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Maple Leafs 2 Rangers 1 (so): New Coach, Same Terrible Team

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I think that tonight's game gave Tortorella the full measure of the job facing him. Forget about the terrible contracts because apparently the biggest problem is that the Rangers are a bunch of out of shape slobs. Relatively speaking of course. That's a problem that can't be fixed before the end of the year. It is looking more and more like the Rangers are going to slip out of the playoffs which is a shame because it means that it will save the Habs or Penguins.

I might have missed the first two periods because I was watching Liverpool v. Real Madrid in fast forward. My favourite Israeli? Jesus. But after that it's Yossi Benayoun. Anyway, from the highlights it's clear that Jason Blake is still determined to prove that a. Mats Sundin can't turn iron to gold but Dominic Moore can and b. that John Ferguson jr. is only mostly clueless about being a general manager. Nikolai Kulemin also continued his solid play. He does the little things well but it's nice to see him pick up an assist and the shootout winner.

Actually, one thing that Tortorella figured out was how to get Wade Redden to do something helpful. I don't want to come out and say it but I am guessing that it (allegedly) involved (allegedly) the promise of (allegedly) some snow. No, not the reggae artist. No, not the kind that Ice Girls scoop up in every rink but the ACC. I mean the kind that got Steven Page booted from Barenaked Ladies. Allegedly.

Brian Burke and Ron Wilson can probably provide Tortorella with a blue print on how to encourage their players to improve. Who am I kidding? Coach Torts already knows how these things work. Embarrass the player and see them improve. Vesa Toskala made 31 saves on 32 shots for a .969 save percentage which is another step up from last game. Ron Wilson attributes the improvement to the Chubbeh Bunneh's imrpoved practice habits. I am going to go with spite. Everyone knows that spite is the most powerful force on the planet and Vesa just wants to ruin the Leafs' chances at the lottery. His improved play isn't going to get him anywhere so why not be a dick and blow this season.

So the Leafs', a team that is playing out the string before having Brian Burke (the real one not this one) dropped a grenade on the roster, end the season 3-0-1 against the Rangers. Who else could they fire at the end of the season? I wonder...