One of the great things about having the NHL Center Ice package is that you never have to sit through a commercial or an intermission again.
Last night I flipped back and forth between the Leaf game, Sens-Rangers, and the World Junior game featuring Canada vs Finland.
The downside is that you never get a real feel for the flow of either game since you tend to miss chunks of each one.
Like the Sens going from a 2-1 deficit to 4-2 in the blink of an eye.
But most importantly the Leafs came away with two points to keep pace with their division rivals - although being 12 points down it will take a serious funk by the Sens for them to concede the leadership of the division and then there's Buffalo. Geez who would have predicted that team would have been so hot this year?
Not me. But I did feel that the Canadiens were overrated and they have been slowly falling to earth. The Leafs passed them last night and now sit in 6th in the conference. The lead is a measly one point but I expect the Canadiens not to make the playoffs this year so we can only hope that the lead will expand over the course of the next few months.
Atlanta has suddenly become a team to reckon with as well and they have been making some noise lately. Expect them to be knocking on the door to the 8th spot soon. Although my bet was that they don't make the playoffs this year either.
The bad news from last nights tilt is that Jason Allison will be out for some time after breaking a finger and having corrective surgery last night. Also Darcy Tucker could face suspension after a fight he had with Cam Janssen where he decided it would be prudent to beat the fellow about the head with his own helmet. Classy.
Aside from those two the Leafs also have the following on sick parade: Eric Lindros (wrist), Nik Antropov (knee), and Alex Steen (thumb).
Everyone said Lindros and Allison would be injury prone, but no one thought it would be because of wrist and hand injuries. The club has called up John Pohl from the Marlies but they will definitely be undermanned in tonights tilt against the Penguins.
In the meantime Leaf goaltending prospect Justin Pogge looked awfully good last night in a 5-1 drubbing of the Finnish team. Leaf prospect Tukka Rask on the other hand - not so good.
Although Toronto Star reporter Ken Campbell feels he was basically abandoned by his team (and manages to work in a jab at the Leafs):
Even though Rask allowed five goals on 31 shots, he received even less support than most Leaf goalies do on any given night and was under siege from the start of the game.
Well then I guess he will fit right in here, eh Ken?
BTW did anyone think that Pogge's pads looked huge? Maybe it was just the fact that they are bright blazing white and it creates an optical illusion. Hopefully there will be no measurements at inopportune times during the tournament. I am assuming that the regulations on goaltending equipment are the same as the NHL?