Relax. It's only preseason.
Never mind that, in two meaningless games, the Senators outscored the Leafs 12-6.
Ignore the memory of
Wade Belak Carlo Colaiacovo lining up Dany Heatley and connecting with nothing but the boards, or Mikael Tellqvist down on his knees, fishing another one out of the net, or Kyle Wellwood, the kid who figures he has no chance of making the squad, scoring another goal. Heatley, Jason Spezza, Bochenski -- flashes in the pan, a line of Mr. Septembers.
Consider instead, the words of hockey sage Ken Campbell:
"With 10 days to go until the season opener and with the Leafs facing the Senators in two of their first three games, the Leafs are sliding into on-ice disarray."
Look on the bright side of it, says Pat Quinn:
"We have a lot of work to do to look anything like a team. We don't right now."
Feeling better? Me too. I love it when we can have these talks. Take it away, Spencer.
Yikes. Should we start with the good news, then? We tried to find something bad to say about the Senators this morning -- pretty tough right now thanks to all those 'meaningless' games. They probably don't miss him, but St. Louis is thinking Ottawa's loss is their gain. (thanks St. Louis Post-Dispatch for the nice memories):
The second period began and Patrick Lalime found himself on the Ottawa bench. Three goals on 11 shots in Game 7 of a first-round playoff series against Toronto had ended Lalime's night, and, as most knew at the time, his days with the Senators.
But we don't want to live in the past. Take a deep breath Leaf Nation, you're not the only fans north of the border with big sweat stains under their arms this morning. But just 'cause we're in panic mode, what would you have to say if the Leafs held a town hall meeting?
Around the league: Joe Nieuwendyk is skating on the Panthers top line.
The Great One shares his coaching philosophy.
"We've got to become a hard team to play against. None of this easy team to play against, 40 shots a game. That's just not going to work. And that's the reputation this team has, and that's what we're going to eliminate."
Calgary Flames, 2004-05 Stanley Cup champions.
Brian Leetch isn't looking forward to his return to Madison Square Garden. Could it have something to do with the way he left New York?
"They called me up and said, 'You're traded,' '' Leetch tells the Boston Herald. "That was it. There was no talk one way or the other."
Alex Mogilny's musings will be missed in these parts. Today, his simple take on the smaller equipment for puckstoppers:
"I don't think you're going to see a lot more goals because of (goalies') smaller pads. The pads are lighter, so the goalies are quicker."
Dan Blackburn, we were really cheering for him, has retired.
Finally, from the Todd Bertuzzi department, Derian Hatcher's 2004 suspension will carry over into this season.