Leafs are in Boston tonight, looking to extend themselves to a third successive win.
This is a little more than your garden-variety November night on the schedule. It's a division game, for one thing, but also more importantly, they've been icing their most complete and excuse-free lineup of late, making some conclusions into focus. Finally, observers can judge something that's been up for debate since the beginning of the season -- just what's the identity of this team, anyway?
This argument can be contrived -- I mean, in a 30-team league where talent is spread so thin, some are just crap and you leave it at that -- but any group with playoff aspirations gets some kind of shorthand attached to them that sums up what they're about. Big team, grinding team, speed team, finesse team, veteran team, young team -- that kind of thing. So I want to know -- what are these Leafs? C'mon, not everyone at once. Lance Hornby at the Sun touched on it today, so can you.
Some links for you (and sorry for being so late with this, but you know what happens with these computers sometimes. More to the point, you know what happens to me with computers sometimes. We just don't get along):
Ken Campbell, on a reconnaissance mission in Boston, finds the Bruins "hungry, motivated and irritable." Which sounds a little (and only a little, maybe just the hungry part) like, well, this guy. (Thanks to a pair of essentials, Vancouver Canucks Op-Ed and James Mirtle, for the tip).
Everybody's in denial -- the state, not the comments guy, although I'm sure he'll pop up soon -- about ongoing reports of friction between the triangle of Allison, Quinn and JFJ: "In Toronto, these are the stories you hear here. What happened and what was reported are two different things." (Ed. note -- *Yawn*).
Rosie DiManno looks at Tomas Kaberle, content with his role as Bryan McCabe's server.