SAN JOSE - To say the Maple Leafs were dominated in all three zones by the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night wouldn’t properly sum up what happened at the SAP Center.
After all, the Leafs barely had any offensive zone time, so we can’t say the Sharks controlled them behind their own blueline.
But in the neutral and defensive zones? It couldn’t have been much uglier.
Overall, the Leafs, a night after an emotional win in Anaheim against the Ducks for coach Randy Carlyle, were terrible, losing 6-2 against a Sharks team that could have put it on cruise control all night but instead just kept coming.
“We didn’t skate and there was a lot of standing still,” Carlyle said. “We can look at back-to-backs and say that is an excuse, but that is not what this is about.
“There was one puck and they had it. We did not get a chance to play with it much. That gets frustrating for everybody.”
The Leafs dodged a scare in the third period when captain Dion Phaneuf accidentally nailed James van Riemsdyk with an open-ice hit. Phaneuf was trying to get the body on Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, but missed and sent van Riemsdyk to the dressing room. Luckily for the Leafs, van Riemsdyk, who had a concussion in 2011-12 that caused him to miss 15 games with the Philadelphia Flyers, eventually returned to the game.
“I was pretty worried when you see him go off the ice, but very relieved to see him come back and talk to him and know he is OK,” Phaneuf said.