I haven't have the opportunity to post my thoughts on each of the games in the past week, so I thought I would quickly do so now:
In last Thursday's loss to the Bruins, 5-2, the Leafs were lacklustre and deserved to get beaten. They let the Bruins get off to a 3-0 lead after two periods and they never recovered. Bruins rookie Blake Wheeler, after changing from number 42 to number 26, scored a hat trick against the Buds. His is a name the Buds will be paying much closer attention to when the two teams next meet on November 17 in Toronto.
Last Saturday's 6-3 win over the Habs (and it could have easily been a more sound thrashing than that) was a brilliantly executed and dominant performance for Toronto, who were all over Montreal from the get-go. My friend Randy said that the win was all because of "Leafs refs", but he hates Toronto and is always sour grapes when the Leafs win, especially when they win as convincingly as they did. Toskala was excellent, the defence was strong, and the forwards attacked, forechecked, and scored. Nik Antropov had a 3-point night and Ponikarovsky, Stajan, Hagman, and Grabovski (a former Hab) all had a couple points each. This was easily one of the best, if not the best, games that the Blue & White have played this season so far!
After their home win over Montreal, the Leafs left Toronto for a three game Western Canadian road swing, hitting Calgary on Tuesday night, Edmonton last night, and then Vancouver tomorrow night. They split the first two games, losing 4-3 to Calgary (coming back to at least make it close after being down 4-1 midway through the third period) and then last night they thoroughly "pounded" (in the words of Oilers coach Craig McTavish) Edmonton with a dominant 5-2 win. Happily, the power play was clicking well with three goals to its credit. Tomas Kaberle's three-point night moved him into third in all-time franchise scoring among defencemen, a great accomplishment.
The Leafs head into Vancouver tomorrow night to take on the Canucks. My buddy paid $300 per ticket to go and see this game because, like me, his girlfriend is a card-carrying member of Leafs Nation. I hope to catch some of this one on Hockey Night in Canada while I'm away for the weekend on Salt Spring Island.