Monday, November 20, 2006

Message to Leafs: Don't blame Sundin's injury for 2-game losing skid

After reading a piece on TSN about the Leafs missing Mats Sundin after losing 2 straight, I can't help but not feel bad for them. At least Paul Maurice has his head screwed on properly.

"We're not going to replace the big man, we know that, but we were still scoring enough goals (when he was first injured)," said Maurice. "I expect that group we have to score goals."
"Our offence . . . is showing signs of complacency I think," said Maurice. "What happens is you score some goals and you get a little bit of confidence and you start taking it for granted a little bit."

I read a piece from Maple Leafs chat.com, and one Leaf fan named Denoit pointed out that the Leafs have succeeded in the past in Sundin's absence.
In 2005-06, Sundin fractured his orbital bone early in the Leafs' first game of the year. The team responded with a 6-5-1 record.
A bigger, more shocking stat, which I almost forgot about, was in 2001-02, where Mats suffered a broken wrist in game 3 of the 1st round against the Islanders. The Leafs won that series 4-3 without Mats, and then beat the Senators in 7 games without their captain. In the semi-finals, the Leafs won game 1, Sundin came back in game 2, and the Hurricanes won the series in 6 games.
So what am I saying? That the Leafs are better off without their captain? I think sometimes they are, especially when they rally around their fallen comrade. In both cases, a player emerged to lead the team on. Last season, it was Eric Lindros. In the 2002 playoffs it was Gary Roberts. Who will take the reins now?
I don't want to hear the players, or TSN for that matter, even talk about missing their captain right now. Sure they have lost 2 straight and scored only 2 goals in the process. But they scored 11 goals in the first 2 games after Sundin was injured as well.
No excuses. There is plenty of offence on the Leafs squad right now. Suck it up and play on. The Buds play the Islanders tonight at 4:30 PST. I say they will score more than 2 goals.
Rumor has it that Mats will return on Saturday against Boston.

7 Comments:

At November 20, 2006 at 12:38 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

good points, all. I didn't know that about the team rallying behind despite being without the great Mats. In any case, you're right: no excuses.

 
At November 20, 2006 at 1:02 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Being a Duck fan, I am suprised that you even call Mats 'great.' Bless your heart! You are a fine fan of hockey! :)

 
At November 20, 2006 at 1:56 p.m. , Blogger Temujin said...

I wouldn't be so quick to call him great.

Injury-prone, perhaps!

 
At November 20, 2006 at 4:19 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Yeah yeah. You call someone like Trevor Linden great, so how am I supposed to hear a word that you are saying right now?!
:)
Injury prone my ass!!!

 
At November 20, 2006 at 5:10 p.m. , Blogger Temujin said...

Just checked the scores... 3-1 Leafs halfway through the first.

You wanted da goals.
You got da goals.

Wellwood is the shiznit.

 
At November 20, 2006 at 6:35 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

He'd make a good Canuck....

uh-oh, 3-2 Leafs now.

 
At November 20, 2006 at 11:19 p.m. , Blogger Temujin said...

Wellwood for Cooke, straight up!

Better yet, Wellwood for Bieksa and Bulis!

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.