March 1, 2012

Hawks Take Out The Leafs

Well the Toronto Maple Leafs are sure glad to see the 'Leap' month of February go away as they ended it on a losing note once again, falling to the Chicago Black Hawks 5-4.

It is a shame to see what we all thought was going to be a good team in the young Leafs fall from a playoff spot in January and then going 1-8-1 in the last 10 games to drop out of the race for the playoffs and even having the possibility of finishing in 12th or 13th place in their conference..... man does that hurt!

I guess we could say it is a 'growing pain' for a young team or we could blame management or coaching for not directing these young players in the right direction. We even could declare that the management hasn't brought in the right mix of players to be a top 8 place team but all this does is show that we are pointing fingers at each other. And my Head Coach (MY DAD!) always said" be careful of pointing fingers as you point one at someone, you have 4 pointing back at you!" Meaning it is time for the players, coaches and management to stop, look into the mirror and re-exam what they have and maybe admit that they have gone off course and start getting back to the problem on hand!

Well I digress (as sometimes I do).

I was worried about the way this game was going to start off as I watch warm ups. Leafs goalie, Gustavsson skated out from the corner to take his turn in net for some shots and actually tripped over the goal post as he entered the crease. I thought to myself, boy this is going to be a long night...again.

But the game last night looked to be a barn burner as both teams came out flying, hitting and getting scoring chances. The Leafs had talked about their slow starts and they came out with a start that every team wants to have. By the end of the first period the Leafs were up 3-1 with goals coming from Tyler Bozak, Joffery Lupul and Clark MacArthur who had built the 3-1 lead but only to see it slip half way through the 2nd period.

With goals for the Hawks coming in bunches ( Shaw, Kruger, Kane, Hossa) by the end of the second period the Hawks were up 4-3 and looking to close the door on the Leafs with help from Ray Emery who had come into the 1st period taking over from starting goalie Crawford.

The third was a entertaining period as the Leafs out shot the Hawks 17-12 and threw everything at Emery but Ray 'Sugar' Emery stoned the Leafs with save after save.

Marian Hossa picked up his second of the evening at 19:44 of the third to keep the Leafs at bay and with the  Leafs net empty, an extra attacker, the Leafs put one more in from Mike Brown, but as the say a little to late for that.

Game Notes.

Chicago was also on a little skid of their own dropping the last 3 games and not getting production from Kane and Hossa. Thanks for the Leafs coming to the 'Windy City' and looking after that!

Gustavsson had 30 shots and allowed 5 goals and looked shaky at times. Maybe it is time the Leafs look at the Goalie Coach and see where a change can happen there?

Matthew Lombardi was a healthy scratch for the 1st time this year, he is a -13 the teams worst on that category.

Best Hockey Player name right now? BlackHawks Johnny Oduya (O-do-ya)

Leafs stay on the road and are in Montreal for this Sat 3rd taking on the Canadians at 7pm. Should be a entertaining game as it is always between this two clubs.

Until next time,

Se You After the Game,

Coach Nye

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