The Leafs managed to pull out a victory last night with an impressive 4-2 win over the last place Philadelphia Flyers. Raycroft made 34 saves in his 19th straight start. Sundin, Antropov, O’Neill, and Coloiacovo scored for the Leafs while Gagne and Knuble replied for the Flyers. The Leafs catapulted themselves into 8th placed in the East, according to the standings on NHL.com, and now head home to the ACC (oh no, a home game!) to face the Oilers on Saturday night. The 1967 Stanley Cup winning-team, including Davey Keon (!), will be honoured before the game in a ceremony. Should be good!
Things about the Leafs I am stoked about:
1. Andrew Raycroft is showing signs of being the goaltender that we all thought he could be. He’s young, he’s a workhorse, and he has regained his confidence. His save percentage is growing while his GAA is dropping, always a good sign.
2. The return of Kyle Wellwood, Darcy Tucker, and Michael Peca. If the Leafs can win without these guys, imagine what a boost it is going to be for the team when these three cornerstones are back in the lineup. If we are in playoff position, Wellwood’s creativity, Tucker’s grit and ability to finish, along with Peca’s leadership and PK ability are all going to be very welcome additions.
3. The feeling that the Leafs are going to make the playoffs if they can keep up their recent level of play and perhaps, perhaps make a decent run—hey, it’s the playoffs and anything can happen. Look at last year’s Oiler’s team that gave
Look for my thoughts on Saturday’s game sometime on Sunday. I am hopeful that the Leafs will play a disciplined game and actually pull out a win at home tomorrow night. I will be dealing with trade rumours sometime in the future, closer to the February 27 trade deadline.