the players back in.
Add this to Optimus Reim fighting the puck all night and leads become fleeting. But it became clear to me, after the 4th goal against that Reimer’s time in the game was over. At this point Wilson should have pulled the rookie and tossed in the calming influence of Giguere. This would have done two things: First it would have given a smack to the head of the entire team, reminding them of the need to play in both ends. Second it would have a vet in the net in a time where experience is needed.
Things could have ended up much worse it is true, and Optimus Reim was nothing short of amazing in overtime but this was a game where 2 points should have been won.