Bruins 2, Leafs 1, me zzzz.
That was the thought, anyway, as they finished up in Boston last night, one of those text-commentary nights here at Team Star.
Here's Pat Quinn, from Paul Hunter's game report, clearly not ready to turn the night's forensics into a Hannu Toivonen lovefest with a blown kiss toward his own 'keeper, Mikael Tellqvist:
"We can't have half our roster playing and depend on our goaltender to win a lot of hockey games. We've got to get some more guys on board when we're playing games."
So, let's call the roll: Jeff O'Neill -- Anyone seen him lately? Jason Allison? The O'Neill-Allison-Tucker line is putting up Wade Belak numbers: Allison's a minus-7 on the season, Tucker minus-6, O'Neill minus-5 (Belak, the only guy to end up with dirt under his fingernails last night, is at minus-6 and a busted nose thanks to that punchup with Colton-not-Bobby Orr).
Eric Lindros was invisible most of the night, though he did appear in time for redempton and the one Leafs goal.
The power play, its league-leading numbers a little misleading given that night in Atlanta when Frosty McFreeze was in goal for the Thrashers, tossed an oh-fer. It rarely threatened, actually.
The Bruins' winner early in the third period came after one of those breakdowns in their own end we've so grown used to -- but to dwell on that too much, or to hand the credit unreservedly over to Toivonen (yes, he was pretty good, but he also was afforded the luxury of clear sightlines, nary a Leaf crowding his crease), is to ignore the obvious: In this postmodern NHL, scoring but one late goal is unpardonable, and to take a no-check, listless approach against a team playing its third game in fourth nights, and putting in its backup goalie after the starter went out with an injury the night before, amounts to a squandered opportunity.
One more thing. The Leafs are 10 games into the season now, so it's time to retire the "it's early" line. We're moving into the part of the season where what you're seeing is what you're going to get nine nights out of 10 and they are what they are -- Mats Sundin's return notwithstanding. I'm no big fan of Quinn sermons, but no wonder he's ringing the alarm bells.
Damien Cox looks at that Hannu Toivonen guy -- hey, he's from Finland. And that should come as no surprise, Cox noting there's six Finns making NHL money this year. And if you think Damien doesn't work hard for his dough, here's another column from last night (who does he think he is, Rosie DiManno?).
Hunter on Allison, the human glacier who's oh-for-3 playing the NHL's new three-shot roulette game. And Team Sun's Lance Hornby notes that Allison came into the game goalless against his old Bruins team in nine games -- make that 10.
And hey. What a surprise. Todd Bertuzzi, booed in Denver.
Thanks, Chris. I agree with you, last night the Leafs and Bruins proved that even the "new NHL" can be boring. Sure, Leafs had the 37 shots, but heck, Toivonen sums it up:
''I think our defence did a tremendous job, simply clearing the way so I could see the puck so well. ... It's all about feeling comfortable out there. I was tonight."
Yup, that's what you want to hear from the opposing goalie: he was really comfortable.
Here's some stuff to get us all through the weekend. And I'll finish with Spezza's goal. Did you see that dandy from last night? Wow. To steal a phrase from Chuck Swirsky, wow wow wow wow wow wow!
More on Bertuzzi, it was all about the fans last night. And I can't believe one person in the stands in Colorado thought it would be a good idea to wear the Bertuzzi jersey (from Denver Post):
While waiting for the puck to drop, the woman in a Bertuzzi jersey got a beer dumped on her head by a hit-and-run prankster. It was funny. It was sad.
Ummm, it was stupid?
|That's right, get it out of your system.|
So what was Bert saying after? "It is what it is," seems to be the buzz phrase this morning. I kind of agree. What else can he say? Still, the fans needed their chance to vent. They got it. They made the most of it. Like the guys who dressed up in jailbird jumpsuits with Bertuzzi's name on the back.
"We felt like the hit on Steve Moore deserved a little bit more than a 13-game (regular season) suspension," one fan tells the Denver Post. "I think he got the message."
Fair enough. Coupla quick links and then the magic.
Manny's legacy: Mr. October.
The Devils stink. Will Scott Stevens return to save them? Probably not, "but you never know what's going to happen," he tells the Newark Star Ledger.
Dave Andreychuk. Former Leafs 50-goal man. NHL veteran at 42 years young. Still going strong in Tampa.
Okay, did you see the goal? Here's highlight pack from last night's Senators OT win. Click the link to last night's game (Habs). The sweetness comes at the end. The future is bright in Ottawa. (SW)