Game In 10: Game 4, Avalanche at Leafs


    When you saw Giggy was starting in the ACC you knew it was going to be tough. It had to be. Hockey gods love to write such stories. A point for the Leafs. Bigger than it appears to be.

    1 – The Leafs are 3-0-1 as Giggy haunts the ACC.

    2 – Early domination by the Avs was countered by a better effort towards the end of the first. The boys really need to get going right from the puck drop because going down early against better teams usually means an L on the board.

    3 – Our PP isn’t what it used to be. No-no, it’s still bad, only Kessel plays on the right side now. There were struggles with both zone entry and puck retrieval tonight. When we did get set up with the puck, the movement was rather uncreative and we couldn’t force shots through the lines of defense. As far as 5 on 5 hockey goes, there is no hotter player in the game right now than the Thrill. The biggest thing was he really carried this team on his back tonight, generating chances every time he hit the ice, sadly it wasn’t enough.

    4 – The Frattin, Lombardi, Armstrong line really gives us a good third line punch. Frattin brings simplicity and puts pucks on the net, Lombardi hits the line with speed which causes the D to respect that and back off which lets Armdog do his thing. They do need to get some goals, but that line is getting chances and showing chemistry, that’s all that matters at this point in the season.

    5 – The boys did a good job of blocking shots. You make a critical error like that in OT and you’re probably sitting, but I thought Franson looked good outside of that play. Schenn really needs to put a solid 60 min. effort because contracts don’t play hockey.

    6 – Grabovski really should have shot at least one out of the 3 great shooting opportunities he had. Instead he made three passes which amounted to nothing except us swearing at the TV/PC radio or crystal ball. Hey, to each his own.

    7 – James Reimer was good. Sure, the second one was bad, but he made great saves after that to keep us in it. God I love Kulemin. That is all. Actually it’s not – the goal was an exact proof why Kulemin is such a good, complete hockey player.

    8 – Not really a fact just yet, but we seem to have trouble with teams that attack the blueline with speed and create chances of the rush.

    9 – JS Giguere is a prime example of Joe Sacco’s coaching and the hockey gods not loving the Leafs. Giggy had a stellar night in net and did everything possible to get a W for his team.

    10a – Simply put, Avalanche wanted it more; they outworked us in this one. Nothing alarming, but we need to come out strong against Winnipeg. Whatever you might think, this is a very good Avalanche team right now, and this point didn’t come easy. They really tested us but I’m really happy with the way our team responded and came back to tie it.

    10b – I know this was first and foremost a Leafs game and a Leafs loss, which I HATE to see. But, please allow me, this one time, to pay a tribute to a guy who had a major impact on my childhood. This is my tribute to my favorite player (Teemu is close, as is Sundin) and the greatest player who I’ve had a privilege to watch live, Peter Mattias Forsberg. To me, next to Mario Lemieux, he was by far the most physically gifted athlete to ever play the game. Simply put he was the whole package for whole packages.

    As of 2011, Forsberg stands tenth all-time in career points-per-game. Before his latest unsuccessful comeback attempt last year, he never had a negative plus-minus rating, giving him a career total of +238. Foppa stands fourth all-time in career assists-per-game in the history of the NHL, only behind Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr. To those of you that didn’t watch him play – here is a small taste.

    Two Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, six World Championship medals (2 of them gold). Individually, he won the Art Ross, Hart and Calder trophies as well as the Bud Light Plus/Minus Award which he shared with Milan Hejduk. He also won numerous personal accolades while playing in Sweden and for his international play. A career shortened by injures, who knows what he could have become in say today’s NHL. His only regret remains not playing more hockey & while that may create a feeling of great personal loss, it also represents an immeasurable loss for every hockey fan. Thank you for reading this part, I know it was hard after a loss, but it was my only chance to do it.