Saturday, January 12

LEAFS 2007 – 2008: These are not the Droids you are looking for

Let me start by saying that putting Toskala into the net on Thursday was one of the worst hockey decisions I have ever seen. One can suppose that Paul Maurice was just trying to protect an already destroyed Andrew Raycroft. (As a goalie I appreciate the move, as a Leaf fan I am horrified.) Or that just like line combinations, taking him out was tantamount to shaking up the team. (Of course, Raycroft was marshmallow soft and clearly couldn't’t see the puck.) I don’t care how porous the defense in front of you is, an .871 save percentage is your own doing. Still I believe he should have played the whole game. Suffered the complete loss and was given the chance to be part of the much better 2nd and 3rd periods. Quite frankly I think pulling him wasn’t the red flag in front of the team it was supposed to be. It was a white flag.
(Did you see Raycroft on the bench after he was pulled. I have never seen someone chew gum so forlornly.)

It left me uneasy that Toskala was put in. What am I supposed to make of a blatant disregard of his groin? Re-injured…of course...cos groins are apparently made of gold leaf. (No pun)

And for tonight’s game, all I can hope is that Pogge was called up to back up Raycroft…not start. I believe in baptism by fire but ask Dan Blackburn what can happen when you bring a goalie in too early. Simply put, this isn’t Pogge’s time. I think calling Clemenson back would have been a better choice. Regardless of who is called up. You gotta go with Raycroft. For so many reasons its just a shame that I dont have some sort of avenue to write and tell you why.

Paul Maurice and his coaching style of hard work, intense fore-checking, strong puck support and attention to defensive play clearly was the wrong choice for this team. Just in case you were playing along, that’s sarcasm. One can only hope that he is not caught in the crossfire….
He should be held accountable for a disastrous PP and PK and as his claim, at the beginning of the year, that this team was playoff ready. Our slide, this slide, really…with very few exceptions, has been happening from the beginning. The few games where we did play well were clearly the anomaly.
As far as I am concerned you keep Kaberle, Antropov, Toskala, Wellwood, White and Stajan…other than that…all the rest if up for grabs.

This is where Toskala is injured.


Moose said...

I took a half day and I'm writing from the kings-stars game...between periods. Kings fans are really knowledgeable and savvy (greener will agree)
1-great post title
2-why antropov and kaberle as keepers? They have actual trade value and moveable contracts unlike a lot of Leafs. Neither is a true franchise player that you can't live without. If you rebuild you gotta move the guys that can bring a return
3-dallas d-man takes it behind the net to wait for his guys to get a change and half of section 115 starts screaming for a delay of game penalty.....awesome

Norte said...

Hey Moose. Thanks for taking the time to write. (cough, cough.)
You ask why Antropov and Kaberle? I still think Antropov hasnt peaked. And he became a Canadian citizen.
Kaberle...well thats an easy one. Because Kaberle is a future Norris winner and, quite frankly, I want him in a Leafs uni when it happens.

Moose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moose said...

I'll give you that Antropov is getting better, but if keep him you have to deal Sundin.

IMO, Kaberle has maxed-out. That's not a bad thing, but he is what he is - a very good (not great) player. As for Norris winning? Can't see it. He's not good enough defensively, journalists are lazy, and he's caught between eras. By the time Niedermayer, Lidstrom, and Pronger are done, the media will create another country clubish group of younger guys to pass the torch to (Phaneuf, E. Johnson, M. Staal, Whitney, Seabrook).

Norte said...

Yes...I love Sundin but he has to go. THink of what St Louis got for Tkachuk last year. Whether Mats comes back or not...the time to deal Mats is now. I love him but my loyalties are with my team.

Moose said...

The only monkey wrench may be that teams are not as willing to include #1's in packages this year given the strength of the next two drafts.

I say he goes to Vancouver for Mayson Raymond, Alex Edler and a 2nd round pick.

Norte said...

I keep hearing Vancouver too but to me, thats not enough.
A trade involving Mats would START with a high draft choice this year. I'm thinking the Ducks owning the Oilers first round pick this year sounds like a decent start