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Gameday #8: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Columbus Blue Jackets

573 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BE-LEAF-ABLE
I missed the last 2 games. :eek: Anyway:

After a disappointing home loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night, the Leafs travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets in their first of back-to-back games Friday (7:00PM ET).

They hope to bounce back with a hard working game against a much improved team that could possibly have Sergei Fedorov returning to the line-up that night.

In their loss to the Avalanche, the Leafs looked lost in their defencive zone, didn't create as many chances as they normally did in previous games, and Andrew Raycroft gave a below average performance, though made some big saves as well. It was a game that was uncharacteristic of the team that we've seen under new Head Coach, Paul Maurice, so far.

Raycroft's Goals Against Average has climbed after the last few games, but he's still currently sits at a solid 2.27 GAA, and a respectable Save Percentage of .923. It is not known whether he will get the start, or be saved for their last half of the home-and-home on Saturday, when they host the New York Rangers.

Bates Battaglia, a player in the Leaf system trying to find his past 20-goal form, notched Toronto's only goal of the game.

The Leaf defence made some blunders that could remind some of the Quinn/Ley coached teams of the past. They looked somewhat off from their previous game, where Mats Sundin ended a high scoring affair in Overtime for his 500th career goal.

Mats SUndin said:
"We looked sluggish maybe from not playing for a few days, I hope that's what it is".
As for Columbus, the Blue Jackets have put together a team that has some thinking about their playoff chances. The Addition of Anson Carter, And Fredrick Modin has givne the team some secondary scoring, behind Captain Rick Nash, and other forwards David Vyborny, Sergei Fedorov, and Nikolai Zherdev. No doubt did Zherdev's return give the Blue Jackets a spark, though it didn't last long as they are now coming off of a 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

They still remain without former Leaf defenceman, Bryan Berard, who may miss most of the season after having back surgery Thursday night.

There has been little word on the progress of Carlo Colaiacovo, or Staffan Kronwall. Toronto will also remain without Pavel Kubina for the rest of the month, and some of November.

Mats Sundin and Kyle Wellwood share the lead in points for Toronto with 8 points in 7 games (Sundin 4G/4A, Wellwood 7 assists), while Darcy Tucker has 5 goals for the Leafs.

Matt Stajan has notched 4 points in his last 3 games, and looks like he'll be improving upon sis previous two NHL seasons.

Rick Nash leads the Blue Jackets with 6 Points in 4 games, 5 in his last 3 (3 goals in total), while David Vyborny has 5 assists.

Pascal Leclaire is currently posting a .889 Goals against average, and a 3.36 Save Percentage. Columbus will need a strong performance from him if they want to win tonight's game.

The Leafs are 3-2-2 heading into the game, while the Blue Jackets are 2-1-1.

The Blue Jackets have a lot more weapons this year than they had in previous years. The Leafs shoud not take them lightly, or they will get burned.

Alex Steen really needs to get going, along with Jeff O'Neill. Honestly, O'Neill has done alright. However, he along with the rest of the team could still do much better.

Your thoughts on tonight's game....
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Once again, great thread man.

Do you know if this one is going to be on regular TV (TSN, Sportsnet, etc) or is a LeafsTV night?
Well that stinks. Looks like I'm watching the Argos game tonight.
Do you have NHLNetwork? It may not be the same, but they do a good job with updates and "Live Look-ins" as they call it.

I don't have LeafsTV either (don't want it), so I had to settle for the live look-ins.

A few things happened though, like Rick Nash's ankle injury (I didn't have a chance to see the post-game press conference yet)


Great game by Toronto.

They played hard, and continued to look like a different team. Raycroft was solid yet again. If he keeps on playing like that, we'll have to forget the season that he had last year. :)

Mike Peca got his first in a Leaf uniform, and in his 700th game too. Hopefully there will be more goals to coem this year. Steen got an assist. Nothing spectacular, but he just needs to keep on working hard like he always does and things will surely get better. It just takes a ittle time I guess.

Johnny Pohl also got his first of the year. Right on! He was skating hard and fast on the forcheck. Great to see him get rewarded. :D

Sweet pass from Darcy to Welly for his 2nd of the year. I'd say that Mats is finally getting some help out there, wouldn't you? I wish it came a few years earlier though.

McCabe finally scored his first too.

Another good game by Battaglia. He's battling hard, and earning every minute out there.

I expected better of the BJ's tonight, but they didn't do as good as I thought. Though i'll have to give the Leafs credit too. They played well. Nash returned to the game I think, so I guess he's okay... for now.

Next up if the Rangers tomorrow night in Toronto. Shanahan seems to be giving them a boost in the goal scoring department, so they should be tough to beat.

I think Raycroft will be playing in that game as well.
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Leafs double up Blue Jackets

Associated Press
10/20/2006 11:33:47 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - After getting booed off their home ice 48 hours earlier, the Toronto Maple Leafs found a safe haven on the road.

Kyle Wellwood and Michael Peca, playing in his 700th career game, scored 34 seconds apart to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

"When you get on the road after a loss, you really want to have a good game," said Wellwood, who added an assist.

The fans at Air Canada Centre showed their displeasure with the Leafs' play in a lacklustre 4-1 defeat to the struggling Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night. On Friday night, Toronto so dominated the second period that it was Blue Jackets fans who were booing their team's effort.

Bryan McCabe and John Pohl also scored and Andrew Raycroft had 23 saves for Toronto, which had given up 14 goals in its last three games.

The Maple Leafs were at their best when they were a man down. Columbus was 0-for-7 on the power play.

"(We had) a little slow start but the special teams were huge for us tonight," McCabe said. "The penalty kill was excellent and probably won us the game."

Manny Malhotra and Alexander Svitov scored for the Blue Jackets, who had played only one game in the previous 10 days. The game was just the fifth this season for Columbus, the fewest in the NHL. Every other team has played at least two more games and five teams have played three more.

"We had a little bit of a jump early in the first, but it seems like we're missing a little bit . a half a step or whatever," Blue Jackets defenceman Adam Foote said.

With the score tied 1-1 and the Maple Leafs on the power play, Darcy Tucker's blind backhand pass from the right doorstep set up Wellwood for the goal.

Wellwood has two goals and eight assists in his last seven games. Tucker has five goals and three assists over the same span.

Before that goal could even be announced, the Leafs struck again. Alexander Steen dug the puck out of the right corner and whisked a centring pass to Peca in the slot.

"It feels good to score, especially the first one of the season," said Peca, a free agent signing in the off-season. "You don't want to go too long without getting it. I feel very comfortable."

Columbus forward Rick Nash went down late in the game and was helped off the ice but returned to the bench. He said the Blue Jackets will turn things around.

"I don't think there's any reason to panic," he said.

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shookem said:
Once again, great thread man.

There were a few errors in it here and there, like how it's actually Adam Foote who's the Captain of the BJs and not Rick Nash.

For the most part though, I think I'm improving a bit. :)
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