The Leafs’ new year’s malaise continued on Sunday night at Scotiabank Arena as Toronto dropped a 4-2 decision to the Arizona Coyotes. It was the sixth loss in the past seven home games for the blue and white. Jake Gardiner missed the game due to back spasms and was replaced by Martin Marincin on the blue line.

The Good

  • Travis Dermott opened the scoring for Toronto, netting his third goal of the season. The goal was set up by William Nylander, who had a takeaway after a strong forecheck before feeding the puck to Dermott on the left point.
  • John Tavares scored his 30th goal of the year on a set play after the Leafs’ Zach Hyman won a faceoff in the offensive zone.

The Bad

  • Auston Matthews’s goal drought was extended to seven games, and just one goal in his past 13 games.
  • Since going 3-for-3 on the power play versus Florida on December 20, the Leafs have scored just twice in the past 13 outings with the man advantage. They went 0-for-1 on Sunday night.
  • Defencemen Martin Marincin and Igor Ozhiganov were badly beaten by a stretch pass leading to the Coyotes’ game-tying goal at 1-1, scored by Mario Kempe.
  • Nikita Zaitsev and Travis Dermott got caught puck watching on the eventual game-winner by Vinnie Hinostroza. The Coyotes’ forward had been denied by Frederik Andersen in the game after he pounced on a brutal turnover by Marincin.

The Ugly

  • Andersen made his usual share of key stops, but Arizona’s goal – by Clayton Keller – went in on the short side; a goal that the netminder definitely wants back.
  • Andreas Johnsson sustained a concussion after being checked into the boards by Niklas Hjalmarsson in the second period and did not return. Coach Mike Babcock said Johnsson will not play in Wednesday’s game versus Washington.

Rob Del Mundo is the author of Off The Post, and is a regular columnist at TMLfans.ca.

In 2016, Rob wrote “Hockey’s Enforcers: A Dying Breed”, now available at Chapters and Indigo stores everywhere.