It was bound to happen – the Leafs lost a game. I have taken shelter in my underground layer awaiting the apocalypse that is sure to come at some point before Thursday’s match-up with the Rangers…
Wait, what? The Leafs still got a point? They have garnered 9 of a possible 10 available points to begin the 2010/11 season? Okay, time to release the air lock; I am coming back above ground. Disaster averted.
I use this sarcasm because that is how the typical Toronto Maple Leaf fan is portrayed in many media outlets. How many times have I already heard the joke “Getting ready for the parade?” or “Plan the parade!” just because the team is doing well out of the gates. I don’t get it…should Leaf fans not be happy the team is doing well? For the most part, the fans of the blue and white are solid, objective observers of the game of hockey. While I’ll admit there is a fringe element that are up and down like a yo-yo for each W and each L, I think the most loyal fans in the National Hockey league get a bad rap.
Nothing wrong with supporting your team – there was a whole Seinfeld episode devoted to it. I guess if there were more face painter’s at the ACC than suits it would be okay for those on the outside looking in.
Anyways – 2-1 overtime loss to the Islanders at home Monday night. Dwayne Roloson has been nothing short of Georges Vezina himself in each outing versus the Leafs the last couple years, dating back to his 58 save (12 on Phil the thrill alone) 4-3 W last season. Roloson was simply outstanding again Monday night and was the reason the Islanders walked out of the ACC with 2 points.
A couple of questionable officiating calls went against the Leafs, but over the course of an 82 game schedule that will more than balance itself out.
It is debatable whether or not Kris Versteeg’s stick made contact with the puck above the cross bar on his called back marker, however it is not debatable that the play should have at least gone to video review to determine this point. As reported in various media outlets – the linesman at the blueline may have made a decisive, immediate call on the play, however he was far back, out of position to make the call, and unless he is part American Bald Eagle, I am not sure how the call could be made with such authority. Why is video review in place anyways?
The Armstrong non-goal was just that; a non-goal…and if you are going to call a goalie interference penalty in OT, you better call the mugging that Nik Kulemin endured to start the extra frame.
Like I said though, this will balance itself out during the course of the season.
Phil Kessel continues his torrid pace to begin the season, notching his fifth in as many games to even the score at 1’s late in the third period, and Kris Versteeg is seemingly one ‘good break’ from going on a little tear of his own.
Apologies to Clarke MacArthur for incorrectly spelling his name in my last entry; left out the ‘a’ in Mc…the Grabovski, Kulemin, MacArthur line continues to impress on a shift by shit basis, as does the stability and positional awareness of third and fourth line pivots Tim Brent and Mike Zigomanis. Brent is centring a very effective shut down line, and Zigomanis is proving his worth on the penalty kill and defensive zone face-offs…not to mention being flanked by the best ‘stache in the league, and one bad man in Colton Orr. Looking forward to him shaking out the Pittsburgh cobwebs in time for a feature match against the Boogie-man later this week.
4-0-1. Not perfect, but still has a nice ring to it…6.1% into the season.
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About the Author
Written by Mike De Petrillo
Leafs fan; former OHL LW; Live in Toronto