Leafs Pluck Pens
Tavares. Tlusty. Whatever. Talk about a great game. The Leafs looked like a new team in their white sweaters. Antro, Boyd and Kilger did a great job on the twin wonders, as did Staal on Sundin. The Leafs stayed out of the penalty box for most of the night, exchange three penalties with the Pens, except until the end of the game where they tried to make me lose my mind. Toskala was strong, especially in comparison to MAF who seemed to be fighting the puck after Steen's goal.
Steen, Steen, you mean machine. He scored a knock down on a defender along the boards with his premptive shoulder. Playing with Antropov for a split second resulted in a goal. One Tlusty's first, I thought that fortunate bounce from Kubina to Steen wasn't a bad idea for a set play, which basically is a point shot with traffic but the shooter at the blue line and the defender blocking the shooting lane are eliminated from the equation and you can get a shot from the top of the circle. Something to look for, I hope.
What a wrister from Jiri Tlusty. Wow. I was giggling on the couch after that went in. And what made it even better was the team kept coming. The pedal was floored until the penalty parade. When the PK got caught out there for a long stretch, they didn't panic. White, Gill, Stajan and Steen collapsed a bit, didn't chase as closely and waited for their opportunity to clear the zone. Good job, boys! But Whitey, next time get it out the first time you get the chance.
Woz made a great play on the PK, shoving a ref in the head to get out of his way. I like that 'this is my zone' attitude. Strahlman's game is impressive, but it needs some fine tuning. I don't think he has adjusted to the speed of the forecheckers, and is forcing pucks into spaces it won't fit. But give him a chance to get up to speed and he should be stellar. Kubina had a big night on the scoresheet, but he still wasn't that impressive. At least he is trending in the right direction. Anyone miss McCabe? Thought so.
If the Leafs can maintain this style of play throughout this road stretch, I sure hope I hear 'Go Leafs Go' early and often when they return to the ACC. The ultra critical media jades us Leafs fans, I think. Lets be that 7th man again. I bet the response from the players would be amazing.
As for the Penguins, Roberts was jonesing for a chance to dance with Kilger. That would've been a great fight. Apart from a few flops looking for calls after rampaging for a shift, Roberts was pretty much invisible. Recchi too. Explain why he is the one constant with Crosby. He'd be much more effective in spurts.
my notes are at home.
I'll post these later
Labels: Game Report