TORONTO – The good news is, the Toronto Maple Leafs recorded a point for the third consecutive game. The bad news is, they didn’t come away with a win for the second straight game.
And for Bryan McCabe, the really bad news is, another one of his errors directly led to a loss for his team. “It sucks,” said McCabe, whose turnover at the beginning of overtime led to a breakaway goal by Canadiens defenceman Mike Komisarek in Montreal’s 4-3 win over Toronto at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.
“I played a hard game again. It seems like they always end in a glaring error, so that’s not a good thing. But … we got another point tonight, three games in a row, so we’ll keep taking those.”
The loss, and the manner in which it happened, clearly left McCabe downcast after the game.
“Five seconds earlier, I could’ve been the hero,” said McCabe, who shot the puck into his own net to give the Sabres a win over the Maple Leafs in Buffalo on Oct. 15. “I just tried to make a play. I should’ve put it deep, and (Komisarek) read the play. What can you do?
McCabe’s frustration echoed throughout the Maple Leafs’ dressing room.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” said defenceman Ian White, who chipped in a pair of assists in a losing cause. “We’ve been making big strides as a team in the last couple games. We did play fairly solid tonight for the most part, but those mental lapses, they kill us.
“We had two leads, guys just missed assignments, and against a skilled team, they’re going to make you pay. We’ve got to work on that. We’ve got to be mentally sharp pretty much every second of the game, because you let down, and they score.”
Despite the loss, the Maple Leafs picked up at least a point for the fourth time in their last five games. Toronto’s players found some consolation in that.
“I thought (goalie Andrew Raycroft) played outstanding, and I know we gave up a goal late in the second period, and you can’t give that goal up,” said Maple Leafs winger Jason Blake. “I thought we did good tonight. We did a lot of good things. I thought we played well tonight – it just wasn’t enough, obviously.”
The Leafs, who have been an undisciplined group at times this year, gave up only three power-play opportunities to the Canadiens, who employ the league’s top-ranked power play this season. But Montreal converted on one of those three chances, a fact Blake chalked up to some of their lesser-known, yet extremely talented young players.
“They’ve got some skilled guys over there,” Blake said. “(Tomas) Plekanec, he’s a difference-maker out there. I remember him a little last year, but he’s definitely stepped up and he’s making a lot of plays and playing with some confidence.”