You knew that it was only a matter of time before the Leafs got a result that was deserving of their effort. Harry Neale always says that you lose a few games that you deserved to win on the way out of a slump. I don’t know that the leafs actually started the season in a slump but they have deserved better than 4 points in 4 games.
The biggest surprise last night was seeing Mikael Tellqvist in net. Not that it didn’t make sense to have the backup start on the second night of back-to-back games. I just cringed thinking of what the Flyers would do to this kid.
But when the dust had cleared there was Tellqvist skating out to accept the honour of first star for his gritty performance stoning the Flyers on 30 of 32 shots.
So who would have figured that Telly would have had a victory before Belfour this year?
And he may get the start in Atlanta on Friday what with the Leafs playing another back to back set as they face the Habs on Saturday.
I am not so worried as I was about this guy.
The Lindros machine keeps on chugging. Eric was a presence once again last night, he scored a very timely goal and once again was the leader of the team. I discounted the Lindros signing this summer believing that Allison and O’Neil were much more impactful additions. However 1.5 million for this guy is starting to look like a huge bargain. And I don’t think he is even close to game shape yet. I think he could drop another 5 –10 pounds! Seriously.
Allison on the other hand doesn’t look 100%. I am thinking that hip-pointer injury is not fully healed. That being said he played a great game last night and had two points.
Tucker was a threat during the entire affair an played his best hockey of the season.
And what can you say about Jeff O’Neil coming back from a shoulder injury to score a huge goal.
Wellwood chips in as well with his first NHL goal of his career and looked dangerous all night. There’s no way we can send this guy back to the AHL when Mats comes back.
Steen and Stajan – how big an endorsement is it of these guys that Quinn lets them play together on the penalty kill? And they are a short-handed threat to score continually.
Speaking of endorsements in the final minute of play with the Flyer goalie on the bench who is on the ice for the Leafs on defense?
Boy, Pat Quinn is loyal to a fault. But hey if you want this guy's confidence to come back I guess this is what you have to do. Berg was paired with Khavanov last night and is seemed to have an effect – on Khavanov that is. I believe he was on the ice for both Flyer goals.
Chad Kilger. Where did this guy come from. And who knew he was fast? I never thought that a Kilger-Lindros-Domi line would be considered a threat but they sure were all last night.
McCabe and Kaberle logged their usual marathon with McCabe chipping in an assist.
Missing in Action: Alexei Ponikarovsky and Mariusz Czerkawski. Mariusz had an excuse however – he was benched.
One thing that was disappointing last night was the amount of hooking and holding being done away from the puck. This is a little early for the refs to be putting the whistles away. I hope this is a blip not a trend.
Thrashers are next up on Friday and they should be plenty mad having been blanked by the Habs tonight.
The Marlies are playing the Blue Jackets farm team tonight (Syracuse Crunch) and are currently leading 4-2. I won’t have time to put a re-cap up tomorrow however.
And hey are the Sports Media starting to read this blog? Probably not but on Tuesday I posted a recap on the Sens-Leafs game that included this:
Ottawa fans: your team is built for the shootout. Problem is there is no shootout in the playoffs. And what's with letting a team who isn't supposed to make the playoffs and who is missing their best player (Sundin) and their best natural scorer (O'Neil) come into your home rink and steal a point?
My advice? Don't plan the parade route yet.
Then I notice that Don Brennan had this to say in the Ottawa Sun
A word of caution to all those picking the Senators to cruise their way to a Stanley Cup championship: The Leafs, a consensus pick not to make the playoffs, are still going to be a major stumbling block for your team. Last night, they were without their captain (Mats Sundin, who also missed most of the first meeting) and most dangerous sniper (Jeff O'Neill), and the Sens still couldn't put them away in regulation time? Just sayin', objects in the rear-view mirror are often closer than they appear.
Hey great minds think alike right?