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‘Negative energy’ surrounds Leafs, says newcomer Jokinen

Olli Jokinen, Nick Bjugstad

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Olli Jokinen (11) faces off against Florida Panthers’ Nick Bjugstad (27) during first period NHL action in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn


The losing continues for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Change has already started with player personnel and it appears there will be more on the way.

Toronto’s struggles, which now include a 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, left newcomer Olli Jokinen, acquired in a deal with the Nashville Predators, to deliver a rather astute observation about the wayward Leafs.

“The one thing I notice here being here two days is a lot of negative energy around here,” said the 36-year-old Jokinen, as per Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press.

“You can feel the pressure is just building and’s getting to guys,” said goalie Jonathan Bernier, as per Jonas Siegel of TSN 1050.

The Leafs couldn’t get much going through two periods, and the Panthers took advantage, opening up a two-goal lead in the second period. Toronto outshot its opponent 16-1 in the third period, with Phil Kessel -- read about the trade talk surrounding him here -- scoring his 22nd goal of the season to get his team within one.

The Leafs couldn’t complete the comeback, and lost for the sixth time in seven games this month.

Meanwhile, the Panthers move to within two points of the struggling Boston Bruins for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

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