The Toronto Maple Leafs suffered a crushing 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues tonight.
That by itself isn’t really news anymore. Toronto’s not going to make the playoffs and has often been blown out of games, so while that final score might be worse than some of Toronto’s other losses, it is in no way a surprising outcome given what the Leafs have shown us this season. Still, even measured against what he’s witnessed during his difficult tenure as head coach, Peter Horachek felt this game was worse.
“I think this was even different,” Horachek began when addressing a question about Toronto’s slow start, “I think there was no effort. We didn’t play to win any of the 50-50 battles, we weren’t competing hard enough, we didn’t forecheck, we didn’t keep the puck in the offensive zone. It was different, but playing behind and chasing games, again that’s not a good way. I said, ‘you got to play with more pride.’ There were small little push backs, but not enough.”
Later in the press conference a reporter asked, “What is your explanation for ‘no effort?’ You just mentioned it again, ‘no effort,’ I mean, that’s just about the worst thing you can say about a team, isn’t it?”
“Yep,” Horachek said while firmly nodding his head in the affirmative. He added that there’s no real excuse and it’s “unacceptable.”
This isn’t the first time he’s questioned the team’s effort level. Back on Feb. 10, he called on the team to raise its “give-a-(expletive) meter.”
Toronto has 16 games left in its schedule and holds the fifth worst record in the league at 26-35-5.
If you want to watch his full postgame presser, you can do so below: