Ron Wilson has his troops ready to execute the Leafs' Tank for Tavares game plan. They've seemingly already mastered the ability to play very well for 56 minutes helping themselves to develop all aspects of their game and their decision making process while still throwing away points in an attempt to get the top draft pick next summer. It's really brilliant.
Take tonight for example. The Leafs looked shell-shocked in the first period. They took some bad penalties due to their torpid movement, allowed 14 shots, took only 5 (?!) and fell behind 2-0. Looks like the team that all of the analysts have competing for 30th in the league right?
Then, Wilson worked his coaching magic and the team came out flying in the second, pressured the Red Wings into turnovers, and tied the game up. It kind of looked like there might have been a trade of teams, or at the very least roles, at the intermission. They held the Red Wings to four shots. Four! That's something Detroit does to other teams.
The third saw the Leafs fall behind again but they rallied on a nice goal by Grabovski who is looking determined to make the Habs regret tradng him. Unfortunately for us (or fortunately in a week?) the deer in the headlights Leafs returned and Antropov made one of the all-time worst plays that led to a goal. It didn't help that Toskala gave up a brutal rebound or that Ponikarovsky watch Johan Franzen (who has a debt to pay for that dirty hit on Blake) pot the winner. Of course, if Antro doesn't play hot potato with the puck things don't get that far.
- Ian White should play forward all of the time. It plays to his strengths (good passing, decent shot) while keeping him far away from the defensive zone.
- Jonas Frogren not only loves to hit but he's disciplined. I was impressed that he didn't retaliate when McCarthy went after him and it gave the Leafs a powerplay.
- Vesa Toskala will come around. No one is worried.
- Check out the 'A' on Mark Bell. Is that a sign of him having won a place in Ron Wilson's heart or just a mean trick?
- Alex Steen is going to have a big year. That was a wicked wrister that got the Leafs on the board.
- Carlo Colaiacovo needs to stay healthy. Please let us see what he can do in 82 games.
- MF37 noted that Stajan had another quiet game. For someone expected to be the captain he hasn't really made a mark on training camp yet. LD mentioned he might be injured but he seems too damn aloof. Someone should tell him that socks were shit-talking him.
Once again, thanks to everyone that came out for the game thread. It started out a bit slow but really picked up post-game!
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