Sunday, December 30, 2007

Raking Leafs and Burning Them, NYR 6, Toronto 1

Poor, poor Toronto.

Of the two coaches representing last night, Toronto Maple Leaf Coach Paul Maurice may be looking for a new job after a slaughtering by our New York Rangers at the ACC in Toronto. NYR Coach Tom Renney should be breathing easy for now. A sold out 19,000+ for this highly televised and anticipated Original Six meeting, the Blueshirts completely dominated the game from start to finish and handed the Leafs another loss this season. In fact, last night's beating was the sixth time the Maple Leafs have allowed five goals or more at home this season. "Hate" or "shame" could be fitting words if you are a Leafs fan this month.

Jaromir Jagr had a goal and three assists while Petr Prucha scored two goals for the Rangers (19-15-4). Blair Betts, Brendan Shanahan and Martin Straka also scored and backup goaltender Stephen Valiquette won in his hometown for the second time this season. Toronto's Darcy Tucker scored the loan goal in the third period and prevented "Valley"'s first NHL shutout.

The New York Rangers could not have played a more focused and terrific game. They scored five power play goals out of ten opportunities (50%, woh!) and played their most confident and disciplined game seen this season thus far. Everyone raised the bar last night: Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez, Drury, Betts, Valiquette & ......Tom Renney? Effective line changes, Captain Jagr diverting the Leafs defense, and the team aggressively taking the puck to the net gave them the win. There were less defensive turnovers than usual and even Marek Malik looked to be playing a fairly decent game.

One noteworthy word of the night......Prucha!

On paper, the Toronto Maple Leafs has one of the strongest defensive lines in the League -- or for that matter, maybe just the most expensive defensive ones. Giving the Blueshirts ten power plays was just irresponsible and they demonstrated some of the worst penalty killing ever seen. They literally allowed the Rangers to continuously take shots until we scored on them. The Dark Ranger hasn't seen such sub-par play since the Rangers lost to Atlanta or Phoenix!!?

The 'audience anticipated' Sean Avery/Darcy Tucker event never occurred, but an even fight between Colton Orr & Wade Belak kept the fight-hungry fans wanting more. Unless you were a Rangers fan in Toronto, everyone in the Air Canada Centre had to have been silenced & embarrassed by Andrew Raycroft's (pretending goalkeeper for the Leafs) performance. He was just plain awful. Dump him Toronto.

It was a solid game of hockey and I am thrilled by it. More telling will be how the Rangers can turn the Carolina beating and this 'confidence boosting' Toronto slaughter into another solid game against the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow. A 'win' tomorrow could be the long awaited turnaround we've all been hoping for.

Let's go Rangers and well done. We are proud to be Blue.



  1. Awesome game last night. Blueshirts you made us proud!

  2. Excellent effort over the past two nights. What do you make of the minor league transactions?

  3. 1) How maurice still has a job is amaizing. Of course how their GM, John Ferguson has one is just as amazing.
    2) Despite their OT win against an equally bad Lightning team with their own coaching issue, the Leafs suck right now, and really shouldn't!

  4. kingpuck...thanks. but not after last night.
    pucks on brdwy...the Providence Bruins seem to be dominating our little Wolfpack, almost 10 points over our second's an open question, but if you're referring to some of the prospects...things look great. I just love Bobby Sanguinetti's style and maybe one more year in the AHL, he will be a strong contender come next season....and then, there are the Russians. I hear they are comin'.
    faux...though they have pulled out a fairly decent season (and I complain about the Rangers not being consistent), their coaching and management is a disaster. The executive suite was cleared during the Leafs/NYR game after the second period...not a good sign at all for Coach Leaf. ;)


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