Maple Leafs' Dion Phaneuf plus-minus rating taking a dive

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf and Washington Capitals centre Nicklas Backstrom go...

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf and Washington Capitals centre Nicklas Backstrom go after the puck at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., March 16, 2014. (ROB CARR/Getty Images/AFP)

Lance Hornby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:44 PM ET

When Dion Phaneuf had an assist Sunday, then scored the Leafs second goal, there was reason to think Toronto was guaranteed to be better than .500 on this five-game road trip.

Whenever the captain gets a point this year, it had meant two for the team as the Leafs went into Washington with a record of 20-0-5 when he’s on the scoresheet. That includes a mark of 4-0-3 when he scored.

But Phaneuf is a poster boy for the Leafs’ meandering ways, especially when it comes to games where they’re even the slightest favourites. By the time Phaneuf hit the board with a helper on Troy Bodie’s goal, the Leafs were down three, due in part to his inability to tie up Joel Ward on the opening goal. They weren’t going to come back this time.

 


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