Red Wings at Leafs: 7:00 ET CBC-HD, NHLN-HD (US)
It's Saturday morning and I had the most beautiful
drunken hallucination dream. I dreamed that the Leafs came out flat but then came back and dominated the Hurricanes en route to a 3-2 win on the back of Jonas Gustavsson and strong play from Jason Blake and Phil Kessel.
Last night Jason Blake came with a strong forecheck and relentlessly pestered the Hurricanes. I genuinely believe that he hates Paul Maurice more than we'll ever know. Phil Kessel also came flying back into his defensive end twice to break up odd man rushes. He used his laser feet to come back and break up a play.
I'm going to refer to when the Patriots signed Randy Moss. Here's what Oakland's Tom Walsh said about him:
"Randy Moss is a player whose skills are diminishing, and he's in denial of those eroding skills...Randy was a great receiver, but he lacked the work ethic and the desire to cultivate any skills that would compensate for what he was losing physically later in his career."
Two years later and Randy Moss is probably a first ballot Hall of Famer, a guy who captains New England's offensive team at practice and stays after workouts to help rookies learn the playbook, it other words what everyone said about him was dead fucking wrong.
I've only seen two games out of Kessel and it's pretty obvious his shot isn't 100% but his legs are almost there and Ron Wilson has him backchecking like missing an assignment would cause the Mayan Apocalypse. So much for a lazy floater.On the Detroit front, take your Os-bad jokes and save them for later this season. Since getting yanked in Vancouver on October 27th Osgood has played three games and allowed two goals on 84 shots (0.976). Two of those games were against San Jose and Boston. Gulp. Better hope our offense stops praying for lucky bounces or we're in for a long night when Datsyuk and Zetterberg get rolling.
No news on starting goalies this early in the morning. We'll be running the usual skeleton crew on a Saturday afternoon around the blog so post lineup news in the comments and get people to rec them up.
Update: Lines courtesy of Jonas Siegel
Blake Mitchell Kessel
Ponikarovsky Grabovski Kulemin
Hagman Stajan Stempniak
Primeau Wallin Orr
Don't forget your SPG picks but most importantly: go Leafs go! Keep the point streak alive!