By absorbing a 6-2 thrashing from Vancouver Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs issued a cry for help.
“We played a really good team tonight with probably our battery down a little bit,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson told reporters. “They really took advantage of us. Every little opening, they moved the puck really well and we had our heads spinning at times in our own end.”
The Leafs are going the wrong way and quickly. They are clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference bracket, but they appear vulnerable.
They have lost five of their last six games by a combined scored 25-11. They managed a 4-3 victory at Edmonton, but their recent losses include a 5-0 beat-down from Montreal and a 5-1 drubbing from the Flames.
Here are some more fun facts about the Leafs:
- Opponents have outscored them 33-27 since the All-Star break.
- This season the Leafs are 3-7 against the top four clubs in the NHL — the Canucks, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings.
- They are 13-15-2 on the road this season and 3-5 in road games in Canada.
It is no wonder why experts figure GM Brian Burke will shake up his team before the trade deadline. If the team can’t get forward Mikhail Grabovski locked in with a contract extension, for instance, Burke will find teams willing to spend a prospect and a high draft pick for pending free agent.
On the other hand, Burke figures to stick in the bidding for Columbus power forward Rick Nash. Among the players he seems willing to move: Centers Tyler Bozak, Joe Colborne and Nazem Kadri.