Posted by The Meatriarchy
Where to begin with this one? At least it didn’t resemble anything like that stinking pile left on the ice Saturday night disguised as a hockey game.
This one featured skating from both sides and some pretty wide open and entertaining hockey. In fact it was a highly entertaining affair.
It also featured a number of brain cramps from the Leafs most notably Eddie Belfour wandering out to claim a puck in the new restricted area and then realizing where he was. This allowed the Bruins to score but Eddie wasn’t 100% to blame. At least two other Leafs stood by and allowed this to happen.
As fans we know that these guys are human and make mistakes, we know they aren’t going to play perfectly each time out however what we do want to see are players that get “plumb maddog mean” (to quote Clint Eastwood in Josie Wales) afterwards and elevate their game to a new level.
Belfour certainly did that last night and while he was directly responsible for two of the Bruins goals in regulation time he played like a man possessed in the final minutes of the game (when the Leafs were two men short) and into the overtime where he was the big reason the Bruins didn’t score on a long (four minute) powerplay. Actually he was the only reason they didn’t score.
Alexander Khavanov also made up for his brain cramp that caused another of the Bruin’s goals by scoring on the power play on a lovely feed from Kyle Wellwood. Who managed to get a point despite only playing for 6 minutes.
And Alexei Ponikarovsky of all people scored a shorthanded goal from Matt Stajan. In fact the Leafs sometimes looked just as dangerous shorthanded as they did at full strength.
You could say this game was a battle of the special teams. The Leafs went 2-4 on the powerplay; while the Bruins were 0-10. The Leafs penalty killers not only killed off all penalties but scored a short handed goal as well. The Bruins penalty killers didn’t look so good. And that newest of special teams – the shoot out participants sealed the extra point for the Buds. Once again Belfour figured huge turning away all the Bruins shooters while the Leafs only needed a goal from Lindros (who had an assist as well last night) to win the skills competition.
For the record I am still not a shootout fan – I watched it of course but it is more like an ordeal to be endured rather than an exciting end to a game. I would much prefer another five minutes of overtime.
Also how nice is it to look at the standings this morning and see the Leafs and Senators tied. Looking forward to extending your losing streak on Saturday Sens fans.
One more thing, McCabe’s goal last night ties him with Jagr for the scoring lead. How sweet it is!