Thursday, October 25

Dear Leafs, Please Stay Like That For 71 Games. Love, Greener and Norte

I'm not sure if I can outdo Norte's game summary found below (what can I do, the little prick can write) but I'll try. A fucking Goddamn great game played by the Leafs tonight. All segments of the team did their job, on a team that often figures someone else'll take care of that. Scorers scored, Defense got sticks in the way and cleared pucks. Toskala looked smooth and confident. And everybody came back to help out every one else.
What can you say about Jiri Tlusty, seen here living all of my all of his dreams. 19 year old kid gets called up and scores two goals in his first NHL game. That wrist shot to the far corner for his second goal was an unbelievable. It exploded off his stick and had to be hit perfectly or Fleury makes that save. He looked great out there with Steen/Stajan/Gamache (who I'm starting to do drawings of during class on my binder).
Along those same lines, I've been happy watching Anton Stralman. He wasn't out much tonight, but played 15 minutes on Saturday, including overtime and never looked out of place. The knock on Stralman is that he has absolutely no physical dimension to his game. Well, the only thing Thomas Kaberle hits on game night is the hay after the game, and I don't hear a lot of complaining about him. Besides, the kid has to get the feel for what it means to play over here. Give him some time to get bigger and fully confident and we'll see what happens.

Nik Antropov looks important every time he's on the ice. I know, it still surprises me too, but game after game it's there and I'm getting used to it. Look, if motherfucking Dan Cleary, who was taken one year ahead and three spots after Antropov can wipe this jiz from his jeans and be hailed a great player and a difference maker, why can't Antropov? Pat Quinn resisted all kinds of offers for him for years, most memorably from the Flyers who wanted to trade Eric Lindros to the Leafs, but Quinn never budged. Is this why? Wait, don't answer because I don't care. It's just great to see.
Antropov has taken truckloads of shit from the Toronto press and selected asshole fans over the years and I've never heard him complain or badmouth anyone. He deserves this success. The Leafs deserve this success. His patience with the puck going to the net on the first Steen goal was so beautiful. That's how important players look in games.

As always, Mats is just such a stud and I want to put him inside me. He does more with his back to the ice than most players do at full stride on a breakaway. He makes me so proud he's this team's Captain. He just IS a Captain. Every team gets one, but very few teams have one. It's like the difference between a house and a home. And Mats is home.


A big ‘atta boy’ to Jiri Tlusty for scoring two goals in his NHL debut. The first Leaf to do so since Nikolai Borschevsky. And a game winner to boot. Looked like he had some speed which is always nice to see in a Leafs uniform. That sweet cross ice pass from Kubina (nobody is more shocked than me) that Tlusty caught and took off. Bamn...sweet, smart deque. Solid shot. To quote Tlusty himself (after tonight’s game) “Kubee make pass, I take puck get goal, happy team win.” Gezundheit.

To me this was the most important game of the year. After the game against Atlanta. This is the confidence builder. The game to build the season off of. Great way to start a road trip. All signs seem to be pointing to yes. Because I truly believe that this is the real Toronto Maple Leafs. This team. Keeping a team like the Pens to 25 shots.
Anybody else getting the feeling that Steen tying the game was not only great for getting the Leafs back into the game but also a huge goal for Steen himself?
I also gotta say that I love the youthful enthusiasm that Tlusty and Gamache display and bring to the line up. They are and it is the perfect anecdote to the Leafs right now. Remind them to have fun. And side note to the organ player at the ACC. Blister in the Sun is the absolute worst song I have ever heard to rally a team and crowd. Particularly playing it as poorly as you did tonight. Twice in the third period. The only name you need to know in Sports Arena inspirational music: 2 Unlimited.
Regardless, it was definitely Hall Gill’s best game of the year. Perhaps playing more minutes is the key to Gill’s success. I thought defensive zone coverage was particularly good tonight. The back end was terrific (sexy) and all three zones were really clicking tonight. The third man was perfect (not sexy). I also think that this was their best period of the year (kinda sexy.) And Toskala at a .920 save percentage looks like the real deal number one goalie that he is. (Just please don’t play the puck anymore.) And as usual Captain Toronto, soup schiller, denture wearer, a man so white that cocaine tells him to get a tan, Mats Sundin. 75% on face-offs. That’s just gorgeous numbers. God bless you Mats Sundin…you and all who sail in you. When he and Kaberle are all bang bang…pinpoint, half boards to the point…it’s my favourite cycle since Lance Armstrong last won the Tour. I wish Mats Sundin was the President of Canada.
I even liked Paul Maurice’s tie. What else can I say? Welcome back Devereuax.