By The Meatriarchy
The Leafs barely made the league requirement for 8 regulars last night with Peca, Stajan, Steen Wellwood, Kilger, Antropov, Gill, Jeff O'Neil and Raycroft being all locks to play for the Leafs this year. The rest of the crew was basically the Toronto Marlies especially on defense where only Gill is guaranteed a spot on the roster.
And with Colaiacovo and Kronwall injured it gave guys like White, Bell and Harrison a chance to show there stuff against a Canadiens team that iced Ryder, Bonk, Samsanov, Koivu, Johnson, Higgins, Kovalev, Huet, Souray, and Rivet.
Yet with all that offensive firepower the rookie D held up rather well bolstered by some sparkling work by Raycroft (although at times he looked like he was fighting the puck to me).
Penalty trouble certainly cost the Leafs as two of the Hab's three goals were scored on the powerplay. At the same time the Habs were 2-11 with the man advantage so the Leafs weren't all bad.
The standout for the night was Alexander Suglobov who had a goal and an assist and generally looked faster than anyone else on the ice.
I have always been skeptical of a forward who at 25 still hasn't cracked an NHL line up Defensemen and Goalies take a while to develop but if you can score at the big league level you don't languish in the minors. And this is only exhibition so we don't know how this guy will play when the going gets tough.
Paul Maurice did have an interesting comment after the game however saying that Suglobov had come from the New Jersey system and spent the latter half of last year un-learning the trap. He figures that Suglobov is still adjusting to a more offensive style of play.
If that is true and this guy can play on a 2nd or 3rd line at this level the trade that sent Klee to Jersey might turn out to be a steal