Saturday, October 27, 2007

Defensive Back

The Leafs played a decent defensive game.

Wait, did I just say that?

Yeah, I know, it must have been a fluke right? Defensemen covering the front of the net, forwards coming back to cover the other teams offensive players in the Leafs' zone, wow, so thats what its like. Throw in a reverse fold in the third period (would that be an un-fold?) and the Leafs looked fantastic for 60 minuites. Well kinda.... there was that "Hey Sidney, do you like our goal crease, you should stay a while" goal....oh yeah, and those two brutal penalties that led to the second goal, but meh. I can live with that.

Jiri Tlustly? Welcome to the big times kid, stay a while, Tucks won't be back for a few weeks.
McCabe? Take all the time you need to heal, we got the blue line covered.
Woz? Do that again, you know that thing where you don't try to do too much and we forget your out there, yeah, thats how we like it.
The Tosk? You da man Chopper. You. Da. Man.

Tonight the Rangers, lets keep rollin' boys.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Thrash Unreal

Another early season 'must win' game for the Buds, another team they should win, another backup in the opposing twine.

Now I missed the last third period debacle against the Blackhawks, so I'm probably not as bitter as those that had to watch the descintigration of the Leafs in the third (why does that sound so framiliar?). But I am no means happy with the results.

Heres to The Tosk, shutting down Hossa and Kovalkuk.
Heres to Sundin and Antro with another multi point performance per.
Heres for the Leafs not driving me to alcoholism.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Know Thy Enemy

It's time to step up my 'blog game' as it were. Many other blogs, many much more popular / more entertaining / better written than mine have shticks. Running article themes or segments.
Now it is time for my own. I'm going to start small, a little 6 parter (well 7 if you count this filler / introduction) discussing the 6 major enemies of the Leaf fan.....6 Other teams fans. An in depth look at them, why they hate us, and why they are so very wrong.

Fan Bases we shall be exploring include the fans from the stables of (in no particular order) the Senators, the Canadians, the Bruins, the Sabers, the Canucks and a double header featuring both Flames and Oilers fans.

Know Thy Enemy, coming soon to a Die Hard blog near you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day In The Sun

The term 'Must win game' has come up way too much this year for the Leafs. I mean who has must win games so early in the season?
Tonight, the Buds play the Panthers, a team no one considers either a cup contender or even a playoff threat, but coming off a three game winning streak they have momentum. They also have their backup in net, with Vokun supposedly out with an injury.
Maurice has had two days to run the crap out of the defense and hopefully help them get their shit together.
With Pony returning tonight and Wellwood and Carlo on the horizon, help is coming, but will it be enough?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Three seconds left.

Own goal.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Into Belly Of The Beast

After suffering a defeat a the hands of the star-laden Penguins, the Leafs defense lies in ruin. The problems for Toronto at the back end seem to have flip-flopped from last season. Where in last year the defense was rather solid and the goal tending suspect. This year, The Tosk and even Andrew 'high glove' Rayzorcroft have been pretty impressive, but have been shelled and hung out to dry by a "I thought you had him" attitude not only by he who shall not be named, but even the better TO point men. And then there is the forwards....oh jeez, what the hell happened to the back check guys? Guys?

Tonight, the Bufaslug Slugors. Everyone says these guys lost a step without Brier or Drury in the line up, but I remember how they shredded the Buds in the pre-season. Buffalo is still a very dangerous team with a steady, adequate defense and excellent last line of defense in Miller, the Leafs are in tough tonight.

Tonight will call for a cohesiveness at the back end that we haven't seen from the Buds this season and a continued effort from whatever net minder gets the call, be it the spectacularly unconventional The Tosk (man he is fun to watch when he gets going) or the lazy almost lacksidasical style of Rayzorcroft (like Hal Gill, less you hear about him, the better). The Leafs offense is actually not too shabby this year, and I am not really worried about them putting enough pucks in the opposing net....just that there will be more than that entering their own.

This game will go a long way to show just what the Leafs can, or cannot do against real competition.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Tables Have Turned

You'll rue the day you crossed me Trabek...I mean Dublowhahoozit.

Apparently getting embarrassed by Carolina a couple nights ago put a bee in the bonnets of the Leafs (perhaps even pollinating said bonnets) resulting in last nights 8-1 drubbing of the Islandics.

Sundin got his record and was named 1st, 2nd and 3rd star, good on him. It was nice to see that he got two standing ovations, he deserved them both.

'Doobie' got his come-up-ands for eliminating the Leafs from last years playoffs with a savage blow to his save percentage and GAA.

It is a step in the right direction, and since I will be in Sarnia damaging my liver at a Sting game etc. over the weekend, I shall not be posting on the Pengu's game until I return.

Go Leafs Go.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Leafs V. Islanders. Making Amends

Last season, Leaf fans cringed when they heard their playoff dreams where dashed by a shootout poke check from a backup goaltender nicknamed 'Doobie'.
This year, off to a 1-2-1 start, fans are disgruntled, the media is screaming 'thy end is nigh' and the Sharks are circling, smelling blood and kicking us while we are down.
All in all, it is only October, only game 5, and another loss would not be the nail in the coffin, or even the greasy burger that clogs the artery that causes the heart attack that leads to the funeral.
But it would ease my mind a bit if they, you know, blew the Islanders off the Island (the tribe has spoken).
With some line shakeups, and Razorcroft in the twine, the Leafs will probably (and hopefully) look like a totally different team tonight.

Go Leafs Go

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Everyone take a deep breath.

Yes, the Leafs got owned 7-1. Yes they played like shit. Yes Brian McCabe took the hardest body check he's taken this year from the net.
But guess what? I am not worried. I am however a might irritated that the Leafs so easily gave up and withered away from the game after they went down 3-1, but this happens all the time. Not just to the Leafs, but everyone. Can you name one team that hasn't been blown out before? Once? Twice? Several times a season? Jesus people, its game 4 of 82, there is a little wiggle room for improvement.
Why were the Leafs so dead in a game that should have been so charged with emotion when Blake had just announced that he had cancer? A game that Sundin could become the highest scoring Leaf of all time? Well thats simple, they sucked. Does it mean they will suck for the rest of the year and that they should just pack their bags and dig out the golf clubs? Hell no, what the hell is wrong with you?

Toskala, poor little Vesa. He got his bell rung. He played some incredible hockey for the first period and most of the second. Until the floodgates opened and his team no longer seemed to give a damn. Saying the Tosk sucks after a game like last night is ludacris, the fact that he was able to give the Leafs a chance to come back for even a period shows just how good he is. Two goalies in all the NHL may have been able to keep that up all game.
I also can see where Maurice was coming from in not pulling The Tosk. Better to let him get used to the Boo-birds in a game that he knows he really didn't play that badly in and a game that has no real pressure, no real consequences (unless we miss the playoffs by one point again) than in say a game down the stretch when the Leafs are clawing for a playoff birth.

It was a blip (a frustrating blip, but a blip no less) and it means nothing in the long run.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Plan The Parade!

I keed I keed.
But thank god the Leafs won. After that first period (and the first 10 or so minutes of the third) even I was starting to wonder about my team. Other than fantastic play by the Stajan line and The Tosk the effort was borderline pathetic. There was no energy, the Power Play was painful to watch and the whining Habs fans started to hurt my ears.
Ok Habbies, yes Sundin smucking your boy in the face with the stick was a penalty (a four minute one at that) but a suspension? Are you kidding me? Do you want some cheese?
Maurice decided it was time for a change and re-shuffled the lines so that they looked a might framiliar.
Then the game got good. Pony became Johnny on the spot with 2 goals, both assisted by My Swedish Captian, clearing a two goal deficit and sending this one to OT. Then it ended on a goal by everyones favourite Ray Romano look alike, Thomas Kaberle, assisted yet again by Mats.

Things of note:
- The Tosk? Yeah, he can play, stop questioning it.
- Reffing was consistently terrible, for both teams.
- Higgins must have been taking diving lessons from Derek Roy.
- Power Play still needs a ton of work.
- The Penalty Kill still looks great.

That is all.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Leafs V. Habs, A Rivalry Revivalry

At the end of the season, right before my second year of April heartache I had a moment of pure joy.
The Leafs eliminated Les Habitants from the playoff race. Sure we didn't make it either, but I am a subscriber to the "If I'm going down, I'm taking you all with me" camp of thought. Especially when it applies to the Montreal Canadians.
Tonight, they seek a measure of revenge against my beloved Buds. The Habs are one of those teams that I am always nervous when the Leafs play them, like Boston, they always seem to find a way to be competitive and can eek out a win even when over matched.
Coming off back to back losses against the Devil's Ice Dance Team, the Leafs will fight for their first win of the 2007/2008 season. This is a feat they can easily accomplish if they do one thing. Play like they did against Ottawa.
Play like that, and hopefully a return to form for Darcy Tucksinburg and it will be a big W for the Blue and White.

Predictions - The Tosk with the start (and the finnish *rimshot*)
- Mats with two points
- Leafs 5, Habs 3

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Colour Commentary

Pierre McGuire should never, ever, ever, ever EVER, everevereverever EVAR be allowed to do colour commentary again. I can handle him in small doses but having him chime in with some inane, overtly loud comment every 5 seconds drives me batty, I was actually screaming at the TV for him to shut the eff bomb up. It took away so much from the game for me.

also "and he EXPLODED into him" seemed to be the phrase of the night for McGuire. Really Pierre? I thought only Deon got you off like that.

Also there was a hockey game. Good game over all. Nice and entertaining. Raycroft played goat but really wasn't that bad. Kaberle had a terrible first half and the Gill/Wozinkoniwiskokani pairing didn't do that badly at all, against the Twirly giggling weasel line. A few minor defensive burps against the wrong players and its an OT loss. I am excited about the potential of the Antro/Sundin/St. Blake line, they are going to be dangerous.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Walk The Line

So, now that I have finally been able to get some sleep, it is time for something representing a comprehensive post. Well, as comprehensive as I ever get anyways.

Seems Paul Z. Maurice has finally finished his post season line tinkering and come up with this.

Antropov / Sundin / St. Blake
Ponikarovsky / Stajan / Steen
Kilger / Pohl / Tucker
Devereaux / Newbury / Master Battaglia

Kaberle / Kubina
McCabe / White
Gill / Wozniewski

A The Tosk / Razercroft tandum.

Also, as per last year (and years prior) Belak as the swing man and resident heavy weight.

Now way back when, I had some line up predictions....Here I believe.
Taking into account the things I could not for see such as the Bell suspension the Not so Wellwood re-injuries and the Carlo syndrom I think I faired pretty well in the guess zone (like the twilight zone only cooler, and in colour).

Looking at the 'set' lineup, and I use that term Paris Hilton'y. I have two small qualms. Nothing major, I can see why they were done this way, but would I be a true fan if everything was perfect?

1-I would have liked to see Gamache (or as I call him Gam-chee) crack the line up, taking up Belak's spot. The Leafs would be better able to use his speed and tenacity on the PK or an injection of energy into ANY line that was slacking off and not producing. And as much as I like Belak, the need for a heavy weight on the bench is less and less relevent, unless of course Cam Jansen is on the other bench. Can we have Domi come back for that game?

2- Ian White V. Stralman. Mini Kaberle/Lidstrom, whatever. This kid impressed me in the pre-season. With some polishing and experience I have no doubt he will be a force of an offensive defenseman. All he needs is to adjust to the North American style of play (pardon me if that sounded a little too Bob Cole for you). Stralman will see some time on the big club this year, but not enough. Ian White was probably chosen for experience and chemistry purposes so I can't really fault the decision, it does make sense.
White had better watch his back though, Stralman will find a way.

Other than that, I am really not too worried about it. The Leafs look probably about as good as they could without three potentially pivotal players (say that three times fast) not starting the season. Whatever the media wants to hook on, be it The Tosk VS Raycroft, Bell's suspension, Paul Maurice's tie colour, I don't care. I am excited for this season to start, more so than I have ever been. I like the look of this team, I like the character, the depth, the potential and most of all the spirit that emanates from them.

Now before I come off as all hokey and 'THIS IS THE YEAR!!!1!' let me remind you that I don't think they'll win the cup, or the conference or whatever. I just love my team. Lets drop that puck.

Die Hard Blue and White Baby

Go Leafs Go

Monday, October 1, 2007

Insomniatic Post Season Post

I worked until 9:30AM this morning, It is now 2PM, I can't sleep. And so I blog.

Two more days until the real season. What of my beloved Leafs you ask? All in all I think they look good. Other than one horrendous game, The Tosk looked solid and I think he will only get better. St. Blake looked good, fast and mean out there, it will be nice to see what he does when the competition is actually real, he and Sundin seem to have a chemistry building, dare I dream of career years for both? I dare.

I dare.