Foes actually trying now against Leafs

ROB LONGLEY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 12:59 PM ET

CALGARY -- When the Maple Leafs were at their worst earlier this season, life was actually a little easier playing against opponents who didn't expect them to put up much of a fight.

However, thanks to their modest burst of success in December, there are no more free rides.

"Teams are more ready to play against us, especially on the road," forward Nik Hagman said following last night's 3-1 loss to the Flames. "We have to take our game to the next level since teams are starting to play better against us."

It doesn't help matters that the offence has gone missing. The team's top four goal scorers -- Hagman (with 16), Phil Kessel (14) Alexei Ponikarovsky (13) and Matt Stajan (11) have combined for just three goals in the past eight games, while the rest of the team has accounted for just a dozen more.

The Leafs were particularly rank on the power play last night, going 0-for-5 with the extra man.

"Our power play was terrible," Hagman said.


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