Raking Leafs

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

10/07/2007

1-1-1

TOR vs MTL 10/06/2007

Leafs Lines
Blake-Sundin-Antro
Poni-Stajan-Steen
Kilger-Pohl-Tucker
Bates-Newby-Boyd

Leafs Pairs
Kaberle-Kubina
McCabe-White
Gill-Woz

Toskala

The story of the game, apart from some questionable refereeing, had to be Poni's immediate impact once skating with Sundin and Antro. But since you'll have read about that by now, I'm looking at another under reported trend. No, not McCabe skating with White, or Kaberle's best friend being Danny Markov. But Gill and Woz skating with Sundin's line. Kaberle and Kubina and McCabe and White are supporting lines 2-4, while the big pair back up Sundin & Co.

This is a paragdigm shift if there ever was one, and one that might kill Kaberle's awesome fantasy league value. Gone are the assists from feeding a streaking Sundin who finds a winger who scores. Those gimme assists will fall to Woz'n'Gill. I suspect this experiment is born from seeing success around the league by teams that don't deploy L1 with offensive minded defensive pairings. Think Malik and Rosival always skating with Jagr, Straka and Nylander last season.

I like it for a couple reasons. First, it provides the best opportunity to clear the D zone against the opposition's top line, if they are matched L1-L1. It also spreads the wealth. The Maple Leafs' strength is offense from the blue line. Utilizing the 2 offensive minded pairings with the less talented forward lines puts eggs in as many baskets as possible.

This may be a short lived test, because if the big lugs can't find the forwards consistently with a pass the test will be a failure. But so far, so good. Apart from the three minors Woz took.

Game notes - Steen made a great reception from McCabe for his initial shot. He collected the rebound, found White, who walked in and blasted top shelf. Maurice needs some collar stays. First Saturday game of the year, and his collar is curling like a quarter pipe. Ron MacClean's sign off from Coach's Corner had me rolling. "A little something for all who stick'er out, from the guy who has to stick'er in," immediately followed by a puzzled expression of disbelief in what he had just read aloud.

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3 Comments:

  • At 8:35 AM, Blogger JP McGovern said…

    I like the idea of 'spreading the wealth' for the Leafs. It would seem to maximize what they have.

    If you try to spread your forwards across four lines, it can hurt, but when pairing front and back, I think it can be more productive.

    Sorry, for no Rangers recap. Not only did they lose to the hated Sens (badly), but I didn't get to see most of it. In-Law duty called.

     
  • At 9:54 AM, Blogger ninja said…

    No worries. Can you record Center Ice On Line to your hard drive?

     
  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger JP McGovern said…

    No. At least, if you can, I'm not smart enough to figure out how to.

    Can anyone out there in Smartypants Land help me? I often find myself looking for the "rewind" button while watching the NHL feeds over the interweb.

     

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