T.J. Brodie, Max Domi among three Leafs to blame for last night's loss

Mike Armenti
April 14, 2024  (11:27)

T.J. Brodie played a big role in loss to Detroit
Photo credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

The Maple Leafs suffered a tough OT loss against the Detroit Red Wings last night, and while there was plenty of blame to go around in the game, Max Domi and T.J. Brodie shoulder a lot of it.

After getting out to a rocky start against the Red Wings, allowing 4 first period tallies, there was a lot of talk between periods about whether or not Ilya Samsonov should come out in favour of Joseph Woll. However, when the teams came out for the 2nd frame, the Leafs were surprisingly led out by Samsonov.
After the game, Sheldon Keefe revealed that pulling Samsonov after he allowed 4 goals on 13 shots was a very real possibility, but that when he and his coaching staff came together to discuss the option, there were arguments both for and against leaving him in. After some deliberation, Keefe opted to leave Samsonov in, and it was the right call, as Sammy had shut the door in periods 2 and 3, allowing the Leafs to come back and force overtime.
Unfortunately, in the final seconds of the 3rd period, Max Domi took an undisciplined penalty, getting his stick tied up into the hands of Alex DeBrincat, leading to DeBrincat skating past the puck and taking a spill in front of the officials. Domi didn't agree with the call, but the evidence was damning.
Domi has taken some very ill-advised penalties this season, but for the most part, he has been a very nice complimentary piece for the Leafs in what was a solid season. When the whistles go away in the playoffs, I'll be intrigued to see what sort of things Domi will be able to get away with. Unfortunately, last night's hook was not one of them.
Starting OT on the penalty kill is never an idea situation, so it was no surprise to see Sheldon Keefe entrust 3 of his top penalty killers in David Kampf, Simon Benoit and T.J. Brodie to give the team a chance. All was going well until Brodie made a poor decision to push the puck into the corner instead of clearing the zone. From there, he skated down to the front of the net and got caught in no man's land, struggling to decide between taking away the pass to the faceoff dot to the right of Samsonov or tie up Dylan Larkin in front of the net. Unfortunately, failing to tie up Larkin resulted in the Red Wings captain scoring the game winner.
While we certainly cannot lay 100% of the blame on Samsonov, Domi and Brodie, they should certainly shoulder a lot of it. For Samsonov, yes, he was left out to dry by his team in the first period, but for the love of God, you have to make a save on that 4th goal.
For Domi, he'll have to find the line between playing hard to give his team an edge and not taking bad penalties. The hook on DeBrincat last night was a backbreaker.
As far as Brodie is concerned, he's had a rough season all around. He really has not been good enough, and between his mental game being off, his age slowly starting to become a factor and his execution being off, you have to wonder whether or not he'll be the team's 7th defenseman when the playoffs begin - assuming the Leafs enter the postseason with a fully healthy blueline.
All 3 of Samsonov, Domi and Brodie are heading into July 1st as pending unrestricted free agents, but with the Leafs having signed Auston Matthews and William Nylander to rich new contracts, it seems highly unlikely that all 3 return with the Leafs this summer.
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T.J. Brodie, Max Domi among three Leafs to blame for last night's loss

Who do you think should shoulder most of the blame for last night's loss between Max Domi, T.J. Brodie and Ilya Samsonov?

Samsonov. You can't allow 4 in one period10024.9 %
Domi. You can't take a bad penalty before OT4310.7 %
Brodie. You have to clear the zone on the PK10526.2 %
All 3 are equally to blame15338.2 %
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