With the Leafs nearly a quarter into their schedule -- usually referred to as the "quarter pole" by sportswriters or anyone else unfamiliar with the term (it's a quarter-mile remaining, but enough with digressions) -- they remain a maddening lot to watch.
Jason Allison has been far quicker to pop up in trade rumours than he has been on the ice, yet he scored one of the season's more important goals -- and perhaps its flukiest, in perhaps their most improbably W of the season -- in Montreal on Saturday.
The goaltending can be brilliant. It also goes bonehead.
|On the move? It's Allison - things won't happen too quickly.|
They don't handle the puck well and the veterans take the same dumb stick penalties they were being called for in game one. The defence is the one constant, and that is not a good thing.
Yet they continue with their heads barely above water, that goaltending, special teams , Mats Sundin's return and the spark provided by the likes of babyfaces Wellwood and Steen something new.
I claim no inside information, but can only say -- don't hold your breath on JFJ shipping Allison any time soon. One of the realities of a salary cap system is that trades have to be a match of salaries; your underachieving garbage for mine is the inevitable by-product in many cases. At 20 games into the season, it's still early for a GM to pull the chute on one of those kind of deals. Like Brandon Witt, this is way more talking point than something that might happen. (To say nothing of Tom Poti, another trade rumour with legs, as the Rangers roll in town).
Meantime, a couple of blog postings from the weekend, off Saturday's game: From a T.O. perspective, budblog called it "exciting hockey, but it was sure was painful to watch." And over at one of my fave Habs-oriented places, Unibrew laments, then notes the latest one-sided instalment of Ottawa and Buffalo: "The Sens are mightier than the swords."
And finally, Ken Campbell's checking in on The Hockey Page's favourite Leaf, going back to training camp. Yeah, if you're a regular, you know who we're talking about -- and don't you get the impression that whenever Quinn is quoted talking about this guy, you can almost picture his old-school teeth clenching?