Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Expect More Then A Little Pay Back

Hello, friends! Some general thoughts about the Leafs before tonight's rematch against the 'Canes.

Pay Back Large

First; the theme of the evening should be Pay Back. Not just for Sunday, but for all of the rip-off losses the Leafs have suffered versus Carolina. Brind'Amour, with his fancy apostrophe, should be the main target. Knock out the three teeth he has left. With only a 2-2-2 record at the ACC, the Leafs need to establish a stronger presence at home, and tonight is the perfect night to do that. The Hurricanes got away with one in Raleigh - they won't be so lucky in our building.

The 'Stache Stays?

Did Ian White do enough in his first game to earn a continued spot in the line-up? Scoring a goal was good start, but in the end it's the points in the standings that are going to count the most. The mustache kinda freaks me out. I wonder if White remembers me saying, "as long as he doesn't grow a mid-season beard, I'm cheering for Ian White." I should've included "or a porn-stache". Whatever. When we try to hide our frustration under facial hair, it can have strange results.

Carlo and the Shuffle D-Men

Colaiacovo played only 41 seconds in the third period. "Carlo got hit with a puck and was limping around," Wilson said.

Is Carlo injured? Does this count if he's a healthy scratch tonight, or does he have to be put on injury reserve for someone to win the pool? In any case, I don't expect him in the line-up as Coach Wilson did not seem pleased with his play, and should open up a spot on the blue line for either Frogren or Stralman to get back in. Hopefully the Leafs are looking to deliver a more physical game and Jonas will get the call.

It could be a good night to give Schenn a rest. Not a benching or a demotion. Just a rest, so he's 100% for the next two games, particularly Saturday against Montreal. He is just 18 years old, and nobody expects him to play all 82 games this year. Sitting Schenn would help Stralman get back in a little easier, but would leave the Leafs weaker defensively.

Absent Steen

Could be time for Coach Wilson to send a message to Alex Steen by sitting him down for a game. So far, Steen has shown me surprisingly little, compared to the contributions of Hagman and Ponikarovsky. Statistically, he's way behind them, especially in shots on goal, with just 14 after 12 games. With his skills, he should be generating more offence, even if his primary responsibilities are defensive.

Moore-Mitchell Mayhem-Madness!

I'm looking for Mitchell to have another strong game. He looks like a player who responds well to the home crowd. Sunday's game was naturally deflating, but remember that after beating the Rangers, the Leafs had to travel to Carolina and then play a 5 o'clock start with a 41-year old back-up. What an embarrassment it would've been if Carolina hadn't won. As it was, they still needed some help from the refs to get it done. Mitchell and the Leafs will bounce back in Toronto. I expect a solid, physical, suffocating game. In fact, I expect the Leafs to thoroughly dominate for 60 minutes tonight. The Comeback Kids can have a go at being The Convincingly Better Team Throughout The Entire Game Gang.

Prediction: 4-0, Leafs.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

I don't know about sending Steen down. I think Wilson would agree that Steen simply hasn't been used in any sort of an offensive role.

As for Carlo and his injury, he's got to miss three games in a row due to injury for it to be counted in the pool. I think I've already lost.

Down Goes Brown said...

Could be time for Coach Wilson to send a message to Alex Steen by sitting him down for a game.

The problem is that he can't, at least as long as they insist on carring 12 forwards and 9 defencemen. Unless they shift White to forward, they have no flexibility in terms of benching forwards.

blurr1974 said...

@ DCGB - If they sit steen, moving white into forward would alleviate that issue. Personally, I think white deserves another game, as he did score a goal, and his play later in the game on D showed, that maybe he's better suited as a forward.

general borschevsky said...

Hi everybody. Thanks for the comments. I only want to see White in there if he's playing forward. A shift or two on the blue line during a powerplay is also a good option, but otherwise, we have way too many good D-Men ahead of him. He only makes sense on this team now as a forward.

Hollweg, to me, is the one that creates inflexability at forward. If you sit Steen (or Stajan or anyone) Hollweg goes in. But he can only do one thing and can only do it on the 4th line. He is a perpetual "hole" in the line-up.

Scott Baker said...

Wilson made a point about White as a forward, playing D and playing as a grinder require two entirely different skating rhythms and muscle sets. White loses gas too easily as a forward, because he's just not used to skating that way.

general borschevsky said...

Hi scott baker. Thanks for dropping by. I think I'm cheering for Ian White only for sentimental reasons. He seems to give a good effort, but after last night's loss (my 4-0 prediction was way off, though I did get the 4 Leaf goals right!) I really didn't see much from White to get excited about.
Wishing him the best of luck, but it may be time for that ship to sail. I think White might do better in a different enviornment.

Drake said...

Hey General! Thanks for dropping by my blog. Glad to see Im not the only one whos not diggin Ian White's 'stache. Looks too creepy.

Anyway, I agree with you that Colaiacovo should stay benched. I would much rather see the viking! Stralman has been great too, but the viking just adds a whole new physical element to our defensive play. They NEED him back in there. Id like to see a pairing of Finger/Frogren.

Not only does it open up the door for plenty of name jokes, but I think that would be a hard-hitting pair that would be fun to watch.

general borschevsky said...

Hey drake! Cola is the odd man out for me right now (which is too bad 'cause I like him) based on Van Ryn's strong play. Kaberle and Kubina, along with Van Ryn provide skill and offence, while Schenn, Finger, and Frogren make the Leaf D look tough. Stralman and Cola are great insurance against injuries. but sooner or later a trade is going to happen.