Struggling Leafs stunned, not angry

Detroit Red Wings left winger Tomas Tatar pushes down Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Phil Kessel...

Detroit Red Wings left winger Tomas Tatar pushes down Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Phil Kessel at the Air Canada Centre. The Red Wings beat the Maple Leafs 4-2. (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:01 AM ET

Cody Franson called it “adversity at its worst.”

Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf claimed it to be the most difficult loss of so many to digest.

And Joffrey Lupul capsulized the post-game gloom when he said: “It’s a lot to ask” to find a way into what’s left of the Maple Leafs playoff race now.

The skid hit eight in a row (and counting?) following yet another error-ridden effort Saturday at the Air Canada Centre that led to a 4-2 loss to a team they had to beat.

Worse yet, there is no sign that this team has a hope of winning one game, let alone a minimum five of seven they will need to sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“It’s definitely a time that is very trying for everyone in our room, there’s no denying that,” Phaneuf said in a post-game locker room that was more stunned than angry. “I’m not going to stand here and say that it isn’t.

“This loss is the most disappointing out of the eight, there’s no hiding that. We come


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