Kids and Goals
Good for Tyler Bozak. It was sure a beauty, one to tell the grandkids about. Of course, Leaf fans being Leaf fans, the debate today will now be whether Bozak where ranks with Syl Apps, Ted Kennedy and Darryl Sittler among all-time Leaf centres.
And how long after he retires will they put him into the Hall of Fame.
Things just get so exaggerated in Leaf-land, and that's both good and bad.
In the case of the 4-0 triumph over the Flyers, meanwhile, Bozak's goal, to me, was only the second most important one of the night off the stick of a young Leaf player. The most important? Well, that had to be Luke Schenn's early in the third period, and for a few reasons.
First, it stretched a 2-0 lead to 3-0 lead. Pretty much game over at that point.
But after such a difficult season for the 20-year-old blueliner, one in which he has seemed so lost so often, and frequently curiously awkward, it had to be a shot in the arm for both Schenn and Leaf management.
It was an expression of the possibility that there is more to Schenn's potential, possibly an offensive upside. He joined the 3-on-1 rush with Matt Stajan and Jay Rosehill, then instead of trying to make a extra play because he didn't have the confidence to take a shoot, he buried his second goal of the season into the Philly net.
His smile alone was worth a million bucks. No one expects him to become a prolific blueliner like Mike Green or Sergei Gonchar, but you like to see a player develop different parts of his game.
Schenn, of course, was the victim of precisely the hyperbolic response to making it to the NHL as an 18-year-old last year as Bozak will now experience after his terrific goal against the Flyers. Schenn has paid dearly for that exaggerated response to his rookie season in this, his second campaign.
He could probably give some good advice to Bozak right now. Don't listen to it, pal. It can change fast, and we both have lots to learn about being consistent, productive NHLers.
Enjoy the moment. Then put your head down, don't read the clippings and work on your game.