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Maple Leafs Broadcasters Suffering With Fans In Loss to Devils

How bad was the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the New Jersey Devils? The answer lies in how Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph reacted.

Last night’s game against the New Jersey Devils left even the most optimistic Maple Leafs fans feeling disheartened. For fans who choose to listen to the team’s beloved radio announcers Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph, it was an interesting game. They suffered with the team and were no exception to the frustration and discouragement.

The twosome is well known for their fun-loving and animated commentary. As a result, Bowen and Ralph are often a choice for Maple Leafs fans even if the game is televised. That’s because they bring unparalleled enthusiasm to each broadcast. However, even their infectious energy couldn’t mask their disappointment as the Maple Leafs fell 6-3 to the Devils at Scotiabank Arena.

Related: Hyman’s 50th Goal Can Send Message to Maple Leafs in Toronto

The Maple Leafs Started Strong, But Couldn’t Sustain That Level of Play

Despite a strong start where the Maple Leafs outshot the Devils 25-10 in the first period, the team’s defensive errors and a lack of discipline plagued them throughout the game. They made tons of mistakes in the defensive zone, which allowed the Devils to capitalize on their fewer scoring chances. In addition, the Maple Leafs’ undisciplined play led to costly penalties that further hindered their chances of winning.

Joseph Woll has been struggling since his return from his injury.

Adding to the frustration was the inconsistent goaltending performance by Joseph Woll. He doesn’t usually struggle; but, last night he did. In the final analysis, he could not keep the Devils from scoring and gave up five goals on only 24 shots. As a result of Woll’s recent iffy play and Ilya Samsonov‘s undisclosed injury, the goaltending carousel for the Maple Leafs continues to spin. Right now, no one seems certain which goalie will become starter #1 when the postseason approaches.

Maple Leafs Head Coach Sheldon Keefe Didn’t Mince His Words

In his post-game remarks, head coach Sheldon Keefe didn’t mince words. He was especially critical of the team’s leadership. He noted that they lost themselves in the game’s flow and their immaturity and lack of focus impacted the youngsters on the lineup. Even the team’s most experienced players, including captain John Tavares, were called out for their role in the disappointing performance.

As the Maple Leafs look to bounce back from this defeat, they’ll need to address their defensive lapses and improve their composure on the ice. Last night’s game was #71 on the season. That means that only 11 games remain to figure out the postseason lineup.

There are crucial games ahead as the playoff race heats up. Moving forward, one can only hope that Bowen and Ralph will become more encouraged as they continue to provide their engaging commentary. In truth, last night was an oddity. They, like the rest of Maple Leafs Nation, have to hope for much-improved play in the last 11 games to come in the regular season.

Related: 3 Maple Leafs Players Who Played Well in Loss to Hurricanes

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