Raking Leafs

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


3 D G = W 3

TOR vs TBL 11/01/06

Alot of trends were bucked last night in the Leafs win over Tampa. Toronto overcame an absolutely abysmal record of 1-800-2 when trailing after two periods. Hal Gill scored. Ian White scored. Three defensemen score in a game for the Leafs, as Tomas has the hot hand. Not sure when was the last time three defenders scored in a game, but it doesn't happen often. The Leafs string together their first three game winning streak of the season. Antro wasn't injured while falling awkwardly in the first. Just kidding, but I think Nik owns the rights to the adjective 'lanky.'

For a great run down of in-game events from last night, go check out Chris Young's account. I was going to talk about the line juggling, but CY nails it. This is how the MSM should blog.

I know I've been hard on Steen the past little while, but last night it was almost as if he had taken some of my advice, and was looking to set up his team mates rather than just shooting the puck all willy-nilly. UPDATE - Well, I don't know how I could be so off, but apparently Maurice thinks Steen has been too selfless.

This is going to sound nuts, but I'd wish he'd make some mistakes," Maurice said. "We've asked a lot of Alex in terms of changes to his game, and he is such a conscientious person, I think he's taken it too much to heart. He's not making any mistakes, because he's thinking so much. At the same time, he's not breaking a game open, like we saw at times last year.

"I'd like to see Alex try some different things. Then have him come to the bench, get yelled at, and go back and try them again. Have that confidence in his game to do that. I like the line he is on right now with [Matt] Stajan and O'Neill. I can see him getting some power-play time in the near future.
The puck was following Steen around the rink, and he kept making the right plays. I think he might have deserved the puck luck he was getting last night. But, as Pension Plan Puppets notes, Steen was creating his own luck with a great move at the blue line on Kaberle's goal.

RakingLeafs' good friend Damien notes that JFJ sat down with Steen yesterday before the game, and I'm guessing that had alittle more to do with his performance than my cries of glory hunting. But I don't think Cox watched the game last night, or else he just posted a canned story early this morning before it lost all four of its legs. Cox could learn a thing or two from Young, imo.

Eddie "No Alcohol Involved" Belfour will be between the pipes for the pesky Panthers tonight. I expect him to play a solid game.

And kudos to Paul Kukla, over at the most up-to-the-minute hockey blog in the known universe, for following up on the 'Free or Not' question surrounding the new NHL and Google partnership.


  • At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The line juggling by Maurice is a huge change from Pat Quinn's Rolling Lines Theory of Coaching. I had thought, during the first few games, that the line changing was in an attempt to figure out the lines for the season but it is starting to look to be as much a part of his system as the 2-1-2 forecheck and the box+1 defensive zone coverage (they don't use it consistently but every once in a while you're able to pick it out)

  • At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Also, I don't think that Cox watches most games.

    And I hope that JFJ sends Maurice a nice fruit basket or something when he gets an extension.

  • At 2:04 PM, Blogger Wardo said…

    Cox is one of the biggest sportswriters in the country. I'm not a fan of his, but it's ridiculous to suggest he'd write commentary on a game without having watched it.

    Quinn juggled lines a lot last year, moving Antropov, Steen, Poni, Stajan, to name a few, all around the lineup on a routine basis. Quinn was well-known for rolling his lines regardless of performance, but he tinkered with them often.

    His failings in the regard of line management were, 1.) ignoring line-matching, and 2.) often giving veteran players more time to prove themselves than rookie players.

  • At 2:17 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    I'm saying he isn't commenting on the game, which was Steen's best by far, and yet posted the 'Woe is Steen' story the following day. Thus the 'canned-story' comment.

    Quinn rarely if ever juggled lines within the game, and had many other faults beyond your list of two. I was a fan of Quinn's, but his time had come to go.

  • At 5:20 PM, Blogger Wardo said…

    Oh for sure, Quinn had other faults. I was just commenting on the line-juggling thing.

    Delving any deeper into what I didn't like about Quinn would take more space than should be used on a blog comment!

  • At 5:50 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Fair enough. And I think I misread your comment as critical of my post, rather than critical of PPP's comment, if that makes any sense. Sorry about that.


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