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3 Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 4-2 Loss to Kings

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost last night 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings. What were three key takeaways from the game?

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-2 on the Kings’ home ice. After the game, the team’s newcomer in goal (Ilya Samsonov) said it clearly. 

Samsonov admitted to the press: ”We lost confidence a little bit the last three games. We need to (get it) back.”

Samsonov then went on to say, “Hard to say (why), but whenever you’ve lost three games in a row, for sure your confidence will be lowered. You don’t have more smiles.”

True enough. Although Samsonov made some good saves, his team kept giving Los Angeles chance after chance. He couldn’t stop everything.

Takeaway One: The Maple Leafs’ Play Makes Their Goalie Look Bad

Ilya Samsonov stopped 25 shots on the night and looked pretty good doing it. Whatever was ailing Samsonov seems to have gone away; instead, he has a new malady. His team let him down. 

The first truth is that Samsonov didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates. The second truth is that you can’t blame this loss on him. 

On both goals, Samsonov’s stick was knocked out of his hands. On the other goals, the Maple Leafs took penalties and left their goalie fend for himself – or, at least it seemed like it. 

Samsonov has played well for his new team. He’s now 4-1-0 on the season with a respectable goals-against-average of 2.01 and a .932 save percentage. He’s one of the few Maple Leafs’ players who doesn’t look disorganized. Too bad for him.

Related: Maple Leafs Slow Starts Create Un-Winnable Pattern

Takeaway Two: Is John Tavares Alone on the Ice?

It’s untrue to say that Samsonov was the only good Maple Leafs’ player. John Tavares showed up tonight as he’s done in every game of the season thus far. He scored a power-play goal for the first goal of the game and his fourth of the season. 

That goal came on a rebound of a William Nylander shot off the backboard. I have to admit that, when the Maple Leafs got the first goal of the game, I thought they were going to come together. [It was only the third time in nine games this season that the team scored the opening goal of the game.] It didn’t.

John Tavares Upper Deck Net Crashers Maple Leafs
John Tavares Upper Deck Net Crashers Maple Leafs

My good feeling didn’t last long. The Maple Leafs (a) didn’t seem to be working hard enough; (b) seemed disorganized; and, (c) as Keefe noted earlier, had trouble moving the puck out of their own end easily. It was a struggle for them all night long.

Related: Projected Maple Leafs’ Lineup for Kings’ Game Tonight & Commentary

Takeaway Three: Is Something Wrong with Auston Matthews?

I have to believe something’s wrong with Auston Matthews. He is simply not himself on the ice. He’s been playing “good,” because he’s a great player. That said, I would not be surprised if we hear that he’s suffering from some sort of injury.




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