April 03, 2004

Leafs give Senators the beat down of the year.: While the rest of us were watching basketball, some hockey team in Ottawa got their asses handed to them, to the tune of 6-0. Senators fans, are you gonna wear your "Leafs Suck" t-shirts tomorrow?

posted by molafson to hockey at 09:37 PM - 21 comments

Wow. Eat that, Succa (good-natured ribbing).

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:38 PM on April 03

I was completely shocked that Ottawa could come out so flat for a game that meant so much. If I were an Ottawa fan, I'd be REAL worried about that goaltending situation.

posted by grum@work at 06:49 AM on April 04

What makes this game even more important is that depending on what happens to the Boston/NJ game this afternoon, the Leafs will either play the Canadiens (for the first time in 25 years) or Senators in the first round. Either way, CBC is jumping for joy.

posted by grum@work at 07:03 AM on April 04

I never thought I'd say it this year but...I miss you Lalime! Forget all those cruel things I said! Come back! That game was a carnival. I thought Ottawa really looked good in the first period and they should have scored a few times. But then the cascade of unbelievable penalties started. The officiating was clearly awful from start to finish, plain as day. Perhaps the worst officiated game I've seen this year, and I've seen some bad ones. But that means nothing. The blame should be pinned on Jacques Martin for this debacle. After a tough game in Philly on Friday, he chose to start the exact same defensive pairings, even though Leschyshyn and Simpson were healthy and ready to go. And boy did the D look tired. They couldn't hand the Leafs nicer scoring chances if they put it in the net themselves. So yeah. Dumb move, Jacques. But I agree with what Don Cherry said after the game. The Sens needed this. A buttkicking will help them. In fact, I harken back to yesteryear, when the Bruins handed the Sens a 7-1 drubbing, and Ottawa followed it up with a 23-game unbeaten streak. Looking forward to the first round gentlemen! And barring a miraculous post-season, Radek Bonk will be traded this off-season. Whatta bum.

posted by Succa at 10:20 AM on April 04

And the "Leafs Suck" logo is tattooed on my very soul, molafson.

posted by Succa at 10:20 AM on April 04

Since a romp through to the conference title seemed a little out of reach since last week, a bit of trauma is better than a comatose ending to the season. The Sens play disgustingly well when they're awake. This, as Cherry suggested, will wake them up. This also actually helps the goaltending situation. Lalime's mediocre season wasn't helped at all by seeing Prusek turn into a 4x6 brick wall every other game. Some goaltenders are motivated by pressure like that, but Lalime's problem was confidence, not mended easily in that sort of situation. Prusek, in being yanked for the second game in a week, has proven that he is human, giving real weight to the administration's stance that Lalime is our playoff goalie. Lalime should have a better understanding of his role on the team, and should come out well for the next coupla months. It's not like his performance has been lacking the past two playoff seasons. And if Bill "Clutch 'n' Grab" McCreary calls any of the Ottawa-Toronto games, I will commit ritual suicide.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:24 PM on April 04

And my soul tattoo says "Lose Leafs Lose". But that's just me.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:24 PM on April 04

...more fuel to the fire....

posted by garfield at 08:40 AM on April 05

...more fuel to the fire.... What an insightful piece..."The Leafs should be first seed because I think they're the best team." Al Strachan doing what he does best, folks.

posted by Succa at 09:00 AM on April 05

That Strachan article's a riot! I don't think it's supposed to be, though.

posted by Samsonov14 at 10:18 AM on April 05

he's just rating the teams based on their strength now. if he calls it "power rankings" then who cares. it is just his opinion. he just has a newspaper column to share it in. And, for what it is worth, the Bruins topped the Leafs on the basis of their superior abilities in losing games in OT. So those who don't like the point for the OT loss have maybe a little ammo there when the Leafs had 45 wins to the Bruins 41. Leafs were 45-27-10 (0.610) while the Bruins were 41-26-15 (0.591). So a case can be made for sticking the Leafs above the Bruins but, via the same consideration, Tampa did earn their top spot.

posted by gspm at 11:19 AM on April 05

That's not what Strachan said at all. He said based on the weighted schedules, the deadline acquisitions and the goaltending, the Leafs should be the favorite coming in. Do I agree with him? Not totally. I don't think you can completely discount the Lightning, but do I think the Leafs (and the Sens) have a better chance of winning the title than Tampa Bay. You bet. And do the Leafs have a better chance than Ottawa? Yup. by the way, Succa, I acquired a colin forbes game-used jersey the other day. Do you know of a store in Ottawa where they might be willing to trade?

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:23 AM on April 05

Offer up your own subjective rankings, if these are so laughable...Not surprisingly, I mostly agree with Strachan, except for the Lightning not being legit, as Tampa really plundered the Atlantic rather than the S.E. I'd have Buds #1, put the B's above the Devils, and then Tampa in 4th. Followed closely by the Flyers and Ottawa. Throw in the Isles and the Habs.

posted by garfield at 11:24 AM on April 05

Aside from Philly (and of course the Islanders & Montreal), the other five are a toss-up. The Lightning are full value for the #1 slot, but you could make a case for Toronto or Boston or any of them. That's my head talking. My heart agrees with Strachan, for the first and (I assure you) the last time.

posted by chicobangs at 12:05 PM on April 05

Haven't lived in Ottawa in 6 years wfrazerjr, can't help you there. The only place I can think of is Clubhouse. It's a franchise that sells pro merch. There are a few jersey collectors online as well. The Leafs have got a good chance for sure, at least to come out of the East. The great thing about this year's playoffs is that there are no free rides. Whoever makes the finals is guaranteed to have beaten a good team or two on the way. That's why depth will decide the Cup winner - the finalists will be battered silly by the end of May. The final will be won by the team with the most youth and depth, which ain't gonna be Toronto.

posted by Succa at 12:06 PM on April 05

Youth and depth? Sounds like wishful thinking to me. What happened to goal-tending being the playoff benchmark? Oh, and veteran leadership. That's how the cup is won. And to make a not so bold prediction, the cup is returning East this year, just not to the Meadowlands.

posted by garfield at 12:21 PM on April 05

Well, depth more than youth. The Leafs are okay, depth-wise, but they are a little thin, especially on defence. And you know there will be injuries. There always are. I say the Cup is going Westward this year....the Eastern Conference gauntlet won't be escaped without casualties.

posted by Succa at 12:38 PM on April 05

wfraze - my comment was as blowhardy as Strachan since I read the column but took out of if what I cared to since I knew the gist of the comments about it was that he was a blowhard. in any case, good for starting a conversation. NOW. in lieu of the lack of a good playoff matchup thread - how great are the matchups this year!! BOS vs MTL is the one I am most interested in as far as a matchup goes. Both OTT vs TOR and PHI vs NJ could be classics. Recent history galore in those matchups. VAN vs CGY will be great if only because the Flames are back in the mix and sure to be hungry. We'll see what Kirpusoff can offer when the pressure is on. And we know what Cloutier can offer when the pressure is on. COL vs DAL sounds like a good matchup as the best teams from about 3-4 years ago try and recapture their Cup form. Here I am over in Scotland and making due with the highlights offered on the NHL website. I only really followed the Leafs v Flyers series last year then a few other series. But with five series already catching my eye this year I may have to get out of bed a little earlier so I can squeeze the highlights-watching in before heading to work.

posted by gspm at 12:51 PM on April 05

fain nuf. Depth is key. I'd give the Leafs D more credit than commonly thought. Berg is playing extremely well, Marchment has chilled out and is in prime 'piss of the competition' form, Pilar can fill step into the rotation(but still worries me). Then there's Klee, Calle, and Leetch, all aged like fine wine. Throw in Kaberle, the most improved player since Leetch came to town, and Brian "Superman" McCabe, not to mention the most points from the D corps of any team all year, and I'd say they are far better than commonly thought. Add to that Eddie "I love you Eddie" Belfour's puck handling, and the back end is pretty solid. you fear you might be right about the east being too tough for the cup champion to come through it.

posted by garfield at 12:58 PM on April 05

still shaking the rust off, folks. yipes.

posted by garfield at 12:59 PM on April 05

I'm curious if Boston has figured out how the seemingly over-powered Habs beat them in the playoffs? Philly and NJ hopefully goes seven and is similar to the Leafs v. Isles war of recent memory. Tampa should clean up pretty easily,and the Leafs will take it in 6. I'm wondering if Nashville can continue their regular season success against the Wings, and be the big first round upset. The Stars should oust the Avs simply because they are two teams moving in opposite directions. Nabokov will be Osgood, and Kiprusoff will out duel Cloutier, but I'm not sure even that will enough.

posted by garfield at 01:11 PM on April 05

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