Monday, October 30, 2006

Game Recap: Leafs 4 - Thrashers 2

What a brutal game. Neither team played like they even cared if they won this game... and if not for some excessive penalty time in the opening ten minutes, this game would have basically been a 0-0 snoozefest.

Honestly, is there a rink in the league with worse ice that the Air Canada Centre? The puck was bouncing around like a superball out there, with at least half a dozen passes hopping over sticks. Getting any flow going in either direction was basically impossible, so I suppose that may account for the poor display.

Bowen and Neale commented a few times on the length of the shifts by Kovalchuk, and from what I saw, he certainly seems to be floating on the last half of them. According to, he had 27:35 of ice-time, which is mind-blowing considering he basically sat on the bench for the eight plus minutes the Leafs spent on the PP. Honestly, he must be a coaches nightmare... too valuable and dangerous to bench, but so bad defensively that you can't put him out there when the game is on the line.

The Good:

Kaberle looks to have found his game, seemed to be in much better control, and much more sure of himself. Really, is there a better tonic for what ails a hockey player than a hat-trick?

Raycroft looked sharper, which was nice to see considering how bad he has looked over his past few starts. I hope Aubin can keep pushing him.

Jeff O'Neill is quietly having a solid start to the season, which is just what the doctor ordered. Five goals, eight points in 13 games, and most impressively, a plus 1 for the season. Remember folks, this is the guy who had a team worst -19 last season.

The Bad:

A few of the Flames er, Thrashers were running around out there taking more than a few liberties, and nobody decided to put a stop to it. This is becoming a bit of a disturbing trend in my opinion... am I the only one that misses the odd hockey fight?

Wellwood looked like he was playing hung-over. Couldn't make or take a pass all night, used his creative streak to take the lazy way out numerous times. A few more games like this and he 'll be watching the top line from the bench.

The Ugly:

Bryan McCabe. Routinely getting beat to pucks, losing battles, making poor decisions, etc. If this guy isn't scoring, he simply isn't very good. And he isn't scoring.

Alex Steen looked horrible AGAIN, not sure what is going on here. Last season, he had jump, hit, scored and seemed to be one of the quicker players on the Leafs. This season, he just looks bored. Methinks the pressure to put a few points on the board is really getting to him.

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