Raking Leafs

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



TOR vs OTT 10/03/07 - Stats - Score Sheet

Leaf Lines

Leaf Pairs


Started well, except for the minor bullshit eight seconds in, and an out of sync powerplay that couldn't move the puck and consequently gave up a shortie to some streaking comet. Bounced back with some scripted lobs for Blake to retrieve. Antro showed nice patience in the slot on goal #2. But they couldn't keep a lead. Regulars looked rusty, especially Kaberle and Kilger, but managed to finish the first tied at two.

The second period is where this game should've been decided. The Leafs won the physical battle, which was really the tactical battle by not allowing the Sens to skate circles around the Leafs, and Stajan scored the only goal after getting clocked earlier in the shift. The delay of game penalty was nice to see considering how often the Sens got away with that last year.

WARNING: Hit him and he will make you pay

In the third the Leafs wilted. All of the things they had done to be effective stopped happening and the Sens roared to life. With such a high octane team, the Leafs need to keep the enitre game in the trenches. Not just for fifty minutes.

Of course, there are pluses and minuses. The team showed spark and resolve to come back from down one, get a lead twice, remained disciplined, and generally took the Senators' off their game. Woz'n'Gill performed well. The PK was effective, using Boyd and Kilger and Steen and Stajan as forward pairings. Antro was out there too, and almost single-handedly killed off a man disadvantage clearing the zone twice on extra effort plays exploiting his reach. Steen was shooting the puck wherever he could. Stajan bounced back from getting plastered to score a crucial, at the time, goal. White showed good jump. Blake looks great. He even did his signature circle the zone and get a shot off routine.

The minuses include Kilger hot potatoing the puck everywhere. If it wasn't rolling off his blade when shooting, it wasn't settling down for him. He had a couple of games like this last year, so hopefully he got one of the duds out of his system early. Kaberle looked lackadaisical and disinterested. Game 1 excuses provided by me. But not for long. Tucker getting run over and then hobbling to the bench. That isn't what Tucker gets paid for. I'm glad others stepped up, but Tucker isn't effective when he isn't the one doing the intimidating. Poni gave the game away when he didn't switch to cover Heatley. That should not happen at the NHL level. Period. That is a rookie mistake that would get said rookie benched or even sent down for a while to remind him of the import of defensive coverage, especially against the opposition's top scoring line. Of course, the commentary was about how Heatley was able to find space, but a moron could've solved urban cramping given that kind of space. This is not to say Heatlet's overtime winner wasn't a thing of beauty and pain. (Is there a word for that combination?)

Raycroft, and it wasn't even his glove hand.

And most worrying, is that the team of 06-07 would outplay a team for the majority of the sixty minutes only to give it all back in a couple of shifts, which is what happened last night. The effort was great, but it wasn't consistent enough to maintain tactical advantage and preserve the win.

But enough nitpicking and fretting. Maurice threw together a couple of one shift lines that had potential in the third. Let's see if any of those surface again tonight. UPDATE - Maybe Maurice should reserve the line experimentation for when the team is losing to provide spark, rather than disrupting combinations that have produced a lead. Just a thought.



  • At 3:57 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    looked like Steen had some combat training over the summer. didn't seem afraid to make contact at all! love it.

  • At 11:01 PM, Blogger Holy Diver said…

    Vote for Andrew "The Woz'Wozniewski when 2008 allstar game voting begins

  • At 11:28 AM, Blogger Laura said…

    Down with "The Woz"


Post a Comment

<< Home