Leafs an utter failure again

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The hottest selling items here the past several days were T-shirts that blared "Leafs Suck!"

Well, if the shoe -- or in this case shirt -- fits ...

In the two biggest games of the 2005-06 season, the Maple Leafs were humiliated by their most storied rivals by a cumulative score of 11-3.

It started on Thursday when they were embarrassed 5-1 by the Montreal Canadiens.

Last night, in front of a national television audience, they were crushed 6-2.

When it was over, general manager John Ferguson claimed he was not worried about his job.

Maybe he should be.

His Leafs now trail the Habs by seven points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

In order to catch Montreal, the 12th-place Leafs would have to leapfrog the Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders and Florida Panthers.

What does it all mean?

You'll never hear Pat Quinn or his players say so, but it's over.

Stupid penalties, a bad line change, a too many men on the ice penalty. Mix it all together and you had yet another disgusting outcome.

Last night marked the eighth time this season the Leafs have lost by at least four goals.

"All I know is, I don't like where we are, I don't like how we've played the past month and a half, and I don't like to lose," Quinn said.

"You don't win games when you don't use your brains."

The Leafs had such a brain drain late in the first period. A horrible line change allowed the Habs to break in on a 3-on-1, resulting in Radek Bonk's second goal of the game just eight seconds before intermission to put Montreal up 3-1.

Bonk had scored twice in his previous 49 games.

He needed just 20 minutes against the hapless Leafs to equal that mark.

"This is no time to feel sorry for ourselves," said captain Mats Sundin, who scored both Toronto goals.

"You're not going to make the playoffs (with bad line changes).

"There is something we are not doing right."

TELLQVIST JITTERY

Goalie Mikael Tellqvist likely would concur with that. For the second consecutive outing, he was jittery. The Habs smelled blood and took advantage.

Michael Ryder also scored twice for the Habs with Andrei Markov and Garth Murray adding singles.

Sundin's second goal was the Leafs' first 5-on-5 marker in the past six games.

But like so many other nights this season, it wasn't nearly enough.

REPORT CARD

D Forwards: Other than captain Mats Sundin, these guys deserved an F. We lost count of how many times they misfired on prime scoring opportunities.

D- Defence: Instead of Dumb and Dumber, these guys are Slow and Slower. Luke Richardson makes Jason Allison look like Yvan Cournoyer.

D- Goaltending: Mikael Tellqvist was caught out of position several times, had problems covering up the puck and exhibited poor rebound control.


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