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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Coming off of a sweep in a home-and-home series with the Ottawa Senators, losing 3 games in a row, and 4 out of their last 5, the Maple Leafs look to try and start righting the ship when they visit Montreal to take on the Canadiens. (7:00PM ET start, CBC)

Jean-Sebastien Aubin will get his 2nd start of the season, and 1st in his native land of Montreal since 1997. David Aebischer will be at the other end of the ice, making this game a battle of the back-ups between the pipes.

Aubin's last start had him losing 7-6 in the shootout to the New Jersey Devils, as the Leafs gave up 3 unanswered goals after being up 6-3 at the end of the 2nd intermission.

He currently has a 4.94 Goals against Average and .894 Save Percentage

Toronto's last two games saw the team at the worst it has been all year. Goaltender Andrew Raycroft was given little help in the game, and allowed 7 goals on 40 shots, with very few of them that could be blamed on him, behind a rocky defencive group.

Shades of Leaf teams prior to this season began to creep up (mainly during the tenures of Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour), leaving the Leafs to try and assure fans that this will not be the case.

Bryan McCabe said:
''We've got to be at our best every night and obviously the past couple of games we haven't been. We are the veteran guys back there and we have to lead by example, especially with young guys in the lineup. It hasn't been good enough the last two nights and the both of us have to pick up our games.''
Related topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/3147-leafs-focus-tightening-up-defensively.html

Mike Peca said:
''We're making it easy on teams to score on us right now. And that stems from all areas of the ice. Our defensive zone coverage, I think overall, hasn't been too bad. We're giving up goals off the rush. When you give up goals off the rush that means you're not doing a good enough job in the offensive zone sustaining pressure and getting pucks in deep.

And just not backchecking hard enough in certain areas to allow your defencemen to step up and make plays at our blue-line.''
Dany Heatley scored his 5th career hattrick, while Jason Spezza recorded team record, 4 assists in 1 period. Joe Corvo also had a team record, 5 points (1G, 4A) by a defenceman.

Jeff O'Neill and Bates Battaglia had the only 2 goals in the 7-2 loss on Thursday night.

The game also saw the continual absence of the Tucker-Sundin-Wellwood line. The Ponikarovsky-Stajan-O'Neill line, only one in tact before the last losing streak, is currently the only one producing consistently in terms of offence.

The Leafs are now 4-4-3 on the Season.

Meanwhile, Montreal is coming off of a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Andre Markov's goal with 1.2 seconds remaining gave the Habs the win. Bruins fans were left throwing garbage on the ice after their team ended the night with no points.

Speedy Hab winger, Sergei Samsonov, has been demoted to the 4th line, after not meeting the expectations of Montreal's management.

Guy Carbonneau said:
"I talked to Sergei a couple of days ago about his game but it didn't work out, so I had to do something."
Back-up goaltender, David Aebischer, currently has a 2.46 Goals Against Average and a .921 Save Percentage. His play has created somewhat of a buzz in Montreal, as 9 games in his numbers are better than that of starting goaltender Cristobal Huet, who has a 2.92 Gools Against Average and .899 Save Percentage.

The word "controversy" was beginning to find it's way into the media, but so far, Montreal seems to be staying the course with Huet.

Montreal is 5-2-2 through 9 games played.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I didn't even see the game so I can't comment on too much.

Kaberle scored a hattrick?! If I didn't see the hightlights myself, that would have been the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

The stats sheet says that he had 5 shots on goal. I dunno, must be broken. :dunno:

Sundin had some real battles down low. Good to see that he's still playing hard.

I still wish Tucker was on that top line though. He made some real nice plays out there.

That Leafs had 51 shots?! What?! :eek:
 
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