Shootout, Bloody Shootout
So far, not so good. The Leafs fail to defend a lead heading into the third, and wind up on the crappy end of another shootout.
The Leafs seemed to have the edge as their effort might be surprising teams. This aggressive play is translating into more shots, as they continue to fire the puck. But as you can tell from who Maurice had on the ice to start the game, defense must come first when playing against the crafty Hab counter-attack. Just ask the Bruins, the Habs can sleep on you and still take your money.
But even the heady Habs had trouble with the Maple Leaf powerplay that was circulating bodies and the puck with jaw-dropping speed and accuracy. If the Leafs can add yet another wrinkle to their powerplay of constant movement, could their powerplay be even better than last year? Its possible. For Montreal, their powerplay looked pretty good. Markov's pass was perfectly measured for Souray to blast the puck perpendicular to the goal line. Not that he needs it, but the shorter route takes that much less time to get by the goalie. Watch for that set next time we play Montreal.
As for individuals; Woz went down. Steen seems to be finding his game. Mike permafrost Johnson scored the GTG for the Habs. Kaberle continues to shoot. Sundin scored on a penalty shot again. Get used to the phrase "Wellwood to Tucker." Raycroft again was solid. Matt Stajan opened his 06-07 account, and continues to be put in key situations. Kaberle and McCabe played monster minutes with 32+minutes each, which is something I was hoping Maurice wasn't going to do.
I'll take the point, but it should've been two.
UPDATE - And for RealityCheck's sake, I should openly concede that I possibly might've maybe under-estimated the Habs chances this season. They appear to be a very solid squad. My comments about Habs D injuries seems to have angered the Hockey Gods. Never a good thing early in the season.