Well the Leafs found a new and improved way to platoon goaltenders..........in the same game. All lame jokes aside, our number one goalie is now Joey MacDonald. MacDonald showed that he can play competently in front of the "conscientious" Leafs defense, but still needs to show that he can play in front of the "perpetual turnover machine" defense. The defense were clearing pucks from the crease after rebounds and not panicking in the corners. The two biggest culprits of blue line turnovers, Stempniak and Blake, had their backs covered. Although Grabbo decided the game hadn't been exciting enough and left a drop-pass bomb on the Montreal blue line with 2 minutes left to go. Again the much-tightened defense corralled the puck and sent it to center.
If we can play a complete game like this against an also-struggling Steve Mason, I may still be able to shave before New Years. Only 3 wins to go to reach 10. Let's go Leafs, let's go for double digit wins this season.
Is it just me or is Phil Kessel looking like a hell of a setup man? Is anyone still wondering if this kid relied on Marc Savard? Seriously, Kessel is a point per game playing with Matt Stajan, the second least obvious first-line center behind Shawn Horcoff. Good for Stajan, though. That's the second breakaway snipe in a week. Thanks for stepping it up, Matty!(I'm sure he reads my blog).
So is anyone missing the lateral sweeps through the slot of John Mitchell yet? Not me. Hanson was guilty of a few turnovers, but otherwise is playing great 4th line energy player-style hockey. This also allows Primeau to pop up to the third line, where he has been a force in the corners. Overall I like the current make-up of the team. They came back after being shut out and played the same style of forechecking hockey and beat the second-coming of Patrick Roy last night. Not sure if anyone has ever actually said that about Price before, but it seems he has those expectations. All told last night was the most enjoyable game of the year for me and look forward to a few more of that caliber before seasons end.