Sharks hand Leafs a fifth straight road loss


San Jose scored twice in an 11 second span of the first period and Tommy Wingels added an empty netter in the third as the Sharks defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 Thursday night.

Tyler Kennedy and Patrick Marleau scored before the midway mark helping the Sharks jump out to a 2-0 lead.

Defenseman Justin Braun had two assists in the win.

Roman Polak had the lone Leafs goal.

Toronto has now lost five straight on the road and have one win in their last seven games. The Leafs scored just one goal in three games in California over the last four days.

James Reimer made 39 saves in the loss while Antti Niemi stopped 24 shots in the win.

Video: Sharks score twice in 11 seconds vs. Leafs


Tyler Kennedy and Patrick Marleau scored 11 seconds apart in the first period to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.

Roman Polak finally got the Leafs on the board with his fifth of the season setting a new career high.

Entering tonight’s action, the Leafs had not scored a road goal since the 2:19 mark of second period Jan. 3 in Winnipeg.

Video: Leafs’ Polak takes puck to the face


With all this controversy surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, Roman Polak proved his toughness in Wednesday’s loss to the Washington Capitals.

Polak was hit in the face with a puck from a shot in the first period. He immediately hit the ice, which was stained with blood. Polak would eventually return to the game and recorded an assist on his first shift back.

Gardiner could be scratched due to ‘very erratic’ play


Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner has been in Randy Carlyle’s doghouse before. There was even a Twitter hashtag, “#FreeJakeGardiner,” that caught on at one point.

But even Gardiner’s biggest fans are having trouble sticking up for his play this season. And based on what Carlyle said today, the 24-year-old could be a healthy scratch, replaced by Korbinian Holzer, Saturday versus the Flyers.

“I think Jake’s been very erratic,” the coach said, per the Canadian Press. “Simple as that.”

Audio of that quote:

Last night in a 4-1 loss to Carolina, Gardiner logged just under 20 minutes of ice time and finished minus-2. On the Hurricanes’ first goal, he lost his man, Chris Terry, in front of the net, and Terry was able to score:

Gardiner signed a five-year, $20.25 million contract extension this past summer; however, his future in Toronto remains somewhat uncertain. If the Leafs end up re-signing pending unrestricted free agent Cody Franson (a big if, mind you), might they opt to trade Gardiner while giving more responsibility to youngsters Morgan Rielly and Stuart Percy? Remember that Toronto also has d-men Dion Phaneuf, Stephane Robidas, and Roman Polak under contract past this season.

Related: Jake Gardiner has been freed, will play tonight versus Detroit

Leafs waive Kozun


The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Brandon Kozun on waivers Wednedsay, per various outlets.

Kozun, 24, was one of the early-season surprises in Toronto, playing his way onto the opening-night roster on the strength of an exhibition campaign in which he racked up points (two goals, three assists) and impressed head coach Randy Carlyle with his “desperate” style of play.

Kozun proceeded to appear in five games for the Leafs before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for six weeks. He went to the AHL Marlies for a conditioning stint and played one game — a 2-1 shootout win over Detroit last Wednesday — before getting parked as a healthy scratch.

Kozun’s waiving coincides with defenseman Roman Polak ready to rejoin the club.