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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Playing in their first game of the New Year, and last before the end of the 1st half for the club, the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Center tonight (7:00PM ET, TSN), this being the 6th meeting between the 2 clubs.

The Leafs missed a chance to sneak into the last playoff spot in the East on Saturday night with a loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Toronto was without Wingers Darcy Tucker (Bruised Foot), Alexei Ponikarovsky (Elbow), and Centermen Kyle Wellwood (Hip-Flexor/Groin), and Michael Peca (Broken leg), while Ottawa was without Centermen Jason Spezza (Knee) and Mike Fisher (Knee).

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However, the game turned out to be one of many opportunities for both sides to win, but the play of Andrew Raycroft (Stopping 31 of 34), and even better play by Ray Emery (Stopping 43 of 45) kept the score close at 2-1, before a collapse in the defencive zone helped Chris Kelly to give The Senators the tie with a little over 2 minutes remaining in the 3rd.

Chris Kelly said:
"It was a great pass. I was surprised to be that open, especially late in the game. There's usually three guys on you."
The Senators then won the game in Overtime with another odd-man rush given away by the Leafs, the goal being scored by Chris Philips.

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Alexander Steen opened the scoring for Toronto, and Boyd Devereaux, called up from the minors to fill the holes in the Leafs' line-up, scores his first goal as a Leaf.

Toronto is 17-18-5 after 40 games, and are currently positioned at 10th in the Eastern Conference with 40 Points, and last in the Northeast Division.

Darcy Tucker, leading the team in goals with 19, is likely to play tonight. Mats Sundin leads the team in Points with 35 in 33 games (16G, 19A).

Andrew Raycroft is 15-12-4 after 31 games, and has a 3.09 Goals Against Average and .893 Save Percentage.

Toronto went 4-10 in December.

Boston, coming off of a 5-0 loss to the Nashville Predators, are currently ahead of the Leafs by 1 point in the standings for the last spot in the Eastern Conference with 41

As of late, the team is finally seeming to come together, having a 19-14-3 record in 36 games, and reording pointsi n5 of their last 6 games (4-1-1).

Marc Savard leads the offencive charge with 15 points in his last 9 games, and he also leads the team with 47 Points in 36 (12G, 35A). Savard's 35 Assists place him 3rd in the league (behind Jaromir Jagr and Sidney Crosby)

Glen Murray leads the team in goals, with 19 in 36 games, and Patrice Bergeron has also been hot as of late (14 Points in last 8).

In net, Tim Thomas has been at his best, going 4-0-1 in his last 5 games, and having a 2.38 Goals Against Average and .933 Save percentage in that span. In the process, the player of the week from 2 weeks ago has now dropped his high Goals Against Average down to 2.99, and now posts a .908 Save Percentage. Thomas is 17-8-3 through 30 games.

Toronto is 1-3-1 against the Bruins this year, with Tim Thomas allowing 2 goals or less in all of them.

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Leafs blitz Bruins to open 2007

Canadian Press
1/1/2007 9:53:05 PM

TORONTO (CP) - The Toronto Maple Leafs grabbed a share of seventh place in the Eastern Conference when they defeated the Boston Bruins 5-1 to complete the first half of their NHL schedule on Monday night.

It was an uplifting way for the injury-riddled Leafs to begin 2007.

After earning only three of 12 available points in their previous six games, the Leafs produced their best effort in weeks to move even with the idle New York Rangers in the conference and jump out of the Northeast Division basement a point ahead of Boston.

Mats Sundin scored two goals and Hal Gill, Kris Newbury and Jeff O'Neill got one each for the Leafs, 18-17-6, who got outstanding goaltending from Andrew Raycroft.

Zdeno Chara scored for the weary Bruins, 19-15-3, who were playing their third road game in four nights. Relegation to the division cellar might be only temporary since they have four games in hand on Toronto.

The teams exchanged early power-play goals. The six-foot-nine Chara parked his 260 pounds at the front of Raycroft's crease and put in a rebound at 4:51 with Boston enjoying a two-man advantage, and Sundin redirected a Bryan McCabe pass behind Tim Thomas at 8:09.

It was Sundin's 513th goal, moving him past Gilbert Perreault for sole possession of 32nd spot on the all-time list.

Darcy Tucker, who missed the previous two games after taking a puck off his left foot, got a rough ride into corner boards when he was tripped by Paul Mara in the 11th minute. It was an obvious infraction to most of the 19,359 spectators, but the referees missed it.

Gill put Toronto up 2-1 when he swung at a sliding puck as he crashed into a Bruin near the top of the circle to the right of the Boston net. The puck arced into the air and found the far top corner of the net at 12:19 as Chad Kilger screened Thomas, who fell in the crease as the puck entered the net.

Tucker was elbowed to the ice by Andrew Alberts in the 19th minute in the same corner where Mara took him down. Alberts was penalized and Tucker, blood flowing down his face, just missed scoring a third Toronto goal during the power play.

If the teams played to form the rest of the game, Toronto would get the two points: it was 9-2-2 when leading after one period this season, and Boston was 1-9-0 when trailing after one.

Toronto's fourth forward line - Newbury, Ben Ondrus and Wade Belak, who got only two shifts in the first period - engineered the third Toronto goal with physical in-the-trenches hustle.

With Belak battling Chara for a loose puck in a corner, Newbury gained possession and took a bad-angle shot that surprised Thomas. The puck struck the goalie's stick blade and caromed over the line - oh, so slowly - as he lunged for it. The goal, at 12:24 of the second period, was the first in an NHL game for Newbury. The 24-year-old native of nearby Brampton was appearing in his fifth game since being summoned from the AHL Toronto Marlies because of all the Leafs' injuries.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They won the game, but the main thing is the defencive pairings.

Mauric finally tried out having Kaberle-Kubina as the top pairing, and I hope it remains. Kubina's been playing very well as of late, and Kaberle's having a career year.

McCabe's was playing with Kaberle a bit, then Colaiacovo, then Gill, then White. He played a lot better last night than usual.

Not to mention he finally threw a hit with his shoulder for once. I didn't see too many mistakes, but nothing's rosy yet. He's a defencive liability, and he'll have to have more performances like he had last night before he restores any of the confidence that I had in him from years ago.
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