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Hockey Day in Canada Game #2: Vancouver Canucks @ Toronto Maple Leafs

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The Leafs and 'Nucks are featured in Game #2 of Hockey Day in Canada at 7:00PM ET (CBC), the first and only meeting between the two teams this season.

Toronto is coming off of a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo on Thursday night, becoming only the 2nd team this season to accomplish that feat (the other being the Ottawa Senators).

Paul Maurice said:
''That was a huge win for us based on what we're going through. We don't have a lot of veterans in there right now, but the ones that we do played really well tonight. This was our guttiest performance.''
The road victory came without injured leading goal-scorer Darcy Tucker (foot), Kyle Wellwood (hip-Flexor/Groin), Alexei Ponikarovsky (Shoulder), Michael Peca (Knee/leg), and Defenceman Ian White, who injured his shoulder in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Toronto's previous game.

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The Leafs also had new/old addition Travis Green in the line-up, returning to the team for the first time since he was traded in 2003 in the waiver draft.

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The win once again has the Leafs avoid to falling below .500 this season with a 20-19-6 record for 46 points, helping them tie for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Mats Sundin's 2 assist keep him on top of the Leafs scoring list, with 41 points in 38 games this year (18G, 23A), and Goaltender Andrew Raycroft collected his 18th win of the season.

Raycroft is currently 18-14-4, and has a 2.99 Goals Against Average and .896 Save percentage after 36 Games played for for what has been a very inconsistent Maple Leafs team this year.

Toronto are 4th in the Northeast Division.

Meanwhile,, the Vancouver Canucks are playing their best Hockey of the season, riding the tails of All-Star Goaltender Roberto Luongo.

The Canucks had won 7 Games in a row until a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild last night. Luongo is 24-16-1 after 42 Games, and has a solid 2.50 Goals Against Average and .916 Save Percentage for Vancouver

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The Hockey Game in Canada will feature a quadrople of Swedes from the Canucks with the duo of Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, both proving to be dynamic so far this season, and Captain Markus Naslund, along with Defenceman Mattias Ohlund. For Toronto, it will be Captain Mats Sundin, and the hottest Leaf as of late, sophomore Alexander Steen for a total of 6.

Henrik leads the Canucks with 42 points in 44 Games played (5G, 37A), while Daniel is second on the team with 40 Points in 43 games inclunding a team leading 16 goals (16G, 24A).

Markus Naslund said:
"We’ve been lucky enough to see them grow from great prospects into amazing stars in this league. What they do with the puck is so imaginative and instinctive. It can catch you standing around watching sometimes. They can seemingly create a great scoring chance in the blink of an eye."
Vancouver is 7th in the Western Conference, with a 24-19-1 record after 44 Games played. Their 49 Points put them in a tie with the Minnesota Wild for 2nd in the Northwest Division, 1 Points back of the Calgary Flames who also play Edmonton tonight in the final game of Hockey Day in Canada. The Oilers trail Vancouver by 3 points.

The Leafs have only lost once to Vancouver since February of 2002.
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Hopefully. They usually play well against the Canucks.
2-1 Vancouver half way into the game.

Canucks goals by Ohlund (from Sedin and Sedin) and D. Sedin (from H. Sedin and Ohlund) for the Canucks both on the Powerplay.

Leaf Goal by Batagglia (from Devereaux).

Shots 19-10 for Toronto, 14 shots in the 1st.
Battaglia penalty now.

Vancouver on the Powerplay.
Well... that was an "interesting" 3rd period, eh?

6-1 Vancouver.

The inconsistency continues. Brutal finish.
Home sour home

Latest ugly Leafs loss leaves record crowd jeering and Sundin cursing

Perhaps it was just a slip of the tongue, but there was no mistaking Mats Sundin's disgust last night.

After the Maple Leafs' worst home loss of the season -- a 6-1 non-nailbiter to the Vancouver Canucks, one of the weakest offensive clubs in the National Hockey League -- the Leafs captain was asked about the jeers aimed at goalie Andrew Raycroft in the closing minutes.

"It is heartbreaking," Sundin said. "For a guy who plays his heart out and has, in my opinion, had a f-----g pretty solid first half of the season..."

Hearing Sundin swear, especially in front of a bank of microphones, was shocking, but it summed up the Leafs' evening. That the Leafs were defeated by five goals for the first time in 2006-07 on home ice was bad; that it happened in front of the largest crowd, 19,608, to watch a Leafs game in Toronto, (including 100 members of the Canadian Forces) was worse.
CANOE -- SLAM! Sports - Hockey NHL - Toronto - Home sour home

Minus the laguage, I totally agree.

Even last night's game wasn't all his fault. The 1st and last goal he maybe should of had, but the rest of 4 in between he has no chance whatsoever.

- Sedin's 1st (2nd Vancouver goal) was screened, courtesy of Travis Green.

- The 3rd goal was a rebound on the 5-3, with the McCabe Gill pairing. Even Bob Cole could tell that "it was only a matter of time".

- The 4th was breakaway for Taylor Pyatt. (nice move by the way)

- And the 5th was a giveaway by Tomaas Kaberle right to the stick of Markus Naslund.

Not to mention this team obviously has no discipline.

Like I said after the loss to the Red Wings (while they were ranked 25th before facing the Leafs and scoring 5 Powerplay goals), Toronto has always been the cure for these situations.
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