The Leafs showed some grit and determination last night as they overcame a 2-0 deficit against the New Jersey Devils going into the third period by scoring three goals and forcing overtime. It came down to the shootout where Jeff O'Neill sealed the win for the Leafs and Andrew Raycroft (in his 26th straight start) stoned New Jersey's last shooter, Sergei Brylin. New acquisition, and third time Leaf, Yanic "No Panic" Perreault was stellar on the draw all night (winning 88% of them) and potted a goal in the shootout on Martin Brodeur. The only sad part of the win was that Tomas Kaberle was blindsided by a dirty, late hit from Cam Janssen. According to NHL.com:
"What most people will remember from the game is Janssen's hit on Kaberle. The defenseman made an uncontested pass in his own zone and was skating backward toward the Devils' bench when Janssen checked him to the head about three seconds later. Kaberle fell and appeared to hit his head on the side boards. Kaberle was on the ice for several minutes and eventually was wheeled off after a neck brace was applied."
I was pretty choked when I heard about this and believe that Janssen should be suspended for this, especially since he supposedly left his feet for the hit and raised his elbow. Bettman and the rest of those clowns in the NHL head office had better review the tape and mete out the proper consequences.
Tonight sees the Buds back at the ACC (scary!) for a tilt with the Sabres, the same team who shellacked them this past Tuesday, 6-1, despite missing eight regulars from their lineup. We should see Jean-Sebastien Aubin in net for the Leafs tonight, giving the heavily worked Rayzor the night off. The Leafs have been pitiful at home this season (only the lowly Flyers have been worse) and look to reverse their fortunes against the team with the league's best record. In their five previous games against Buffalo this season the Leafs have pulled out two wins and were only embarrassed in Tuesday's game. The Sabres are missing key players to injuries so this would really be a big opportunity for the Leafs to jump on a weakened Buffalo team, something they didn't do Tuesday. Also, say a prayer for Brian McCabe (that he doesn't pass the puck to the opposing team as much as usual) and for Tomas Kaberle, who will hopefully rejoin the team soon.