I sat down to watch the first period just before the remote was ripped from my hands by my girlfriend, who basically took the 42â€ plasma hostage for the premier of Dancing With The Stars. I think I just threw up in my mouth.
So, I saw the first period in relatively high definition before watching sporadically on the 27â€ tube-style in the master bedroom as the second and third periods unfolded.
Between Kim Kardashianâ€™s mambo and Cloris Leachmanâ€™s horrible cha cha cha, I managed to see some of the third period and even though the game opened up a bit at that point, I thought the Leafs were able to stay with the Sabres quite easily.
Guys who stood out the most to me included John Mitchell, who seemed to be able to control the puck along the boards very well; Dominic Moore, whom Iâ€™ve liked since day one with the Leafs, and his tireless work ethic; Robbie Earl, who showed flashes of brilliance and unrelenting speed at times; Ryan Hollweg, and the energy he brought to every shift; and Carlo Colaiacovo, who was simply the best Leaf defenceman on the ice, at least after he got caught on the first shift and had to take a tripping penalty.
Funny, these guys are bubble guys according to most line-up predictions Iâ€™ve read. Yet, they stood out the most to me. Thatâ€™s what kind of competition weâ€™re looking at here, my fellow Leaf devotees.
Itâ€™s almost been a foregone conclusion through the whole summer that the forward spots were pretty much penciled in, with Earl, Mitchell and probably Hollweg on the outside looking in. These guys obviously think otherwise. Theyâ€™ve elevated their games to the point where someone has to sit up and take notice. I know I did.
And Coli has been considered by many to be the odd man out on the D-corp when the Leafs break camp. If he can stay healthy, he could have a breakout year.
It makes for a better camp for everyone when there are so many open spots. Guys who have floated around for years just getting their spots automatically will be hard pressed to earn their positions, which is the way it should be.
And, we will be entertained in the process.
Let the competition begin!