Raking Leafs

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


Leafs earn a win

TOR vs CAR 03/21/06

Leaf Lines
Poni-Antro-Suglobov (19)

Leaf Pairs
Berg-Luke (or Luke-Berg, which I like the sound of, but isn't positionally relative)

Notes - O'Neill was running the stairs before the game, and it looked like it might have worked. His forecheck was on time as he laid the body early and often. He was jumping into the play and should've buried a beautiful chance set up by a backhand pass from Sundin, after he noodled his way around one and then drew the second defender. He even won the puck a few times along the boards. For that, he earned two points. Maybe the old man just needs to warm his engine before goes out for a drive? Maybe he doesn't want to remember playing like an oaf during most of his possibly last season in the NHL? And maybe he wants to keep his job?

Tellqvist was sharp for most of the game, but was also fortunate, as he lost sight of the puck on several occasions to the point of spinning wildly during sustained pressure by the 'Canes in the third.

Brendan Bell had a solid NHL debut, skating 14:00, and contributing from the blue line on an early fore-check by Stajan, Wellwood, and Ondrus. Khavanov and Bell did have one shaky shift when they were pinned in the zone, but the duo escaped the situation with no damage done. Apart from a breakout pass or two, Bell was steady and not trying to impress, something I like in a rookie defender.

Suglobov made his Maple Leaf debut tonight displaying wheels and hands that could be useful. He did have one awful shift on which he turned the puck over on consecutive posessions with a drop pass. But, seriously, what am I worried about? The Leafs frequently turn the puck over just as they enter the offensive zone, slowing to make some low percentage nifty pass. I have to admit there is some definite potential in the trio of Poni,Antro and Aleksander, as they generated a solid scoring chance early in the game, but until they learn eachother the line could be a liability. Antropov hasn't played alot of pivot this season, and Poni hasn't been himself the last two or three weeks, so maybe I'm being harsh on the newby. Hopefully Maurice can straighten Suglobov out quickly.

UPDATE - JABS makes a good point about Wellwood's unsung heroics last night. He makes another good point. Domi who? Put him behind bench if you have to, just keep him off the ice. Unless he starts running the stairs with O'Neill, then he can stay.

And to all those Allison bashers...Shut up! We have first line centers A and B, so let's not complain about the wealth. Allison hadn't played NHL hockey in like a decade because of his whiplash issue, but now that he has found his stride he can be added to the list of good moves by Ferguson. And is it just me, or have Jason and Mats come to an understanding regarding ice-time and leadership and all that machismo crap that is a pain in the ass but is also the reason they are good players? I'm not talking locker room feud, but there seemed to be a coldness between the two for most of the season when both were playing, but they definitely seem more on the same page of late.

And let me just say that the team has been performing at a level recently that is pleasing to this fan and many others. This morphing into a decent team makes me wonder where this type of effort was for months at a time, but it also lessens my concern for the future of the franchise.

And Quinn finally embracing the youth movement beyond the resentful roster spots for Steen and Wellwood? Pat, thank you. And you can thank Maurice.


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