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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wasn't able to post the game day threads up, but for those who watched the games I guess you could say the change in the Leafs (and Sens) was different from the way the teams played on Wednesday, and the way they played on Thursday.

If not a recap, give your thoughts on both games if you will, and what players you think stood out for the Leafs (and which didn't show up)


Game #1 (in Toronto) -

Toronto was off to a great start in the 1st, but died down near the end of it. Before Eaves' goal, they dominated and, had it not been for Gerber who was superb, they would have been up 3 - 0. It looked like a whole new Leafs team before they faded back, but in the end, they looked more like the Leafs under Pat Quinn's final year or 2.

On the bright side, Sundin was playing some very inspired Hockey out there, with some fire. He was carrying it over from the way he played near the end of last season. Wellwood also looked great. He created some nice plays out there, but couldn't finish. Hopefully he stays with Mats on that top line. Raycroft's play was decent. I was relieved that he was playing okay out there, no weak goals or anything. The defence was also a surprise. Other than McCabe who looked more like an AHLer than anything else out there, they did a good job of keeping the front of the net clear, a problem that the Leafs had for years. The opposition was always hacking and whacking away at rebounds in front of Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph. Now they were clearing the crease.

There was a lot of positive stuff that came out of that game, but they still had a ton to work on as the final score showed. O'Neill didn't prove he belonged too much, but I liked the starting offencive lines as a whole. Maybe not the arrangement, but the selection of players. Battaglia, Pohl, and Suglubov were all playing, like I had hoped. And no Nik Antropov. With the players that they currently have, I think that's definitely the best possible line-up they could have made. Kubina was out, and so was Colaiacovo, but Kubina is meant to be one of the team's top guys, and Belak didn't look too good replacing him. The Leafs played decently, but not good enough to win, and they'd have to get by the wall that Martin Gerber had created.

Game #2 (in Ottawa):

A much better effort by Toronto. Kubina was back in he line-up, and he played well. Wellwood had an awesome game with 4 assists, and Sundin played just as good as he did the game before. Kilger stepped up big time, and Tucker, even though it wasn't comepletely vintage Darcy, added in 2 good goals. Poni also came alive. I think Toronto should keep that top line together (Ponikarovsky-Sundin-Wellwood), Poni brings good size and skates well, and he came off a had earned 20 goals season last year, while Wellwood leaves the opposition with a crafty speedster for Sundin. It opens the big guy in Mats up big time.

Battaglia scored, and I was glad to see that. His buddy Jeff didn't do anything spectacular, but after Battaglia's goal, O'Neill seemed to start to want to get is game together. He stepped it up a bit.

The penalty killing was superb, especially with Peca on board.

And Raycroft... man. I don't know. He's played so well in the 2 games so far. I want to BELEAF, but I'll continue trying to hold off and be the sceptic I usually am so I can hold proper judgement on him. He did have a great game though. 34 saves and he had great positioning out there. Beautiful pokecheck on whoevere had that breakaway by the way (was it Spezza or Heatley, or Schaefer?:dunno: )

Anyway, your thoughts...?
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