Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Leafs 5 Bruins 4 (Shootout)

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!


  1. I had my short and sweet post all ready last night. We you don't get NHL goaltending you don't get NHL wins.

    That was until Poni scored the SH goal.

    I still worry about Belfour. The Leafs need to find a way to get him into a perma-angry state.

  2. I couldn't believe that the Leaf announcers were so clueless to not realize why Belfour didn't play the puck. They kept saying he lost it in his feet. Of all the new rules the one restricting goalies from playing the puck is the one I don't understand most. I just don't understand what benefit it provides.

    And I still agree with you on teh shootout. The announcers talked about hoe everyone was standing in anticipation but I can guarantee you that the excitement for the win would be 10 times more intense had the Leafs scored in regular overtime.

  3. The Leafs announcers are always terrible.

    For example: A Bruin player fell down (lost an edge) on his own blueline, and then Darcey Tucker tripped over him a split second later. The call from the Leaf's colour man:

    "And Darcey Tucker is hauled down!"


  4. More notably than Mccabe having 15 points is the fact that he is -1, he definately brings solid defense to Toronto