Raking Leafs

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


Sabres slice open Leafs for 4 in the Third

TOR @ BUF 10/15/07

What started out as a clinic in how to win a road game ended up with the Leafs' needing surgery to repair their collapsed defense. Holding the Sabres off the scoreboard for forty minutes should be applauded, and kudos should go to the entire team and even Raycroft who robbed Stafford at the lip of the crease.

But what happened in the third is a trait Maurice has yet to correct. And most worrying is that the highest paid players are to blame. McCabe and Kaberle lost their assignments on one goal. Kubina doesn't appear able to keep up and is contesting Woz's title of worst penalty taker. McCabe scored the game winner for Buffalo. And yet, McCabe, for all his faults shouldn't be the goat.

Mats Sundin led the team to surrender four goals in the third period. If the captain and our supposed number one line can't get the job done defensively, why should the rest of the team buy in? And the depressing part is that the rest of the team seems to be buying in, as Antropov and Stajan and Co. have been performing at a level that can and should be winning hockey games.

I'd rather Sundin have no points than be exploited in his own end. He made a great play in the first period when the Leafs bent but didn't break, quickly clearing a rebound past a pouncing Sabre. But where was the commitment to winning in the third?

Sorry to say it, but when you get performances like you did last night from Raycroft, Kilger, Antropov, Stajan, Pohl and don't win, it's going to be another season out of the playoffs.

The only positive from the last two games is that Antropov is starting to dominate every shift he is out there. Crosby didn't like his attentive play much. He was giving the Sabres fits last night. His PK is impressive. Maybe he'll make the All-Star game this year.

Of course, the mere mentioning of his progress has my Spidey sense tingling. Let this be the year he remains healthy and stays on a roll. Please.



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