Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs 2, Islanders 0
Published by Toronto Mike on January 21, 2004 @ 08:02 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!It's a completely different perspective watching a game live in person as opposed to checking it out on the television. You can watch plays develop and anticipate maneuvers when you can see the entire ice surface at all times. Hockey is truly a wonderful game.

From where I was sitting, one line was providing all the offense. Mats Sundin, Gary Roberts and Mikael Renberg played an exceptional game, scoring the only two goals. Eddie Belfour stood tall when called upon to record his 70th career shutout.

Another thing I noticed from my seat at the ACC is the number of high sticks. A few guys dropped to the ice after taking a stick blade to the face. Six of the nine penalties called on this night were for high sticking and the worst of the bunch, inflicted upon Darcy Tucker, received no penalty at all. Tucker went ballistic. Should players be wearing visors? I believe so. Should penalties for high sticking be more severe? Definitely. What will it take for changes of this nature to be implemented? I'm afraid someone's going to have to lose an eye.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
25-12-8-3
61 points
2-0 Win vs. New York Islanders M. Sundin - 45
G. Roberts - 30
O. Nolan - 28
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Maple Leafs 0, Flyers 4
Published by Toronto Mike on January 17, 2004 @ 21:29 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!6-1, 7-1, 4-1 and 4-0. Those are the scores from the last four Maple Leafs - Flyers games. All four games were Philadelphia victories. The combined score of the four games is an embarrassing 21-3. That's horrible.

Tonights game was dreadful to watch. The offense didn't show up and the defense was pushed around the entire time. The way we're playing lately we can forget about finishing first overall in the conference, we're not going to win the division. Finishing behind Ottawa will ensure us no better than a fourth seed in the East and if both Philadelphia and New Jersey finish with more points, we'll be seeded fifth with a first round match-up against the lesser of the two. If the Leafs have to face Philly or New Jersey in the first round, there will most likely be no second round for the blue and white. Getting healthy is important but I still believe a couple of upgrades are required to reverse our fortunes. Our defense must get tougher. I'm sick of seeing opposing forwards out muscle our blueliners to score goals as Philadelphia did for their first two goals tonight. Enough is enough.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
24-12-8-3
59 points
4-0 Loss vs. Philadelphia Flyers M. Sundin - 44
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 28
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Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 4
Published by Toronto Mike on January 16, 2004 @ 21:49 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Facing the Philadelphia Flyers seems to bring out the worst in Eddie Belfour. He was shelled for seven goals on 22 shots back on November 2nd and tonight he didn't make it out of the first period. The Leafs won't have to wait long for revenge with Philly coming to town tomorrow night.

A friend of mine who's attending Saturday night's game at the ACC asked me for my prediction for this home-at-home series earlier today. I told him we'd split the series with the home team winning each game 3-1. I was pretty damn close. You may want to put a couple of bucks down on a Leaf victory tomorrow.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
24-11-8-3
59 points
4-1 Loss vs. Philadelphia Flyers M. Sundin - 44
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 28
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Maple Leafs 4, Flames 1
Published by Toronto Mike on January 14, 2004 @ 08:20 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!The Leafs looked great last night. Playing a good team, we dominated, winning every race to the puck and showing energy that was non-existent on Saturday night. Bryan McCabe scored another couple of goals and Nik Antropov added a goal and an assist in the Toronto victory.

For the first time in the history of the NHL, two players recorded their 1000th game in the same game. Gary Roberts and Tom Fitzgerald accomplished the feat last night. A quick note about Fitzergerald: prior to this season, I viewed him as one of those fourth line guys that are fairly interchangeable. He was decent, but nothing spectacular. I often felt others deserved his roster spot more. This season, I've been very impressed with his play. He is a special player and worthy of sporting the blue and white. I've been converted to a Fitzgerald fan.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
24-10-8-3
59 points
4-1 Win vs. Calgary Flames M. Sundin - 44
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 27
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Maple Leafs 0, Devils 1
Published by Toronto Mike on January 11, 2004 @ 09:20 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!The debut of Clarke Wilm wasn't enough last night as the Leafs were shut out by Martin Brodeur and the Devils. Eddie Belfour played well, but the offense was pretty much non existent.

Watching this game, it's my observation that the Leafs didn't want to win. There was no energy at all from the blue and white. We seemed completely uninspired. Where was the team from December that played like world-beaters? That team had better return before April, or it will be another tough summer for us Leaf fans.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
23-10-8-3
57 points
1-0 Loss vs. New Jersey Devils M. Sundin - 43
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 27
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Maple Leafs 1, Ottawa Senators 7
Published by Toronto Mike on January 9, 2004 @ 08:10 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!The less said about this stinker, the better. Seven minutes in the Leafs were down 5-0. The 7-1 final was rather flaterring for Toronto considering the way we played last night.

In all fairness, the following players didn't dress for the blue and white last night: Eddie Belfour, Mats Sundin, Alexander Mogilny, Owen Nolan, Tomas Kaberle, Robert Reichel & Wade Belak.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
23-9-8-3
57 points
7-1 Loss vs. Ottawa Senators M. Sundin - 43
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 27
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Maple Leafs 2, Predators 1
Published by Toronto Mike on January 7, 2004 @ 08:10 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!The Leafs won for the first time after trailing after two periods thanks to two Bryan McCabe goals in the third. Mats Sundin picked up an assist on both goals and Trevor Kidd had a pretty good game between the pipes.

Tomas Kaberle isn't one to throw his body around, so he picked an interesting time to deliver one of his best checks to date. The target (a mistake we presume) was Gary Roberts and Kaberle is out of the lineup with an injured shoulder as a result. Injuries are starting to pile up with Owen Nolan, Eddie Belfour and Alexander Mogilny still out with injuries. Perhaps we should sit Sundin and Roberts now as a precautionary measure?

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
23-8-8-3
57 points
2-1 Win vs. Nashville Predators M. Sundin - 43
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 27
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Maple Leafs 5, Penguins 0
Published by Toronto Mike on January 6, 2004 @ 09:38 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Playing the Mario Lemieux-less Pittsburgh Penguins is a lot like facing an AHL club. Your backup goaltender can record a shutout, Nathan Perrott can score a goal and Tie Domi can have a multiple point game. Nevertheless, it was a convincing victory with scoring coming from five different players. We'll take the points any way we can get them.

The Leafs are 17-0-3-1 when leading after two periods, something Team Canada could learn a thing or two about.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
22-8-8-3
55 points
5-0 Win vs. Pittsburgh Penguins M. Sundin - 41
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 26
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Maple Leafs 3, Sabres 3
Published by Toronto Mike on January 4, 2004 @ 12:14 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Trailing 3-1 in the third period, I half expected the Leafs to fold like a cheap suit. Then, wave after wave of Leaf forwards began crashing the Sabres net and a comeback appeared imminent. O captain! My captain! Mats Sundin scored to bring us within a goal of forcing overtime and Matt Stajan tipped a shot from unlikely offensive hero Ken Klee to bring us even.

Klee's point production this season is most unexpected. His previous high for points in a season was 20 in 1998 and again in 1999. Already this season he's amassed 23 points for the blue and white.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
21-8-8-3
51 points
3-3 Tie vs. Buffalo Sabres M. Sundin - 40
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 26
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Maple Leafs 2, Bruins 3
Published by Toronto Mike on January 2, 2004 @ 17:12 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!James was finally given a room in the pediatric wing of the hospital which meant we finally had a TV. With the game on TSN, I brought my Freeplay Ranger just in case we were without cable, because the Leafs were in Boston and James and I were ready for another Leafs win.

Unfortunately, the Bruins had other plans. I'm not sounding the alarm bells yes, but the blue and white haven't won since December 26th. Our lead over Ottawa in the North East Division is now a mere six points and the Sens have a couple of games in hand.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
21-8-7-3
50 points
3-2 Loss vs. Boston Bruins M. Sundin - 38
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 25
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