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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With their losing-streak reaching 6 games, and the team now on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, the Toronto Maple Leafs hope to shake out of their slump when they visit Detroit to take on the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday night (7:00PM ET, CBC).

Toronto blew yet another lead in their game against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night in a 3-1 loss, sending much of Leaf Nation into concern over the team's performance of late. The Leafs, once sitting snug in 4th place in the Eastern Conference, now find themselves trying to get back into the playoffs after going 2-9 in their last 11 games, with 4 of those losses suffered at the hands of the Bruins.

related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/4978-leafs-lose-sixth-straight.html

Since their last loss, Paul Maurice has called for leadership and responsibility from the rest of the team who he sees as ducking under the shelter of the more well-known Maple Leafs.

Paul Maurice said:
"I'm looking for a little more ownership in our situation, instead of the four guys who always give it. Those guys wear it, you can see it in their play and hear it on the bench. If Darcy is not bleeding, he is not in the game. But we need less leadership at the top end, more ownership (elsewhere).

Every guy in that room has to finish checks, compete harder, control rebounds, do all the things we aren't doing now."
Back-up Goaltender J.S. Aubin was eager to start in goal for Leafs after seeing Andrew Raycroft in net for 8 consecutive games, and all 5 previous losses. However, like for Raycroft, the team collapsed in front of him to snatch defeat from the hand of victory. The sloppy play in front of the net might have given Aubin somewhat of a shock.

J.S. Aubin said:
"Me and Bryan McCabe (the only defenceman in the vicinity) talked about it after. The puck bounced right before it hit my pad and took off like a grenade. Look at all the rebounds I give up, they're right around the net (and safe to smother).

But we can't cry about it. We have to play even harder and smarter. I'll just take the positives out of it and hopefully I get a game soon."
Jeff O'neill scored the only goal for Toronto, where blowing leads has been a concern for the team all season long. Even before sitting just 1 game above .500 like where they currently find themselves.

The Leafs are 13-12-5 after 30 games, falling to 9th in the Eastern Conference and just 1 point above the Boston Bruins for last in the Northeast Division.

Darcy Tucker leads the team in goals with 17, and the league with 13 on the Powerplay. He also leads the team in points with 26 in 30 games.

Andrew Raycroft has a Goals Against Average of 2.93, and sits at a .900 Save Percentage.

The Red Wings remain at home after defeating the St. Louis Blues, also on Thursday night. Down 3-0 in the game, Detroit scored 3 straight goals, and added 1 more in Overtime to defeat the Blues 4-3 after a goal by Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk was having a slow start to the season, but seems to be turning it on as of late.

Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/detroit-red-wings/4982-datsyuk-caps-wings-comeback-over-blues.html

Goaltender Dominik Hasek's solid performance in net for the Red Wings this year has so far been one of the undetold stories of the NHL. Posting a 1.88 Goals Against Average and a .909 Save Percentage after 20 games, Hasek, for the most part has been proving the fans and media wrong, and is well on his way to more than the 40-50 games originally target set by the Wings this year.

Defenceman Niklas Lidstrom leads the team in points with 24 in 27 games.

The Red Wings are 6th in the Western Conference with a 16-7-4 record after 28 games, for 36 points. They are 3 points back of Nashville for the top spot in the Central Division.

Detroit will continue to be without defenceman Danny Markov, who will be out 3 weeks after suffering a broken hand in the team's previous meeting against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, where thy won 5-1.

Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/detroit-red-wings/4956-wings-markov-sidelined-broken-hand.html

This is the 1st Regular Season meeting between the two Original 6 rivals this year, and the first since 2004.
 

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I do not know what is up with the Leafs blowing so many leads. I heard on the radio a good point. Maybe they are a little tired after working their butts off in the beggining of the season. Hopefully they have just hit a wall and can get it going again. If not, it will be another long season of hearing the sky is falling in Leaf land.
 

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shookem said:
Damn, the Wings are 8-2 at home. Still, this looks like as good of a game as any to break out of this slump.

Will Ray-Ray be back in net tonight?
Lets hope not for the sake of my Fantasy team. Both my goalies are going head to head.
 

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TMLBLUE said:
Lets hope not for the sake of my Fantasy team. Both my goalies are going head to head.
Your team is fine. I've dropped five places in the last couple of weeks, my team might be in trouble.

How about the Leafs win 1-0 then? :p
 

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shookem said:
Your team is fine. I've dropped five places in the last couple of weeks, my team might be in trouble.

How about the Leafs win 1-0 then? :p
Fine with me. As long as Tucker scores the game winning goal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
LOL! Gotta' love Hockey Pool talk. :laugh:

Leafs-Wings rivalry returns



The Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings finally renew their rivalry for the first time in over three years.
3 years?! Yeesh! That's just unacceptable, especially if it's between 2 original 6 clubs.

Detroit has won 4 of their last 5, so their not exactly climbing out of a slump. It should be a tough game, and the Leafs better be ready to play.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
shookem said:
To be fair, one of those years the Leafs didn't play any of the originial six teams.
Oh, right. That year. :(

Anyway: They lost again. Now they're undisciplined again?

Is it just me, or are they turning back into a shell of their former selves again? At first this year it looked like the team was seemingly making some progress from the repetitive cycle of the previous 4-5 seasons.

They were actually doing something we haven't seen them do in a while: Learning.

Learning isn't supposed to stop in a game like this, but it seems that what's happened in Toronto. The Leafs just don't seem to remember that there are consequences to some of their actions.

I didn't get to see the game, but I know this team all too well now. This is nothing new. When a team is struggling in any department (Detroit ranked 27th on the Powerplay), the Leafs are back to being "the cure" again (14 penalties, as as Maurice claimed, "On the penalty kill, we didn't get the job done").

*Shakes head*

5-1 Detroit, Final.

They have to snap out of it, because we've already seen that they can do better than this.
 

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Was it much of a surprise though? I mean, the Leafs had some good streaks so far(the latest being the duration of Sundin injury), but this is still the same slow team. The young guns are a step in the right direction, but now they need direction and individual leadership out there. I was at the last Tor vs. Atl game and couldn't believe the speed, or lack thereof , in which the Leafs possessed. 3 shots on goal in one period is not going to cut it. Atlanta was playing much better, right out of the gates. Their harder work paid off when Toronto continued to allow the pressure. Raycroft did what he could. That's how I saw it =/

It's fun to believe and all that, and I never give up on them. But something is rotten in Denver when a 7 game losing skid comes as no surprise to your team =/
 

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I belame the lack of surprise on the low expectations everyone had for the team before the season began.

Still, I believe this team proved themselves to be better than the expectations of them. Then again ...
 
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