Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pohl Axed

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Super Bowl Sunday" Hey goes out to Hazel Mae.

Our American friends likely won't get the significance of today's subject line, so give me a few lines to put it into context for them.

A few years back the Canadian Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, Preston Manning of the Reform Party, stood up in the House to criticize the Liberal government - during his tongue lashing of former Prime Minister Jean Cheretien - Manning said that the Liberals should be "pole-axed". The comment left everyone scratching their heads, as no one knew what the term meant.

Well folks, the Ottawa SenaTards and the fans now know what it means. The Toronto Maple Leafs walked into the Scotiabank Place and won 3-2 in an action filled game last night; Leafs C John Pohl scored the shootout winner last night. The SenaTards and their fans, along with the bush league media in Ottawa, will come away from last night's game claiming a moral victory, as they went into the third period down 2-0 in a game that they were completely out-played and out-worked in.

Hazel, if you are checking in, don't buy it for a second.

The defence was solid last night - the best moment of the night came when Leafs D Carlo Coliacovo flattened Tards C Jason Spezza with a beautiful open ice hit - Spezza was trying one of those delay and drag plays, when Carlo flattened him at the blue line (are you reading this Habs fans?). The line of Sundin, Ponikarovsky and Antropov were dominant last night - they controlled the play all night. Jeff O'Neill played one of his best games in months - being physical in the offensive zone and responsible in the defensive zone; he had at least four good chances last night, and wound up with only one goal to show for it. What can you say about Leafs G Andrew Raycroft? He was outstanding again last night, stopping 30 shots in regulation and 4 out of 5 in the shootout. Raycroft made a few big saves to maintain momentum through the first two periods - and bailed the Maple Leafs out with a few huge saves in the 3rd when Big Mo had swung to the Tards. All in all, a great road win for Paul Maurice's boys.

Not that I'm not happy with the win, but...the SenaTards were the beneficiaries of some very questionable calls last night - calls that allowed them to stay in the game, and eventually get back in it. The new NHL has seen more penalty shot calls than ever before, the referees in last night's game, Don VanMassenhoven and Chris Rooney must have forgotten to read the memo from the league - because they forgot what constitutes a penalty shot call. Late in the second period, with the Maple Leafs up 1-0, Leafs Captain Mats Sundin shredded the Tards defence to go in alone on the Tards net - Sundin was pulled down as he broke in on the net with only a minor called on the play...that should have been called a penalty shot. Sundin scored later in the period to put the Buds up 2-0, but it should have been 3-0 by that point and that would be been lights out for the Tards.

The officials were criticized by Rangers RW Brendan Shanahan for letting the Maple Leafs manhandle Jaromir Jagr on Wednesday night, which is likely the reason the Leafs were called for three penalties which amounted to breathing on the Tards, and one for playing responsible defensive hockey.

The important thing is that the Maple Leafs came out with two points - which has to have Hazel smiling, especially since the Bruins also won last night, putting an end to an awful streak; though we're betting that its just temporary.

Alright Super Sunday Colts vs. Bears blah blah blah - face it, no one outside the Mid-west really cares about today's game. I'm going to go out on a limb today and pick Chicago - yes the Manning vs Grossman comparison is heavily weighted towards the guy with the movie screen forehead; but you have to give the Bears the edge on both defence and special teams - which is why I like the Bears to keep it close, and shock everyone with a late field goal to win.

I'm calling for a Bears win 23-20 today. Call me crazy.

Toronto Maple Leafs G Andrew Raycroft was outstanding last night.

Boston Bruins D (and Renee's new whipping boy) Zdeno Chara had a goal and two assists last night in a 4-3 overtime victory over the struggling Hurricanes.

Pittsburgh Penguins G Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 30 shots in a 2-0 victory over Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals yesterday afternoon.

Chicago +7 over Indianapolis - see above. Lay $100 on the Bears to keep it close today.

That's it for this morning. Have a great one peeps - enjoy the game tonight.

We figure Hazel is pretty busy these days, with SportsDesk and other NESN shows; given that she likely only has time to read Boston papers - we're starting a new section for links that Hazel would likely be interested in.


Bruce Garrioch could find a silver lining in Hurricane Katrina

Paul Maurice has fun with shootouts

Someone will help open doors to a new way of doing things. Sort through some of the personal and business worries you have been harboring. Deep thought coupled with past experience will lead you in the right direction. 3 stars

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world - enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - for the SenaTards and the Maple Leafs

Three Cheers for Ottawa - Fan 590

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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