Raking Leafs

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


I can't think of a catchy title...but they won

TOR vs PHI 04/03/07 - Shift Chart - TOI

I was beginning to believe this team was figuring out how to win a game with a score of 2-1. After Raycroft allowed a weak goal on the rush, the Leafs responded with two even strength goals from long overdue Ian White and Hal 'The Thrill' Gill, which resulted directly from the game plan of working the Philly D down low, getting traffic in front of Biron and firing pucks from the point. However unlikely, or my aptly put unsexy, the names on the score sheet, Toronto executed a safe game plan for the most part.

Then Bryan McCabe made a snap decision, retreating into the zone and swatting a puck that didn't exit the zone. That kind of hap hazard flow jarring puck movement is a coin flip, and McCabe landed on his head. Again.

Then Kaberle took over. Tomas repeatedly rushed the puck, pursued the forecheck, almost too mch so. Even when Philly 'mistakenly' took Coburn off the ice after an icing charge, Kaberle was yelling about the bullshit time wasting advantage the visiting team was enjoying. Way to go Tomas.

On this topic, I think the league should make an adjustment to enforcing the rule of changing personnel after an icing. If a team attempts to change a player after icing, lining up at the ensuing face-off with the improper skaters, that team should be given a minor penalty for delay of game. As it stands now, a team changing players after an icing and lining up for the face-off actually benefits from the officials enforcing the rules, giving the skaters that iced the puck a bit more time to recover. This is not the intent of the rule, and it is smart to exploit this lack of repercussion. However, just because a rule is flawed should not mean the flaw must remain.

Good thing this Leafs' squad finally figured out how to take home ice advantage and use it. Over time + powerplay = game winner.

Speaking of the powerplay, I was beginning to get really aggravated watching Sundin and Kaberle and Wellwood and McCabe throw the biscuit around with precision only to see Tucker sitting off in the corner doing jack and shit. It was even more glaring when Antro Poni and Yanic came out on the same powerplay and produced a much more effective attack. Sundin was flanked by Antro and Poni later in the game. Good move, but don't punish Wellwood for Tucker's ineffectiveness. I'd say try Antro and Wellwood with Sundin.

And Healy made a good point during the telecast last night. Antro needs to stand his ground when screening the goalie. Moving out of the way when the puck is about to be put on net basically makes all the sight blocking previously accomplished useless. Something to work on Antro...er, I mean Nikkie(sp?)

I'm not sure what the deal is with Tucker. I asked somebody here at the office about it, hoping to find wisdom from an opinion from afar, and he said Tucker is trying to do too much. After watching Darcy flub that feed near the right faceoff dot, I think he might be right. Darcy, just an fyi, but you already signed the contract. Now, don't do what Kubina did at the start of the season and try to earn your annual salary every game. Skate. Hit. Simplify. Because you look mad slow right now. So slow, I'm thinking JFJ should've traded your ass for Avery. And that hurts to say, but it is true.

Sundin will be fine. Besides, the whole "paid to score" choir are full of it. I'd like to see him bulge the twine more often, but if scoring 15 points in 16 games is a horrible slump, I'll take it. I still want that backhand wrap around attempt off the far post against Atlanta back.

So three and a half down, two to go. Doesn't have the same ring to it once you introduce half games, but you get the idea. Since beating the Hurricanes last Tuesday night, the Leafs have lost in OT to Atlanta, beat the Penguins in OT, lost miserably to the Rangers and scraped by Philadelphia in OT. That is 2.5 games worth of points out of a possible four games worth. The point system sucks, and needs to be addressed.

UPDATE - I went over to SISU to see if he had anything up pimping Koivu's miracle marker last night. But I found PIMP stats instead. I'm not sure I'd call what the Habs are doing this year "special."

Also, Spector notes that Nikita Alexeev's days are numbered in the windy city. No, not Ottawa. Personally, I'd like to see Poni and Antro working with 6'6", 227lbs Nikita. That is alot of hockey player on one line, and from what I can remember of him playing with the Bolts, the guy can skate.



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