After an intense stretch of six games in 11 nights, the Leafs are off. Golfing.
Pat Quinn: "It was not an idea I liked, but it's part of the corporate responsibility."
Perhaps it's just me, but isn't golfing something you do in the summer? And I know this sounds dreadfully naive, but can't MLSE keep these "branding" exercises and their charity works to a time when the main property isn't supposed to be doing things that might maximize their potential? Isn't it time to get down to business, the way the Leafs team has operated of late?
|Leafs spanked the Thrashers Friday ... on the scoreboard too.>|
A week ago Denial popped out of the rabbit hole and asked the question -- what should the Leafs do? Now the question is more like what can't they do?
And we know the answer: they can't practice.
"We had three work days that you really needed, but all of a sudden you lose one of them (for golfing). We'll do the work, but it won't be the cerebral work I'd hoped. The job for me, as far as I'm concerned, is to work on our team defence, because we can do a lot better in our defensive zone coverage."
I actually thought the defensive zone coverage Saturday night wasn't bad at all, Eddie Belfour chief among the examples covering the most important defensive zone of all. Montreal's edge in speed, and their aggressive forechecking caused the Leafs the most trouble, at least it seemed that way to me. They were bailed out by Belfour, the power play and Lindros and his linemates, who did some good forechecking of their own. It was a gritty back-to-back display, coming after Friday's fight night in Atlanta.
Oh, and one little thing that got lost, despite looming HUGE in the closing seconds: With the Habs on a two-man advantage thanks to the empty net and a Toronto penalty, Clark Wilm beat Koivu on that critical last faceoff in the Leafs end.
So this morning -- cloudy, cool, maybe some rain. What a great day for golf! --
Update: 10:30 am: hey Chris, whaddya know - it's actually clearing up out there. Great day for golf after all! See, that's why we love this Internet thing so much...instant updates! (that's what you get, CY, for waking up so early) -- SW
Ken Campbell takes a look at the Leafs' power play, which scored nine goals on the weekend, and checks back in with Jason Allison.
With the Leafs off until Thursday, the filings are light this morning, but over at Team Sun, Lance Hornby is saying three cheers for the little guys. The Globe's Tim Wharnsby looks at the Leafs' early form, the good and the not so good.
Oh, and top of the mornin', Theo Fleury.
Thanks Chris. Wow. Two great wins for the Leafs and we're talking about practice, man. We're not talking about the game. We're talking about practice ... Okay, enough with the Allen Iverson memories. Here's some links to get you through a Monday:
Neat little story from the Arizona Republic on Walter Gretzky remembering a 7-year-old Wayne, parked in front of the TV on Saturday nights:
On the paper he would draw a rink: the nets, the lines, the circles, etc. Once the game started, Wayne would chart where the puck went on the rink without lifting the pen or pencil off the paper. "I remember saying: 'What are you doing, Wayne?' He said: 'Look, Dad, see all these dark spots? That's where the puck is most of the time.' As you know, Wayne always played a thinking game. Already at that age, he was thinking."
We're sure Wayne, with that 1-4-1 start, is busy thinking of ways to remove all those dark spots in the Coyotes end of the rink so far this season. Too bad he'll have to do it without one of the game's greats. Brett Hull retired over the weekend. Have to admit, didn't see that one coming. Could poor Steve Yzerman be next? Just one game after his comeback last Thursday, the mayor of Hockeytown tweaked his groin and had to leave Saturday's game -- wouldn't speak about it afterwards.
"He's just so ticked off he can't talk," Wings coach Mike Babcock tells the Detroit Free Press.
Speaking of dark spots, did you see what Martin Havlat did to Boston's Hal Gill on Saturday? Not even the first time the Senators speedster has gone "south" on an opponent. And then there was the suspension for slashing then-Flyer Mark Recchi in the face in 2004. So goes Havlat's budding reputation as one of the dirtiest players in the league. Too bad because he's one of the most fun ones to watch play. Havlat's facing another suspension, and for good reason, but we did manage to find one argument for his case - out of Ottawa, of course.
Hey, they're chanting King Henrik's name in New York.
Dennis Leary vs. Rich Tocchet. Guess who won.
Here's former Maple Leaf Tom Fitzgerald on the visor debate:
"I'm an idiot for not doing it."
Well Tom, so are pretty much all of your co-workers. And after another poll of NHLers, it's pretty obvious the league isn't going to get backing from the players on making these things mandatory.
See you tomorrow, thinking today's a pretty good day to leave work a little early. Fore! (SW)