Raking Leafs

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

12/07/2007

Tip Tip (Tip) Hooray!

TOR @ NYR - F/O - TOI - Event - Game


Want to know why a picture of the 6th goal in a 6-2 win scored in the waning moments of the third period is the lead to this here post? Because of the way it was scored, and how little it meant to the particular game and how important it may be to the remaining fifty three.

I refuse to get too excited about this winning streak. The team is still giving up too many good scoring chances, though there does seem to be a sense of cool-headedness creeping into their play. Of course, Belak shouldn't have fought Orr while the Rangers were down and out, but I'm sure he heard about that after the first. The neutral zone isn't such a hazard now that the entire team isn't trying to race past the other team stacked at the blue line. Some how the puck continues to go in despite a dearth of chances. The late stages during the game against Nashville shows how this team still doesn't have a killer shut-em-down mentality. But that game also showed what Toskala can bring, so I think its safe to say Toskala isn't a bust, even if the la-la-land us fans call reality at times wishes we still had Rask and a few more picks. I'm choosing to call it a bad buy on a good guy. Anyhow, if they can maintain their recent composed play Saturday at home, then I think they might've turned the corner. But don't hold your breath. Beating Julien's system with a knock off of the same thing won't be easy.

But I can't be all doom and gloom after Antro scores a hat trick and Happy Gill once again shuts down Jagr. I think the refs were letting alot of clutching and hooking go last night, of which the Leafs were often guilty. The powerplay clicked, but still looks like shit. The MSG broadcast team made a very salient observation when comparing the Rangers' PP to the Leafs attempt at the same. While the Leafs spreadout and pass around the perimeter, the Rangers collapse and attack the net, including blueliners. The Leafs need to do more of that synchronized collapsing to the net and get some ugly PP scores.

And I hate to say it, but Wellwood needs to hit somebody at least once a game, or he should sit. It doesn't have to be a thunderous check or anything, but he has to let the other team know he won't avoid contact whenever possible. He needs to initiate it just so they can't assume he won't. Which he usually will, but that isn't the point.

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6 Comments:

  • At 11:58 AM, Blogger JP McGovern said…

    Twas a crap game by the Rangers, but give the Leafs some credit, they were the better team (by far).

    I owe you one (1) beer.

     
  • At 1:04 PM, Blogger PPP said…

    If you and Bitter keep abandoning me during the bad times I won't be able to swing out of the depressions as easily.

    You mean this 4 game winning streak doesn't mean that this team is perfect now?

    Weird. And yes, imagine if JFJ had done what most fans wanted and expected and had gone with Aubin and Telly all of last year and kept Rask and then traded for Toskala and Bell this year? Would I have effigies of JFJ ready? Probably. Would one of them include buttons I stole from his night table to complete the voodoo requirements? Probably not.

     
  • At 1:35 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    PPP, I'm always here for you. Don't feel abandoned. Besides, my silence is strangely intended to punish the team. Sorry.

     
  • At 2:57 PM, Blogger Greener said…

    I'm refusing to even speak of it, in a "the pitcher has a no-hitter going" kind of way.

     
  • At 4:37 PM, Blogger PPP said…

    We'll see how the team does going forward.

    The sad thing is that the better that Toskala plays the worse the Leafs' forwards will play.

    Ninja, thanks but your silence only hurts the fans! Plus more people need to keep talking about JFJ getting fired or the media will forget that he needs to go.

     
  • At 9:47 AM, Blogger Pseudonym said…

    I agree you can't get too excited about this streak. There is a thin line between winning and losing. For the Leafs it has been around goaltending, defensive coverage and injuries. Too a certain extent JFJ was correct in attributing to some of their bad play to injuries. They have no organizational delpth.

    It's not that Tucker, Wellwood and Bell have played well or can carry the team. Rather, it's the players they have pushed out of the lineup that makes the difference. The minor leaguers or marginal players who fill in have not played very well. So by taking Battaglia, Newbury, Stahlman, and Gamache out of the lineup and reducing the ice time of Wozniewski, Pohl and Kilger, you improve your team. At one point, Chad Kilger was the number two centre.

     

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