Formidable Opponent

My pal sent me the following in an e-mail and I figured that it would make a nice guest piece since he has chosen to highlight some of the lowlights of last night's game with no regard to all of the, umm, highlights. Maybe it could be a recurring theme. Of course he does not know so it is a test of just how good of a friend he is because if he sucks he will not notice. Surprise!

Plus

Mats, Peca and Raycroft all played well. Raycroft can maybe be faulted for one of the goals but he had no chance on the two others.

Minus

  • McCabe did not show any improvement from last year. ie- still turning the puck over, missing defensive assignments. I know it's just one game, but at the salary we're paying him he can't be taking games off like last night. 
  • Defense in general was a little shaky (Belak and Wozniewski especially). This shouldn't be a problem going forward with Kubina, Kronwall and Bell returning. I'm still wondering why Maurice put Belak on defense given his troubles with Ottawa last year and the fact that Harrison was available to play. (Editor's Note: I watched the game with a good friend of Jay's and he was livid everytime Wozniewski or White made a mistake. It was pretty entertaining.)
  • Too many shots missed the net, and the shots that made it through were always low or into the crest. I seriously failed to see one shot that made it to the net that was over a foot above the ice. Obviously Gerber played pretty well but I think the Leafs made him look better by not going high. (Ed.'s Note: The Leafs had 19 shots blocked and 16 that missed the net in addition to their 34 that ALL hit Gerber's crest)
  • Lack of discipline. The Leafs cannot afford to give up 6 powerplays against the senators. 
  • Where was the crowd enthusiasm? I bet the decible level at the ACC never rose above 80 db's all night. (Ed.'s Note: It was almost embarrassing. The platinums were, predictably, empty in the first five minutes before and after each intermission. This will drive me insane during the three games that I will watch from the purples.)

All in all, I do not think the Leafs played too badly as a whole. The sens were just able to capitalize better on the Leafs' mistakes than the Leafs were to the sens'. I am looking for a much better effort out of the Leafs tonight but I am thinking that the sens will be firing all out as well.

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