Saturday, October 20, 2007

Game 9: Raycroft is back into "Raycroft Form"

So tonight we saw the Chicago Blackhawks come into the ACC to take on the Leafs for Hockey Night In Canada...Again the opposing team decided to start their back-up goalie (Lalime) against Toronto, who in turn started their starting goalie who acts like a back up (Raycroft). The last time Lalime was in the ACC he got lit up in game 7 of the 2004 Eastern Conference quarter-final playoffs while allowing some brutal goals in. That was the last game he ever played as a Senator...Way to go Joe Nieuwendyk!...Wow, I actually forgot what playoffs were like...

Chicago got on the board early with a power play goal by Williams that saw the Toronto penalty killers diving around like Italian soccer players...It was brutal to watch this defensive coverage attempt to penalty kill. They looked like those idiots that put their foreheads on the knob of the baseball bat, spin around 20 times then try to race...unbelieveable...and at the end of it all McCabe is standing by him self (and no one around him by at least 15 feet) watching the whole play...Hey Fucker! get in the game for Christ're only getting paid $7M this year...

Sundin came back with a nice short handed goal to tie things up at 1-1 Then shortly after Kaberle threw the puck on net on a 3-3 rush that went off Zyuzin's stick and in...It was a huge break that the Leafs really needed...They haven' been getting any bounces and have been getting stiffed pretty hard in the penalty calls so far this year...For the rest of the period Toronto looked very impressive. They had great back checking, and something I haven't really seen this year was the forwards were really coming back and helping the defence behind their own net with one on one battles...It looked like Toronto was going to really expose the lack of rest Chicago had because of the late arrival in the t-dot the night before.

Toronto completely dominated the second period but only had Sundin's semi-breakaway goal to show for it. Lalime was huge making some really big stops. Because I am new to blogging I don't really know how to do things...while I watch the leaf games I take little notes to remind myself what to talk about after the game. with about 3 minutes left in the second i wrote to my self 'I think this may be the first period all season (or at least that I can remember) that the Leafs haven't taken a penalty"...well way to go Scott you douche...go a head and totally jinx it. Ponikarovski, Wozniewski and Gill all took penalty's that saw Toronto deal with a 5 on 3 for almost 2 full minutes...they held them off in the second but the Third was a different story.

This is the part of the game where it gets really frustrating to be a Leafs fan. Toronto kills off the 5-3 but as Wozniewski is coming back onto the ice Chicago scores...okay no big deal. It's still 3-2 Toronto and because Wozniewski's penalty was over when they scored that just cancels out Gill's penalty and now we're even strength and still up by 1. Then again, like always, the Leafs defence decides to watch the game instead of play it. Keith comes down the right wing as they're announcing Zyuzin's goal and puts it past Raycroft with ease to tie it up at 3's. Then the flood gates open...Lang scores a brutal goal on Raycroft over his shoulder.

Now when Raycroft first came to Toronto he was pretty good (it didn't last long) all the other teams had to do was go look at some old game tapes and see that he goes down on every single shot...and I'm not exaggerating. he really does go down on every...single...shot. So now teams just shoot high and it's almost a givin' that it will go in (and it does)...and this is why I get frustrated...For the entire second period Toronto completely pwned Chicago but only managed 1 goal from Lalime. When Toronto needs Raycroft to steal a few for them what happens? he shits the bed...I swear...I can not describe the frustration I have with Raycroft. Ohh yeah, Sharp also scored on a brutal deflection to make it 5-3 Chicago. Kilger got one back late but as the Leafs were trying to make a last minute come back all momentum was lost when Ponikarovsky was called for "ghost hooking"...(that's one of those brutal penalty breaks that I was talking about earlier) Lang put in an empty net goal and Chicago ended up winning 6-4 in front of a full crowd of sheep.

So Tuesday Toronto will be playing the Thrashers...I'm really hoping that Toskala gets the start...He doesn't give you that "ohh shit" feeling every time the puck is shot at him like Raycroft does. I know it's still really early in the season (game 9 of 82) but Toronto is already under .500 and have only played 2 away games (7 home games). They've lost both their away games and I'm just thinking to myself...there are some teams who start the season with 7 or 8 game road trips and they are doing fine holding their own...what's going to happen later on this year when Toronto has more away games then home?...They certainly aren't making it easy for themselves early on this year...

One last thing before I go...Tonight was Belak's 400 NHL game and in true Belak style he beat the crap out of Koci...way to go Wade. So despite losing again tonight I leave you with this little video montage of Wade because even if you lose the war, Wade will win a few battles.

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