Raking Leafs

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

10/09/2006

Shootout, Bloody Shootout

TOR vs MTL 10/07/06




Leaf Lines
Kilger-Peca-Steen
Poni-Sundin-Wellwood
Bates-Pohl-Belak
Tucker-Stajan-O'Neill

Leaf Pairs
Woz-Kubina
Gill-White
Kaberle-McCabe

Raycroft



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.

1 Comments:

  • At 7:52 PM, Blogger reality check said…

    Wow, Ninja, I guess a good turn warrants another!

    As far as what I saw of the Leafs, they are playing with more intensity as a group. It almost seemed like a desperation coming from knowing no two points will be easy thsi year. Certain players have surprised me and Sundin is still one of the games best when he wants to be. I have yet to alter my rank of ninth on them, but it will be damn close in that division. Toronto will wind up two points in or two points out. I hope they make it, playoffs are adrag without all our Canadian teams in.

    As for my Habs, I was disappointed in them compared to how they played the night before against the Sabres. I found they played a bit tighter and not as freewheeling in front of Aebischer, which is understandable. A few more showings of the like by him, and they won't be so tightly wound.

    I don't know how you feel on it, but a shootout win still doesn't feel like a victory to me. My biggest satisfaction was that Ryder used his shot in the breakaway rather a deke this time. A bit hollow for me overall!

     

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