Saturday, October 11, 2008

Leafs Lose; Cup Hopes in Doubt, Ontario Shamed

In all seriousness, it was a bad game and a lost cause, but with a few bounces the score could have been much more respectable. 3 posts, a blown chance by Blake early on, and if we'd been able to corral the puck on the numerous times Halak was swimming around in his crease we might have salvaged a bit of our pride.

But that kind of thinking is a part of the old club, it's not about what could have happened but rather what we did or didn't do that game, and boy did things look depressing on that front. We were running in our end when we should have been standing calm, we were standing around when we should have been pressing. The forecheck wasn't established properly and we failed to take the physical game to a Habs team minus Georges Laraque. The Leafs looked like the team that had just played a shootout game the night before, the Habs team looked like the young team hungry for the puck.

But that's how the Leafs are going to be this season, we're counting on inexperience in both our top six and our back end to grow on the job. When it works it'll be great, when things don't get going we can unravel just like that.

This team is often going to have just one chance to steal their wins, whether it be a scoring chance or a blocked shot. As the season progresses we'll be able to see if anyone on the current roster can be counted on, and if the team can reign their play in after that.

Leadership on this team is going to be important, in an interview with CBC it was mentioned that after the win in Detroit, while the team was celebrating, Hagman was back on the stationary bike. The younger core is going to need to learn the lesson in that, it's not about pats on the back or kicking socks, it's about working hard every second.

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