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NNN - At Least This Will Be Easy

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Dear Leafs,

When I pay $100 for a ticket to see you play hockey I expect you to demonstrate a little bit of competence and effort.

"I guess we were a little bit tired after the road and there wasn't much gas left in the tank," Toskala said, paraphrasing the captain of the Exxon Valdez. "Anyhow, we weren't very good tonight. The fans, they're paying good money to come watch us and we didn't play very well. We can't control the fans, but we have to play better."

Richard Griffin, The Toronto Star

Yes, you can control the fans. When your first class flying asses put out the effort commensurate with the money that is shelled out to see game then the fans won't boo you or mock cheer when you stop dump-ins.

The fact is the future played on Monday in Atlanta. With their struggling starter ready for a night off, the Leafs called up the Marlies' 22-year-old Justin Pogge. Where does that leave Joseph? It has been 263 days since Joseph won, but he hangs on. His next win will be the 450th of his career. He wants it, but the question is will the classy veteran get his milestone before the Leafs bring Pogge up for good? And once Pogge is up, he will play. What then of Toskala? The debate is downplayed by the Leafs, but it won't stop fans from speculating.

Old  Yeller needs to be put down. Or inserted in every shootout until he picks up his 450th win so we can finally take him out back and tearfully blow him away.

That red light behind the Maple Leafs' net wasn't installed to be festive. But the way it kept flashing last night, it would have brightened any holiday scene.

Unfortunately it also illuminated a ho-ho-horrible night at the rink for the home side in what ended as a 8-2 laugher for Dallas.

Paul Hunter, The Toronto Star

Oh my God. They pay him for that?

"But there's no excuse to play that bad," said Hagman.

It's a tradition for players to give a cash bounty for the guy that scores the game winner against their old team. I don't know if Hagman said it in Finnish and Vesa screwed up the translation or if this was an ill-timed joke by the team but rather than make Dallas regret signing Sean Avery instead of Hagman they were probably just laughing that he has a couple more seasons of this crap ahead of him.

That was an impressive win for the Stars as they head into the holiday break. It’s hard to find a glitch anywhere in that game. They started strong and played a pretty solid 60 minute game. It was great to see James Neal get a hat trick in his return to the Toronto area. Trevor Daley, a Toronto native, had a very strong game as well. It was just a strong game all the way around.

Mark Stepneski, Andrew's Dallas Stars Page

Of course the local boy potted a hat trick. Of course. I even saw some hats get thrown. Sickening.

Ah, it was a good way to end the trip, kids, mainly because there were plenty of good outings to talk about over the next two days when there is no practice and nobody is going to be available. (No, I refuse to be one of those who calls people on Christmas day when it is absolutely unnecessary. Some things are sacred). I wish you all a happy, healthy Christmas and we'll see you again on Friday.

Tracey Myers, Five For Fighting

You know what? The Leafs better be getting a bag skate today. I would skate them until they throw up and make sure that they do not enjoy Christmas at all.