Monday, January 15, 2007

Happenings in Leaf land: The aftermath

Just in time for the Canucks to leave town, Ponikarovsky and Antropov will return to the Leafs' lineup. Reports the Toronto Star:

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Maple Leafs will get a boost in their forward ranks Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, as Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky were declared fit and ready to go for the start of a three-game Toronto road trip.

Leaf fans are getting a hate-on for Andrew Raycroft much like they had for Larry "Weeeeee" Murphy. Also from the Star:
Now Andrew Raycroft knows how Larry Murphy felt.

The Leafs gave up five power-play goals, but the fans took out their frustration on the goalie with a level of derision not seen for a Toronto player since Murphy was the fans' whipping boy in the early 1990s.

"It's heartbreaking," Leafs captain Mats Sundin said of the boos and catcalls which rained down on Raycroft after Vancouver rifled in its fifth and sixth goals in a 6-1 win before an Air Canada Centre record crowd of 19,608.
"For a guy that plays his heart out and in my opinion had a (expletive) pretty solid first half of the season," Sundin said. "They got five of their goals on the power play, a 5-on-3 goal and our special teams were terrible. That was the big difference."


I don't think that the Murphy-like hate is warranted. I think he could be better, but I wouldn't solely blame him. The Leafs' team defence and knack for taking stupid penalties is the bigger problem. They remind me of the Leaf team that was coached by Pat Quinn, or the Canucks squad that was coached by Marc Crawford. I thought Paul Maurice had these guys playing better defensively earlier in the year. Are the players tuning him out already? Or do the Leafs need to shed some boneheads from their lineup, much like Nonis did with Jovanovski, Bertuzzi, or even Jarko Ruutu?

From the Toronto Sun:
TAMPA -- Some of the Maple Leafs chose to break out their golf clubs yesterday, with the simple hope they're not getting clubbed by the end of the week.
Despite absorbing their worst home loss of the season on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks, coach Paul Maurice stuck to his original plan and gave the players yesterday off here in sunny Florida. The Leafs had a choice of spending the day on the golf course or going fishing.


Are they just practicing for the spring?

Either way you dice it, the Leafs need to get it together soon. They have dropped to 12th place in the East and are falling. They are 4-5-1 in their last 10 and are 10-12-3 at home this year.

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4 Comments:

At January 15, 2007 at 2:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saturday's game was an extreme embarassment for me, as a Leafs fan living in Vancouver. Bad enough the Leafs get all sorts of unwarranted, unexplainable hatred from Vancouver fans, but to have such a sorry effort in the 2nd and 3rd periods made me want to put a bag over my head. The officiating was horrible, but that is here nor there. Leafs had plenty of opportunities to capitalize on it in the first, and had some pretty sad looking power plays.

Time to start the fire sale before the deadline and build for the future. This team isn't going anywhere.

 
At January 15, 2007 at 3:26 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

But every time I start writing them off, they pick it up and go on a streak! Ponik and Antro back tomorrow should help. As well as the golf day today! It worked last time I think....
Understood with the bag over the head though. And yes, alot of Canuck fans are assholes!!! But they just can't stand the Leafs' exposure, and they can't stand not being Canada's team! Oh yeah, it's true! It's true!

 
At January 15, 2007 at 10:30 PM , Anonymous Temujin said...

ERHM!

Canada's team is most certainly the Canucks. End of story!

I cannot believe the Leaf's record at home. I had no idea it was that bad. No wonder the fans crucified them the other night.

Aren't Antropov and Ponikarovski a liability defensively? I know they are both big forwards with loads of talent, but hopefully they can play defense too.

 
At January 15, 2007 at 11:25 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

They CAN play defence, yes. More so than they have in recent years!

Sorry dude, the Nucks can't be Canada's team when they've only been around for about 36 years and are this far away from the nation's capital!

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.