Leafs' blemishes starting to show

Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell puts the puck past a sprawling Jonathan Bernier as Maple Leafs...

Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell puts the puck past a sprawling Jonathan Bernier as Maple Leafs defenceman Paul Ranger is too late to help at the United Center in Chicago on Saturday night. Toronto lost the game 3-1. (Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Lance Hornby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:55 PM ET

The problem in titillating Leafs Nation with a hot start is what happens when some cold water is applied.

It can go from playoff fever to pneumonia pretty quickly and there was a certain chill throughout the dressing room Saturday night when the Chicago Blackhawks schooled the Leafs in a 3-1 defeat. Not that the Leafs expected to push the Stanley Cup champs around in their own house, but neither were they ready to handle the Hawks at full speed.

It was the first time Toronto has lost twice in this opening month, just desserts in the minds of many for a series of games in which the Leafs were outshot badly.

Toronto’s record remains strong at 6-3, but Saturday’s loss, coupled with a bizarre late-game defeat to Carolina, has put a different spin on this coming week, with games against Anaheim at home Tuesday, Friday’s return of David Clarkson in Columbus and the first visit of Sidney Crosby and the Penguins a day later.


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