SUNRISE, Fla. — The way things have been going for Jason Blake this season, he might have trouble putting a puck in the Atlantic Ocean.
With just two goals in 24 games and none in the past 10, the Leafs forward admitted that frustration is starting to seep in.
“I feel that my game hasn’t changed,” Blake said before the Leafs beat the Florida Panthers 6-4. “I’m doing everything that I’ve done before, they just aren’t going in.
“I’m as frustrated as everybody else. It’s not very much fun.”
When you’re going bad, you’re going bad though. In the second period Friday night, Blake appeared to be headed for a clear breakaway before losing his stick.
Blake led the team both in goals (25) and points (63) last season but has struggled from the start in the current campaign. His 10-game drought is longer than at any point last season.
During the current slump, he has been shuffled all around coach Ron Wilson’s lineup to the point that he is now appearing on a fourth line with Jamal Mayers and Colton Orr.
He has yet to click with anyone the way he did last season with Dominic Moore, who was his opponent Friday night.
“I think we definitely benefited from each other,” Blake said of Moore.
“He’s got some good skill, and he’s got some great speed. He’s good in the corners and he found a way to get the puck to the net.”
Wilson consistently has applauded Blake’s work ethic, though he probably would like to see him go to the net with a little more aggression.
“He’s had plenty of scoring chances,” Wilson said. “And scoring is a matter of confidence. Suddenly one goes in and you feel a little better about yourself. (Blake) just has to find a way to score one and I think he will relax a little bit.”