Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Lead Even The Leafs Couldn't Blow

I was starting to wonder if it actually existed, if there was a lead out there that even the Leafs could hold on to. Two goals has proven too shaky for them, but four? Not even these guys could screw up that bad. Pittsburgh, the patsies who absorbed Toronto's goals this time cut the lead to three goals before the game was out, in an eventual 5-2 loss.

The Leafs looked good. Toskala looked good. Antropov looked good. Steen looked good. Tlusty looked good. No third period self destructions this time. Three straight periods of solid hockey.

The Leafs were playing with a different looking roster, though involuntarily. Tucker and McCabe sat out with injuries, and was this a case of addition by subtraction? Tucker has been a non-factor so far and for McCabe, we don't really need go over that again. Their injuries opened up room for two rookies, two promising rookies, which is something we as Toronto fans have been conditioned to not expect. Anton Stralman and Jiri Tlusty. Tlusty had the big game no one really dared expect from him. Coach Maurice was saying they didn't want to put the world on his shoulders, though too late for that, he's wearing blue and white already right? Tlusty (doesn't rhyme with lusty) scored twice in his first career game, the first a deflection off his derrière - the worst way ever to score your first goal? He made up for it a minute later rushing in on Fleury and snapping the puck top corner far side.

These Leafs are a funny team to gauge eleven games in. Their record is 4-4-3, pure mediocrity right there. They also lead the league in both goals scored and goals allowed which means if these guys could just clamp down defensively and get one of their goaltenders to play consistently, they might have a shot at something. Next game is against the Rangers, one of the few teams who have started this season more disappointingly than Toronto. No reason the Leafs can't win that one.


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