Generally the fellows manning the television cameras on Leafs' broadcasts have an unhealthy obsession with showing a scowling JFJ. Unfortunately, for comedy's sake, all he ever does is scowl. However, lately the television cameras have started to focus on Maurice after any of a series of Leaf mess-ups from lazy defending that leads to goals to last night's inability to gain the zone on a 5 on 3 powerplay. That's how viewers of LeafsTV managed to see Maurice once again perfectly summing up the evening. The announcers tried to play it off as him saying 'unbelievable' but I have never seen anyone's front teeth dig into their lower lip while trying to pronounce the letter b.
Anyway, I digress. The way I see it, last night was an acceptable sacrifice to Anaheim for beating the senators in the Stanley Cup Final last year. The team helped the Ducks continue to gel after Niedermayer's return and hopefully the comprehensive victory helped to convince Teemu Selanne to return so that they can again keep the senators from the Cup.
This was the last time that the Leafs had been to Anaheim since 2003 and hopefully there aren't too many more visits in the future. Mostly because games that start at 10pm are inconvenient. And because it made the Leafs look like an even bigger shambles. At this point, even the guy that sharpens the team's skates (sorry Brian Papineau) because the first two goals came when defencemen fell with no one around them. The second wasn't helped when Jason Blake saw the play unfold and made no real effort to get back to cover Hal Gill.
Vesa Toskala made his return but was about as sharp as Gill and Kubina's skate blades. Not that the team helped him out. He made a couple of nice glove saves but he'll want Perry's goal back. Indicative of a season in which the Leafs have given up 13 goals in the last minute of a period as soon as Gill fell I looked at the clock in the hopes that time would run out before the Ducks scored.
The only highlight of the night came when Wade Belak, who tries hard but isn't actually a great fighter, beat George Parros quite handily. I think for being owned like that Parros should have to shave his porn 'stache.
The other revelation of the night was that Bertuzzi is still an idiot and Corey Perry is a liar. In the second period Perry broke into the Leafs' zone with Kubina skating to cut him off. Perry tried to drag the puck around Kubina and cut behind him and he hit Kubina's skate and when flying face-first into the ice. Kubina didn't stick out his leg or attempt to trip Perry and certainly didn't catch his knee but there was Perry yelling at the ref about a knee-on-knee hit after idiot Bertuzzi, having learned nothing from his past, tried to jump Kubina for nothing.
O'Donnell was the one that eventually surprised Kubina when he jumped him from behind but seeing a player have to defend himself after an innocuous play that was exaggerated by a lie is only slightly more ridiculous than having to do so after a clean hit. No wonder the Ducks are the most penalized team in the NHL if they can't take a hit.
Anyway, enough with the gloom and doom. There is still hope for Leaf fans - The 2008 NHL Entry Draft:
Under the lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points had the chance to win the first overall selection; no team could move up more than four spots and no team could move backward more than one.
MF37 just read Gare Joyce's book about the 2007 Draft and has a review as well as a look at the Leafs' past first round choices. Fans would do well to read both in the coming months as the Leafs battle for the # 1 spot.