Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.


Kudos Cujo

Congratulations are in order to Cujo for winning his first start in Toronto since jetting to Detroit. He learned the hard way that he should never have left, and to be honest I've always missed him. But last night Cujo didn't so much as win as not lose.

Getting the calls, and not getting called, the Leafs got the powerplay working in the first period, sans McCabe, led by Sundin's two primary helpers. Allison's goal shouldn't have been, as the would-be defending 'Yote was laying on the ice after skipping the novacaine for some impromptu dental surgery. Carlo went to the net from the blue line on the far side, and Sundin put it on his stick for the second power play marker. Tomas 'the passer' Kaberle ripped his third goal in the last three weeks. But if TK slapping in another goal just before the break seemed too good to be true, it was.

Either Gretzky lit a bonfire under the squad from Arizona, or the Leafs were too busy cooking smores on said fire because the rest of the game the blue and white couldn't get anything going or organize in their own end. Said the broken record. Needless to say, the PS2 programmers failed to include the Leafs' overconfidence in the game code.

On the prognostication tip, I can see the buds slipping below the top 8 in the next couple of weeks. Right now, and like most of the season thus far, the team lacks cohesive defensive play, effective 5 on 5 offense, consistent effort shift to shift, and in general a killer instinct. These were a necessary two points squandered. The upcoming road schedule is loaded in the opponents' favor, and with the recent strong play of the Devils and the expected sustained push of the Thrashers, Toronto could be battling for the honor of playing the Senators, Flyers or Hurricanes from here on out. 01/17/06 UPDATE: Cox agrees

Next up, the Avalanche on Tuesday in Denver, then the Wild in St.Paul on Wednesday. The Leafs have been better on the second game of back to backs this year than in the past, but I'm not sure they can get in enough practice from now until then to plug the holes needed to beat a system team such as the Wild. And winning the second of two really doesn't translate to improvement when you lose the first game. Here's hoping Aebischer reverts to his early season form and the Leafs aren't left mile-high to start this four game trip.

Leafs Lines

Defence Pairings

Housekeeping note: I'm still working on the appearance and layout, so bear with me.


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