I actually think that the Leafs could finally make the playoff!
Yes I said it, it seems like on an odd or sometimes even day they come thru in some fashion. I my mind thou there isn’t any reason to spill time on pondering if whether they could escape first round or even (god is laughing) make it further.
So do I have any kind of claim for this kind of thesis?
I did not see that many games, just highlights and read a lot of writings about it but to me there have been some games that actually would make up some substance to such a remark.rnrnOne game that was close to mind was the 4-4 bouting with the Pens that was later lost in overtime. Overtime to me does not spell so much on how the standards are set for a team in a particular moment.
b]Last year such a showing would more or less have been impossible. The game standing at 3-1 to the Pens would have ended with something like 6-2 and Reimer being pulled and Gustavsson letting in the last two goals, one on a Malkin wrist shot halfway thru the third and later on a Pascal Dupuis happy go lucky shot driving thru to the net.rnThis year’s version of that game did actually stay to being called a game and not having the NHL.com writers come up with a witty article header saying “From Pen-itentiary the Leaf can’s escape”.
This year’s version of Leaf does have some kind of sting, they do bite back and they can regroup. The defenses are not a wandering group of “who-ahh’s” when coming under fire and the penalty kill… KiLL Penalties, go figure.rnI do like the adding of JVR. Luke Schenn hasn’t been any major loss, as the defense again seems to have a rotation going on that kind of works. He would have taken up time and responsibility he did not cope with as seen last year.
Randy Carlyle has made a difference, much more that I thought. He has gained my respect. I did not like his end-time with the Ducks, but I guess they (the team) and him self were awfully tired of each other when he left. I am a bit surprised that BB King came into that dressing room doing what he has been doing after the Caps-Lock. That thing in way does point a couple of fingers across the continent as to whether Ovi and those young and a bit older guys at Verizon Center are a bit of a spoilt brat-a-licuous gang after the multi year contracts.
The other game I like to use as my empirical evidence as to prove that Leafs have taken a step forward is the away game to the Flyers coming in after loosing some. All thou the Flyers have a hefty mountain to climb and does not seem to get it going, if it would have been last year that game would have Flyers to loose. Now the Leaf did go there and win, cleanly as if they know how to run the game plan until the end. No spooky mishaps in the end period, no go all out on attack and receive an offensive penalty with 4.42 left only for the others to score and then loose a game that was in the bag in overtime. NO, the Leaf can win, and they can also loose like normal.
With loosing like normal I mean that when your favorite team loses you can accept it. The other team was just better, maybe a fluky goal as in all sports where the difference that day or a rookie did not play it smart. Not like last year where Dion the Captain makes a hit that does not have any purpose or could be justified as out right huge. Dion the Captain in my eyes last year did that sloppy mental play and got out position only for the others to drop the puck in the round-edges and make a quick pass to the third man in on the net to cap the game. Oh by the way, Dion the Captain as not as fast of a player did not have time to get back in front of the net… where he should have been.
This year’s version of the Blue- and White-collar gang has added some mental toughness, and lost the anxiety goon mentality that Wilson wanted to instill. I am all for big hits and pressure deep, but not with the lost marking and leaving your not so good of a goaltender hang out to dry.
The Leafs are for the playoff and so be it!
I hope we don’t have to face the Bruins before the president trophy series thou