Saturday, September 17, 2005

Maple Leafs Report

Wow, I just returned from the Maple Leaf's Blue vs. White game today, and man did I miss hockey. The atmosphere was great, it was so great to finally attend an NHL game, something none of us have done in awhile. Here is my report from the game.

First off, the score. Team Blue won 5-4 in a shootout. Lindros, Leeb(x2), and Sundin scored for Blue, while Tucker(x2), Wilm and Sagat scored for Team White. Sundin, Lindros and Wellwood took the shootout for Blue, while Allison, O'Neil and Czercawkski took the shootout for team White. Sundin was the only one to score. Belfour and Telly were the two starting goalies, Telly allowed two goals, while Belfour stopped all 14 shots he faced. Belfour really looked good. The line combos I remember are as follows...

Steen - Sundin - Antropov
Ponikarovsky - Lindros - Thomas
Tucker - Allison - O'Neil
Czercawski - Stajan - (Can't Remember)
Kaberle - McCabe
Khavanov - Kronwall
Colaiacovo - Harrison
Berg - Brown
White - Bell
Marchment switched a lot, as did Colaiacovo

Obviously I missed a pile, but a lot of rookies were playing. Steen really looked great, and looks more than ready for the NHL. Tucker has the nicest goal of the game, and played extremely well. Colaiacovo, Harrison and Kronwall were all great on D, which is why I doubt Marchment will make it, though Marchment's pass on Sagat's goal was beautiful. Thomas looks like he will make the team, while Antropov was terrible. Ken Klee did not play, I am hearing he hurt his ankle yesterday. Khavanov, I believe, did not play in the third period but I could be wrong. Czercawski didn't play in the 1st period. Stajan and Czercawski were pretty invisable today, as was Domi. Lindros was probably one of the best on the ice, Antropov was by far the worst.

A young guy by the name of Mike Hoffman really impressed me, he took Brown out with a huge hit forcing Brown to the ground for a minute or so. Ponikarovsky also tripped Belak, which kept him down for a few minutes. Both Belak and Brown came back into the game.

Watching the new rules, I didn't see that much difference. There were no breakaways at all. A LOT of penalties were called. Colaiacovo and some rookie who's name I forget each had 2 minors to lead the way in Penalties. Ian White and Brenden Bell both showed they could compete at a high level. After today, here is my line up prediction

Steen - Sundin - Czercawski
Tucker - Allison - O'Neil
Ponikarovsky - Lindros - Thomas
Antropov - Stajan - Domi
McCabe - Kaberle
Klee - Khavanov
Berg - Colaiacovo/Kronwall

Only one of Carlo/Kronwall will make it, and the pre-season will decide that. I almost cought a shirt and a jersey during the toss, one went to the seat behind me, one went to the seat below me. After watching today, I stand by my prediction of the Leafs being a top team this season. Today showed they have a lot of depth.