So Sifers played just under 7 minutes last night with only one shift in the third period, despite playing over 20 earlier in the season and playing decently well at that. He took some heavy hits but no mention of an injury was made, nor did he leave the bench at any time.
Wilson in his post game noted that a virus has been making the rounds through the team, the defense especially, and he tapped Finger as an example. Except Finger played 18 minutes last night, despite taking two penalties that resulted in 5-on-3's. How did Finger deserve almost triple Sifers' ice time? He certainly wasn't any good on the power play.
So why was Sifers effectively benched for the game? He didn't stand out particularly, either good or bad. He certainly didn't put us in as many rough spots as Finger and Kubina did tonight. And if it was a virus tearing him up and causing lazy play from our vets, why wasn't one or both of Stralman or Kronwall called up to provide fresher bodies? If we needed the "toughness" that Deveaux and I'm supposing Newbury were to provide why haven't we given Phil Oreskovic, a 6' 3" defenseman from North York who has 56 PIMs in 32 games in the AHL, a tryout?
Also, upon the subject of the Leafs' decent amount of blueline scoring in the postgame, Wilson named White as someone whose contributions have been pleasantly surprising. White has 4 points in 20 games as a blueliner, and his assist tonight was so ghostly it might have been given to Alexei Cherepanov (too soon?). What is White slipping into Wilson's beverages to him believe he's contributing offensively? Especially as our power play has been atrocious during White's tenure on D. How does a productive tenure at forward justify the offensive minutes given to White on the blueline?
From the branches: Game day at last - Pre-season game #1 is coming up tonight. Get ready for Jean-Gabriel Pageau vs Tyler Bozak! The first pre-season games always have the worst lineups, so...
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