The last two years have been difficult for Maple Leafs fans. At least, moreso than usual. A team with high-ish hopes, relative to previous years, has crashed and burned. There have been bright spots within individual games but far more often than not the games as a whole have been disappointing. And then there are nights like tonight where everything goes our way as the Maple Leafs roll to a 9-3 win over the Thrashers. With one of the youngest teams in the league there will be more painful nights but for now let's enjoy the win. Oh, and a special thank you to Ben Eager for being a gutless puke and handing us a Christmas gift. Who knew he was Russian Orthodox?
"He obviously got a little carried away," said MacArthur. "I don’t think he’s been in the lineup very much and he’s probably trying to come in and prove something. It was good for us. We scored like six goals so thank him for that."
One fact before we get to the fun part: Not only was Brett Lebda the worst plus/minus on either team with -3 but he only played 10:54 at even strength. That is economical suckage.
After the jump, all nine goals. Be sure to watch them before voting on your favourite.
Colby Armstrong makes a beauty pass to Kris Versteeg who roars in to snipe the first of nine in a row.
Good puck movement on the powerplay sets up a Phil Kessel shot. Mikhail Grabovski pots the rebound.
This is the Kris Versteeg we've been waiting for: speed, hands, vision. And Colby Armstrong was all he was advertised as being in this game including a nice finish. I think that makes almost five games where we've said that. Not enough but it's a move in the right direction.
Luke Schenn gets an Atlanta turnover going back up ice with a niec bank pass to Grabovski. He uses his speed to set up Nikolai Kulemin coming down the pike. Three shots later the Leafs were up 4-1.
Clarke MacArthur has 21 assists. 17 of those have been of the primary variety. This one, blind and between the legs, to Mikhail Grabovski highlights just how well that line has gelled. Of course, Grabbo rifles his shot shelf.
Ho hum, Kulemin snipes another one top shelf. Tomas Kaberle was in full pomp tonight as he picked up four assists.
Another loose puck in the neutral zone was turned up ice quickly by the Leafs' defence. Kulemin made a nice move at the blueline and sent in MacArthur for his eleventh of the year.
NHL.com blew this video but Kris Versteeg made a lights out pass to MacArtRoss for his second in a row.
This is the one that Sportsnet messed up. They had technical issues and all we saw was the forlorn Thrashers bench.