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[Recap] Leafs 4 at Sabres 1: Revenge

It's nice to know that the Leafs have started to win in front of their dedicated fans. While they have continued to alternate between competent and brutal performances at home when the Leafs take the road in front of their travelling band of support the Leafs have been almost perfect. They ran their record to 7-0-1 in their last 8 home games. The blue and white half of the crowd at the HSBC saw a Leafs team fight through some questionable refereeing to emerge with a rare win over the Sabres.

Just a few days ago I mocked sens fans for complaining about McCreary's work in their past few games. I just didn't realize the extent of his bias. It's not just the senators that he (rightly) hates but apparently both Ontario teams. How else can you explain how he bought Derek Roy's dive to give the Sabres the powerplay that led to their only goal? Or the 2:56 that the Leafs spent shorthanded? Thankfully the penalty killers raised their game and only allowed 1 goal on 8 powerplays including a massive stretch in the second period when penalty after chintzy penalty was called against the Leafs.

Matt Stajan stood the tallest among the forwards. He has earned a bit of a reputation in some circles for being heartless for his tendency to peel away rather than cut into the net when he rushes down the wing. That move can be chalked up to a lack of belief in his offensive skills but last night he showed that it had nothing to do with a lack of heart. He made 3 huge shot blocks in quick succession including one that stopped a sure goal and his effort on the penalty kill showed glimpses of the potential that he continues to untap.

A loss last night would have surely closed the door on the Leafs' faint playoff hopes as the Flyers beat the Rangers and the useless Thrashers (I hope that they fold) coughed up a 3-1 lead in a gutless showing against the Capitals. Tonight it's the latest installment of the Battle of Ontario and the Leafs will have to find a way to once again reverse their poor record in the second half of back-to-back games.