Welcome To The Party
The Leafs so far this season have been like that group of friends that’s on its way to a really hyped party but for some reason got off at the wrong exit during a snow storm, but they got lucky and made it there with plenty of time still left in the night.
I mean I have no idea what Toskala was thinking getting off at that exit back in Washington and I’m more dumbfounded that they actually let him hold the wheel all the way to New York, good thing they booted him out of the van completely because there was no way he was going to get them through Colorado.
Well Leafs fans, it took them long enough, but the Leafs have their very first win of the season. Who do they have to thank? The Anaheim Ducks of course and yeah I guess Gustavsson too. Maybe even Hagman, but that’s pretty much it. Make no mistake, last night’s win was more of an Anaheim implosion rather than Toronto’s hockey skills. I mean if the Leafs think they now have a game plan on how to win hockey games, let’s hope it doesn’t include five powerplay goals, that’s right five, with two coming on the two-man advantage. The Leafs got the breaks in their favour last night and it worked out in the end, but they have much more work to do.
Let’s hope their game plan doesn’t include much more of leaving Gustavsson back there by himself to play goalie and defense either, because that’s not going to work most of the time. Mind you, the Ducks arguably have more offensive talent that the next two Leafs’ opponents. That’s not to take anything away from the roster in Dallas, with guys like Benn, Neal, Eriksson, Richards and even Morrow showing that they are a threat in the West. But guys like Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan are in a the upper echelon of talent in the league and they showed it last night putting up a combined 5 points in the Ducks’ 6-3 loss.
Don’t get me wrong, the Leafs did impress me last night. Gustvasson definitely impressed last night, showing that he can make the big momentum and game changing saves, which is something that has been missing in Toronto since the days of Curtis Joseph (circa 2002, not his previous run obviously). One play that really impressed me and stuck with me last night was when the Leafs were able to hold the puck away from the Ducks during the Ducks’ powerplay as there was a delayed penalty coming to the Ducks. You don’t usually see a team able to hold on for that long and they did, which was crucial because that eventually led to the two-man advantage, which the Leafs capitalized on.
They’ve got the monkey off their back now, but obviously 1-7-1 is still nothing to be proud of. They need to go into Dallas tomorrow night and play the same game they have these last two games and it could work out. It almost did in Vancouver and that was with MacDonald in net.
Enjoy the game tomorrow night!