Raking Leafs

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


Habs given dose of goaltending

TOR @ MTL - F/O - Shots - Score - Event
Usually for the Habs, the story is goaltending and the powerplay. Not so Saturday night, or atleast not their own goaltending and powerplay. The Leafs' Toskala out played Huet by a wide margin, the latter surrending two questionable goals to Sundin and Stajan. As for speical teams, the Habs only managed to score a powerplay goal up two men. By contrast, the Leafs' managed to score a rare powerplay goal with their first opportunity, and once again were able to outplay Montreal at even strength.

Maurice is definitely leaning on his top 4 D and top 3 forward lines. I wouldn't take L4s lack of production as a bad sign. They need another two or three shifts a game to get a rhythm. As for the D, I'm not sure why Strahlman only played for five minutes. (Yes, I know Woz plays on the PK right now, which accounts for the difference. The question is to suggest Anton should be recieving more ice time) This is only a minute more than Belak. Woznewski was rookied once again, getting called for holding after some veteran positioning from a Hab forward. At least it wasn't a step on his stick trip, eh?

A couple of Leafs have been playing some great hockey lately, but don't get much attention, even here. Boyd Deveraux is the frickin' man. I wish more Leafs' would forecheck with his tenacity and agility. He's been very smart with this stick, lifting many a defenders' stick to create a quick turnover in the neutral zone. He rarely uses a free arm to muscle his opponent, but rather keeps two hands on and strongly switches sides altogether. He took a couple of healthy high hits on Saturday, and with his concussion history here's hoping he is fine.

Hal Gill is another unsung hero so far. The guy is playing huge. He hasn't been victimized by wing speed much, if at all. He's been pinching with great effect. He even scored a ripper of a goal. Saturday he was left alone in the slot after a turnover and looked a bit uncomfortable, and hopefully he had a good laugh about that after the game.

And how good does White look? He looks much more creative coming up his offwing. He's about to break out on a point streak. I hope.

And does anyone notice when Blake racked up eight shots? Not to be a party pooper, but I think maybe two of those shots were of decent quality. And Poni's two assists were the easiest points he's ever scored; cross ice pass that bounces off the boards that Kaberle fires on net, and on Mats's goal, he just happened to have touched the puck last before Sundin picked it up and did his thing.

UPDATE - I have to mention my little jig I performed after watching Stajan lug up ice looking gassed and blast home the winner. My fiancee hasn't seen my happy dance performed for such an extended duration.



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