Sunday, October 22, 2006

No, I Think I've Heard This One Before

The Leafs dropped their third game via shootout yesterday against the Rangers. The Leafs are one and three in that respect. The Leafs' shootout is pathetic this season, but that's hardly surprising, the Leafs' shootout was pathetic last year too.

It was the same usual suspects out there for the Leafs, Mats Sundin, Darcy Tucker and Alexei Ponikarovsky (which is a suspiciously similar trio to the one Coach Q always sent out). You can't question Mats Sundin's place, he's Toronto's best player and the man with the big C, he has to lead by example (his miss was tempered by the fact that his Blueshirt counterpart, Jaromir Jagr also missed). Darcy Tucker is questionable for shootouts. Sure he leads the team in goals, and he had two in the relevant game (which in a coach's mind means that player is "hot"), but Tucker doesn't score on breakaways. He scores by cleaning up the garbage. And Ponikabobsky? We love him, we do, but he should be ripping slapshots from the top of the circle, not dangling pucks in front of the goalie.

Granted, the Leafs don't have too much to work with when it comes to shootouts, no super finesse players (though Kyle Wellwood deserves a crack) who can turn a goalie inside out, twice, before the puck even leaves his stick.

The Leafs have lost three points on the season to the shootout. Last year, it was pointed out by the more observant media types that had the Leafs won just a couple more OT duels, they would have had hockey in May. Let's make sure that doesn't happen again.

In other news, the Detroit Tigers opened the World Series by playing possum, taking a 7-2 beating from St. Louis. Hah, those crazy Tigers, trying to infuse some drama into what was going to be another routine AL sweep, wasn't that thoughtful of them?

Tigermentum has made a brief pit stop, but it should be back on the road for game two. The Tigers win in five. Simple as that.

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