The Toronto Maple Leafs lost 6-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night which gives them just one win in their past six games. The lack of defensive competence continues to consistently hurt the team as they have given up six goals or more in three of their past six games. With well over half the season in the books the Leafs have slipped out of a playoff spot and will go into the All-Star break on the outside looking in.

Andersen Continues To Struggle

Frederik Andersen has struggled mightily over the past month and can’t seem to regain his old form. He surrendered 6 goals on 34 shots to the Blackhawks on Saturday night. Andersen has given up 4 or more goals in 3 of his past 4 games and has surrendered 3 or more goals in 10 of his past 12 games. The 30-year-old veteran goaltender has a 2.89 goals against average and a .909 save percentage this season. Andersen is currently on pace to have the worst statistical season of his career.

Failed Ceci Experiment

During the 2019 off-season, Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas made a trade with the Ottawa Senators to acquire 26-year-old right handed defenseman Cody Ceci. Dubas then signed the restricted free agent Ceci to a one-year 4.5 million dollar contract in hopes of both filling a hole on the right side of the defensive roster and stabilizing the defensive core. Ceci has been an immense disappointment this season and has not come remotely close to meeting the expectations of the Leafs’ organization. Ceci was a minus rating against the Blackhawks on Saturday night and has been a minus rating in four of his past five games. The defender has not registered a point in his past 16 games and is on pace to finish the season with a measly 12 points which would be his lowest output since his rookie season back in the 2013-2014 campaign.

Barrie Continues To Excel Under Keefe

Tyson Barrie was one of the lone bright spots for the Leafs on Saturday night as he assisted on each of the Leafs’ two goals. He was the only Leafs’ player to finish the game with 2 points. Barrie has 12 points in his past 12 games and even after his atrocious start to the season he is still on pace to finish the season with a respectable 45 points.

The Leafs have 8 days to rest before their next game against the 2017 Stanley Cup finalist Nashville Predators. It’s critical the Leafs take this time to clear their heads, collect themselves and regroup. As for Matthews, Marner and Andersen, they will be in action on January 25th representing the Atlantic division at the NHL All-Star game.