Tuesday March 13, 2007 - Leafs 3 v. Lightning 2: Season Sweep
This game was closer than it had to be as the Leafs' shooters again made a subpar goalie look like a world beater. The game was one-way traffic for the first 50 minutes as the Leafs completely dominated the play save for Ian White's lovely deflection into his own net and Dan Boyle potting a shorty 20 seconds after clipping Mats in the face. Great call.
Thankfully, the Leafs were able to eventually take the lead courtesy of a personal favourite, Nik Antropov, who showed some good anticipation and hands in creating some space for himself down low before tucking a shot in at the far post.
Friday March 16, 2007 - Leafs 1 v. Capitals 5: I Want A Refund
Stupidly, I thought that a well-rested Leafs team might be able to handle a Hershey Bears team that had lost to the Bruins the previous night and in fact was on a 9 game win streak. Unfortunately, Olaf Kolzig was back in net and with the Leafs in the mood to make Johnson look great they were not going to get any favours playing against an actual world class goalie.
I compounded my error by purchasing the LeafsTV interactive feed for my computer. In a pinch it is actually worth it but that money would have bought me more happiness if they had been used for anything else. The worst part was that my buddy and I were conversing over MSN about how McCabe seems to have picked up his defensive play over the past few games and had dedicated himself to a simpler game. Literally 20 seconds later he tried to freaking pokecheck Alex Semin in front of the net. HIT HIM!
Saturday March 17, 2007 - Leafs 2 v. Canadiens 3 (SO): St. Patrick Returns
Maybe the Leafs' long-term plan is to screw the Habs over by making them think that Jaroslav Halak is a good goalie rather than a goalie that is benefitting from a Leafs team that has gone into another offensive funk. The Spirit of St. Patrick (no, Roy is not dead) was certainly in a giving mood for the Habs. I missed the Tucker-Bouillon fight but I heard it was a much fairer tilt than last time what with the Hab waiting for Tucker to join the fight before punching him in the face.
The Leafs' again dominated the Habs (that's 6 times out of 7 for those keeping count) and again lost in a shootout. Mats went to his patented move, top shelf, but Wellwood lost the handle on his deke, Perreault ran out of room, and Tucker took a bad shot. Unused after their previous success were O'Neill and Steen. Raycroft was looking good until Koivu scored with the Habs' third shot and Andrei Kostitsyn potted the winner.
The upcoming week sees the Leafs host the Devils and Sabres to bookend a trip to Buffalo. The Leafs will probably have to pick up three points at a minimum which means that the forwards cannot be happy chucking 30 shots at the net. They have to tap their inner-snipers and find a way to shot somewhere other than at the goalie's crest. Anywhere else. Ask McCabe how he misses the net entirely and adjust a bit.