Raking Leafs

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

10/19/2006

You mean we have to play an entire 60 minutes?

TOR vs COL 10/18/06

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

Leaf Pairs
Kaberle-McCabe
Gill-White
Harrison-Bell

Raycroft


After blazing out of the gates and taking an early lead on a beauty team work goal (I don't care what the official score sheet says) from the seldom producing fourth line courtesy of Belak board work, a Pohl pass, and a Bates blast to the top corner, the Leafs disappeared. Literally. Well, that isn't possible, but last night might be what you'd expect if it was.

Defensive zone play was horrible. Play smart, stupids! For a "veteran", Gill made the rookiest of mistakes when he rushed out to check the puck along the boards deep in his zone, only for the puck to change directions and find its way onto Liles' stick and past Raycroft. Holy crap was that play bad. The broadcast even picked up a "Nice play, Hal!" from the crowd.

Raycroft kept this game closer than it should've been. I lost track of how many amazing saves he made. My faith in his abilities grows with each game. Each good scoring chance is becoming less and less of a 50/50 proposition.

The team defense is trending in the opposite direction. Kubina can't come back fast enough. Did Bell start the exhibition with Kubina? I'd like to see how that works. Sorry to say it, but Harrison isn't looking too good. He acquitted himself much better last season.

Peca drew a couple of cheap penalties last night, skating over an Avs' stick and getting the tripping call. I believe the term is veteran savvy.

I think Steen idolized Forsberg as a kid, because he is delivering big hits in situations he should be absorbing them. I love this kid on the fore-check. UPDATE - I just noticed on TSN IceChips that Maurice might change Steen's role on the team. Intrigued? I am. Maurice also hinted at mixing up the D pairs. Ku-bin-a and Ka-ber-le (sing it to 'Ebony and Ivory')

Stajan played a solid game. Consistency isn't there yet, but it is coming along. I'm thinking Steen needs to join the young guns line, and move O'Neill to Peca's wing. Those two lines, while effective in a "not giving up much" sort of way, are lacking in chemistry. When chances are generated, it isn't the defense doing to the stopping, if you catch my drift.

Wellwood pissed me off all game. For all the talk about not focusing on simply getting Mats the puck, that is all Kyle did on the rush the entire game. Kyle, you don't want a memo in your mail slot.

For the Avs, all I have to say is Svatos is a little bitch. That dive when Gill was about to check him; L-A-M-E. Watch out for him.

raking note - I won't be blogging this weekend's games.

6 Comments:

  • At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am interested to see how Maurice moves Steen around because he has been playing very well but he needs to be on a more offensive line than Peca and Kilger. Maybe put him with Stajan?

    As for the D pairs. Yikes, last night was bad. Gill got burned very badly twice and Raycroft only bailed him out the first time.

    As always, the good thing is that under Maurice you know that there will be hell to pay so I feel like a long losing streak is much less likely than it was last year.

     
  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Hopefully Poni-Stajan-Steen will appear on ice in the next game or two.

     
  • At 7:32 AM, Blogger Silver_Ganer said…

    Svatos, I hate him!
    Not only was the dive a BS move, (was I ever glad he got two minutes for that) but that slash on Peca was also a bullshit.

     
  • At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had forgotten about that slash. What a bitch.

    Today's paper suggests that Maurice is ready to juggle the lines completely except for keeping some pairs together (Sundin-Wellwood) so it should make for an interesting game.

     
  • At 12:11 AM, Blogger Wardo said…

    I thought it was, "way to go, Gill"?

     
  • At 11:08 AM, Blogger ninja said…

    wardo, I think you're right about that. my bad.

     

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