RALEIGH, N.C. – The Maple Leafs were probably due for this. Despite reeling off wins in 10 of their previous 12 games, there was growing concern around the club that the tide was trending in a troublesome direction, one that would eventually catch up to them at some point. That thinking proved right for at least a night in North Carolina. The Leafs were dealt a minor wake-up call Thursday night in Raleigh, their season-long six-game win streak halted by a struggling Hurricanes squad that had tumbled to the very bottom of the league with six consecutive losses previously. It was just the second defeat in regulation for Toronto since Nov. 18 (10-2-1). When you start to get away from the little details of your game these are the things that creep up on you, said Peter Holland following the 4-1 defeat. The trouble started early. Listless from the point of puck-drop, the Leafs surrendered a pair of goals in a span of less than two minutes in the first frame, including one shorthanded. They also yielded 16 shots and lost more than 70 per cent of the faceoffs. Randy Carlyle felt his club was simply outworked in the early-going. Right from the get-go we were in trouble, said Stephane Robidas afterward. We didnt start the game on time. They took advantage of it. With some reconfigured line combinations, a bit more fight and a few less turnovers, the Leafs pushed back some in the middle period and cut the gap in half on the second goal of the year from Dion Phaneuf. But then with an all-too-perfect opportunity to even the score on a third period power-play, Cody Franson took a penalty. Franson cross-checked Nathan Gerbe, a player precisely one foot shorter than him. Andrej Sekera predictably scored for the home side on the ensuing power-play, the final nail in any comeback attempt. When we commit the undisciplined acts that we committed tonight it comes back and bites you, Carlyle said, referring repeatedly to that penalty specifically afterward. It just takes you right out of the hockey game. Carlyles concern has been brewing for the past couple weeks, even as the wins kept piling up. After a 6-2 win over the Ducks on Tuesday he observed that his teams play had slipped, referring to an increase in mistakes before the game in Carolina. While scoring in bunches, the Leafs have surrendered a worrisome number of shots and have been leaning more and more on their tandem in goal to mind that gap. It was a formula that ended up in failure last season and one they remain weary of repeating. You cant rely on your goalie to win games every night, said Robidas. Its not the right recipe to win. Jonathan Bernier faced 36 shots on this night and was ultimately outdueled by Cam Ward, who stopped all but one of the 26 that came his way. Carolina had scored just a single goal in each of their previous six losses, but had four on this night, including that shorthanded marker in the first. Justin Faulk finished that two-on-one rush with Morgan Rielly caught deep and flat-footed in the Hurricanes zone, the second of two first period goals for the home side. The first came when Chris Terry outmaneuvered Jake Gardiner for a rebound in front. If not quite the warning shot of that 9-2 loss to Nashville last month or the one-sided defeat in Buffalo a few nights before that, the loss was indeed a reminder of where the road will turn if the current formula is maintained. And its not a happy place. I dont think we need to fix the big picture here, Holland said, I think its just a couple little things we need to adjust again and then hopefully well end up back on the right side of the score-sheet. An opportunity to respond comes Saturday when the Flyers visit the ACC. Five Points 1. Lesson Learned? The Leafs have increasingly resembled the group from last year of late and that has concern seeping in. The club went on a equally scorching 11-2-1 run prior to the Olympic break last February before spiraling out of a playoff position thereafter. The underlying numbers appear similar. Comparing Seasons 2014-15 2013-14 Record 10-2-1 11-2-1 Goals Per Game 3.85 3.64 Shots Against Per Game 34.2 35.7 Possession* 44.3% 43.1% *Entering Thursdays play Hopefully last years was a learning experience for us, that you cant take anything for granted, said Carlyle. Things change dramatically and when the wave starts to go with you you want to ride it as long as you possibly can and when the wave goes against you youve got to find a formidable wall and build that and say enoughs enough. Among the bigger differences from last years Leafs to this years version is vastly improved depth, a much sturdier penalty kill and a step forward from the likes of Nazem Kadri and Peter Holland. I dont like to look back on the past because we cant change what happened and it was a negative, Carlyle said. What wed like to do is build on the positive of getting the points, but yet [recognize the need for improvement]. 2. Possession Showing slight improvement early in the season the Leafs have dipped again in the possession game, 27th overall coming into Thursdays play. Thats led to extended shifts in the defensive zone, a whole bunch of shots for Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, and an obvious area for improvement for the teams head coach. We feel the majority of teams that are having success in the league are spending extended shifts in the oppositions zone and we havent done that on a consistent basis here in the last three or four games, Carlyle said. There was an old coach from Sudbury by the name of Al Arbour who said that the least amount of time you spend in your zone usually defers to you having success in the outcome of the hockey game. During the previous 12 games, of which they won 10, the Leafs had an even-strength possession of 44 per cent, third-worst in the league in that stretch. They managed a 42 per cent clip against Carolina. 3. Possession II Torontos best line previously at sustaining offensive zone pressure had been that of Nazem Kadri, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik – all three hovering near 50 per cent on the year. Why? They keep it simple, Carlyle said. If theres not an opportunity to advance the puck on a three-on-two or two-on-one or odd-man rush they put the puck in and they skate off it. With todays rules you cant hold up in the neutral ice anymore so there should not be any reason to not get the puck in deep if the situation presents itself. Thats the issue, [its] more about reading when to do it and when not to do it. 4. Pushing for 1,000 Holland hit the 100-game mark as an NHL player on Thursday night. Hes more than 900 games behind the teams oldest player, the 37-year-old Robidas. Robidas is the type of player and personality the Leafs want their young players (like Holland) to watch carefully and emulate, studying just how a seventh-round pick from Quebec managed to stick around all these years. It didnt happen overnight. Robidas remembers eating McDonalds four or five times a week when he played junior hockey in Shawinigan, but when he turned pro with the Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate in Fredericton he approached the clubs strength coach looking to make a change. Hey I want to get to the next level, Robidas recalled saying. Can you help me? And with that help he changed his nutrition, sleeping patterns, workout regimen and general routine for preparing to play. And come next season, if he remains healthy, Robidas will be in line to cross the 1,000-game threshold. If I didnt change I dont think Id be sitting here, he said. 5. Faceoffs If theres one point for improvement that Carlyle would like to see from the 24-year-old Holland its in the faceoff circle. Holland, who lost nine of 15 draws on Thursday, is amongst the worst regulars in the league at 44.6 per cent. As a team the Leafs sit 15th overall at 49.7 per cent. Stats-Pack 100 – Career games for Peter Holland. 18:58 – Ice-time for Roman Polak in his return to the Toronto lineup. 32 – Faceoff winning percentage for the Leafs on Thursday. 52-38 – Possession advantage for the Hurricanes. 5-3-3 – Leafs road record this season. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-3 Season: 20.5 per cent PK: 2-3 Season: 83.5 per cent Quote of the Night Its not a 9-2 loss to Nashville, thats for sure. -Peter Holland, on whether Thursdays defeat classified as a minor wake-up call. Up Next The Leafs host the Flyers on Saturday night. Theo Riddick Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Tahir Whitehead Jersey . LOUIS -- The St. http://www.shopdetroitlionsnfl.com/lion ... ck-jersey/. The Rays hope to stay alive for the postseason and salvage the finale of this series Sunday at Rogers Centre, where they dropped a 7-2 decision Saturday. Chris Archer lasted 2 1/3 innings in the no-decision, charged with a run and five hits, and Alex Torres suffered the loss in relief. Calvin Johnson Jersey . -- Cordell Cato scored his first goal of the season and the San Jose Earthquakes survived a full half playing a man down to beat FC Dallas 2-1 Saturday night. Brandon Thomas Jersey . - No matter the lineup or location, the San Antonio Spurs are rolling through the NBA again this spring, just the way they have for most of the last two decades.Steve Downie with a big return to the Colorado lineup, Jonathan Bernier strong in his Maple Leafs debut, Detroit dominated a 2-1 game and more. 1. After missing nearly all of last season after wrecking his knee, Avalanche RW Steve Downie posted a Gordie Howe Hat Trick (goal, assist, fight) against Anaheim. Downie skated alongside Matt Duchene and Ryan OReilly on Colorados top line, before tangling with Ryan Getzlaf will 1:07 remaining in the third period of Colorados 6-1 win. In leagues that count PIM, Downie is potential gold -- one of three (Steve Ott and Scott Hartnell are the others) to have at least 100 points and 500 penalty minutes since the start of the 2009-2010 season. 2. Speaking of Ryan OReilly, he looked great moving to the wing from centre, generating six shots on goal and playing 19:47. OReilly has 75 points in 110 games over the past couple seasons, but if he sticks with Duchene, that could present an opportunity to raise his offensive output. 3. Jonathan Bernier made his Maple Leafs debut, in Philadelphia, Wednesday and stopped 31 of 32 shots for the win. While Im among those who think that the Maple Leafs will have a hard time matching their percentages from last season, if 25-year-old Bernier is ready to take a step forward, then he and James Reimer could conceivably give Toronto above-average goaltending and that would be half the battle. For now, it appears as though the Leafs have a competition in crease. 4. Avalanche C Nathan MacKinnon had a pair of assists in his NHL debut, setting up LW Jamie McGinn. It was an impressive first game, though MacKinnon could use work in the face-off dot, where he was 2-for-14 (14.3%) on draws. 5. Maple Leafs C Dave Bolland notched a pair of goals at Philadelphia, and while the Leafs juggled lines, Bolland spent more time with Nikolai Kulemin and Joffrey Lupul. 5. Avalanche G Semyon Varlamov delivered a strong performance, turning back 35 of 36 Ducks shots, missing a shutout by seven seconds on a late goal by Jakob Silfverberg. If the Avalanche are going to rise up this season, its not going to be on the forwards scoring, its more likely going to be because of an improvement in goal. Consider, Varlamov had a .903 save percentage last season, but if he managed a .918 save percentage on 1600 shots (approx. 55 starts), that would make a 24-goal diffference.dddddddddddd. Maybe not enough to get them to the playoffs, but enough to make the Avs competitive. 6. Maple Leafs C Nazem Kadri isnt getting any free passes early in the year. After playing 17:38 against Montreal opening night, Kadri played only 11:53 at Philadelphia; he played more than 12 minutes in 46 of 48 regular-season game last season. Kadri did see some time between Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel -- an intriguing offensive combination -- but played nearly as much with Mason Raymond and Troy Bodie, so it wasnt a banner night. 7. Detroit dominated Buffalo, taking 80% of the shot attempts when the score was close yet, aside from a pair of goals 36 seconds apart in the middle of the first period, they couldnt get anything else past Ryan Miller. Digging deeper on that 80% number, according to www.extraskater.com, the Wings top two lines didnt surrender a shot attempt against when the score was close. 8. Amid that territorial domination, however, the Sabres did get to within a goal in the third period when rookie LW Zemgus Girgensons lifted a rebound over Jimmy Howard. Girgensons was one of five rookies playing for the Sabres and the two defencemen, Rasmus Ristolainen and Mark Pysyk, tied for the team lead with three shots on goal. Ristolainen also had a turnover that led to Detroits second goal, but its rough business when your 18-year-old defenceman gets stuck out there against Pavel Datsyuk. 9. Flyers C Claude Giroux played 26:02 against Toronto, more than he played in any game last season, though he topped 27 minutes six times in 2011-2012. While Giroux, Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell didnt have great possesion stats against the Maple Leafs, Philadelphias second line -- Vincent Lecavalier, Matt Read and Jakob Voracek -- was dominant. 10. With Toronto D Mark Fraser reportedly hobbling after a foot injury, it seems likely that rookie D Morgan Rielly will get to make his NHL debut soon. Too soon to place expectation on Rielly as an offensive contributor, but with Fraser hurt and both Paul Ranger and Jake Gardiner struggling at times in the first two games, there may be an opportunity to move up. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. 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