Raking Leafs

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


Boo Yaa

TOR vs NYI 10/11/07

First of all, congrats to Mats.

White is no longer trade bait. He has shown the most initiative of all the blue liners so far this season, and is even becoming a target by other teams because of it. He's dangerous, folks. Other teams know it, and that is a stamp of approval that counts. Last year, he was targeted because teams thought they could exploit his dimunitive size with their forecheck. So far this year, he is being targeted because he is testing the defence or pinching to keep the play alive. Last night, I thought he took his foot of the gas a bit after he got clocked into a linesman, only to look foolish a second later after he made another great play. Keep it up, Whitey!

Simon Gamanche. I didn't get a chance to see him in the preseason, but if he played anything like he did last night his not making the team can only be explained as a motivational ploy. He's nimble, quick, aggressive, patient with the puck, tenacious, has a shot, and was nick named 'Animal' of Muppet fame by my special lady last night for his wild hair. If he keeps playing this way, 'Animal' might work on more than an appearance level.

How good was Stajan? Yeah, four points is nice, but he was winning battles all over the ice. Tucker looked alive. I don't know what his problem was, be he needs to realize he is considered a veteran leader, and playing like a wet sack of poop is unacceptable. Gamanche looked like he belonged. Hopefully he stays. He may be smaller than Poni, but there is no question Simon has far superior hands. Kilger, Belak and Newby were awesome. Probably because they didn't have a shift in their own end, but whatever. That is the kind of energy line this team needs. And how about Antro's line starting all three periods? Nice moves all around for Maurice. Shuffled the lines, managed egos and rewarded good play. Kudos.

Who's powerplay was that? It wasn't fantastic, but scoring off the rush with the extra man seemed to have entered the equation which was nice to see. There was movement of both the puck and players once they were set up in the zone. The refs were being extremely kind to the Leafs last night, so even the PP looked a little gassed at times.

Did someone switch on deke mode? Kaberle and Steen might actually win this team a game or two in the shoot out this year with those moves. I was shocked. No dilly-dallying. Just confident decisive moves at speed.

This is the type of game that a blind midget could've won for the Leafs in goal. Sure, Raycroft was aggressive on his angles, challenging shooters, but that is to be expected. Nothing glaringly horrible. Nothing spectacular. The goal that did get by was a terrific deflection. I initially thought it was another shot from the blue line past his glove hand, but I was unjustly harsh.

And why through the entire broadcast last night (I had the Fox NY feed) was there no mention of Berard's steroid issue from last year? Sean Hill wasn't the only doper discovery last year. How ironic, another Islander.

I'd like to see long the Leafs can sustain this level of effort and intensity before the next let down, as I think if they can keep it going for atleast six games it would bode very well for the season. If the let down happens before the return engagement in Pittsburgh, then I'll not only be pissed, but worried.

UPDATE - Go check Cox Bloc if Damien ever rubs you the wrong way. Great Stuff. Credit to PPP.



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