Saturday, March 03, 2007

Winning One For The Kabber

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

As usual, we will start with the Maple Leafs - Toronto dug down deep last night to overcome a 2-0 second period deficit against the Devils, eventually winning 4-3 in a rare shootout win. The win was bittersweet, as Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle left the game in the second period after being on the receiving end of a vicious, cowardly hit from behind delivered by Cam Janssens. If you haven't seen the replay, Kaberle had passed puck and was circling around watching the play go up the ice when Janssens came in and levelled him from behind - a good three seconds after Kaberle had dished off the puck. The Devils will claim that Janssens is a hard nosed player who finishes his checks - but the hit was definitely late and cheap. Another case of a star being taken out by a bit player on the opposition - Janssens has recorded one goal in 37 games this season. While some will blame the referrees for missing the hit, which would undoubtedly have been a five minute major for boarding, I don't blame them - it happened behind their backs because they were skating up the damn ice to follow the play. That should tell you how late the play was. The NHL wants to get fighting out of the game because "it is not what hockey is about" - well, hits like the one laid on Kaberle is not what hockey is about either - and they are happening all too often these days. In days gone by, there would have been retribution - either on Janssens, or preferrably on a guy like Brian Rafalski or Martin Brodeur; in today's NHL, you have to wait for Colin Campbell to make a decision. New Jersey visits Toronto on March 20th - Leaf Nation expects to have our pound of flesh I said, preferrably with someone buzzing the net and delivering an elbow right to the side of Martin Brodeur's cranium - that would show the Devils AND Cam Janssens what happens when you take liberties like he did. If I'm Paul Maurice, I'm sending Belak after Brodeur first...then Rafalski, and if need be Elias, Gomez or Parise. We'll let the Devils players deal with Janssens after they lose a couple of their stars.

Back to the game - like I said, the Leafs came back from a two goal deficit, scoring three third period goals to take the lead. New Jersey tied the game late after ANOTHER bone-headed giveaway by Bryan McCabe. McCabe has been hearing it from Leafs fans at the ACC lately - and it is well deserved; McCabe has never been a defensive stalward, but he has been absolutely terrible this year. To put it in perspective, Hal Gill is a better value at $2M than McCabe is at $5.75M (his average salary over 5 years - he's getting paid SEVEN MILLION THIS YEAR...for being a number four defenceman at best).

Back to the game again - the Leafs had a power play in overtime, but failed to capitalize. After falling behind 1-0 in the shootout, and needing a goal to prolong it - Yanic Perreault scored a beauty, faking Martin Brodeur out of his pads, before roofing it upstairs. Raycroft made a big save to send it to number four shooters - Steen scored to put the Leafs up 2-1 in the shootout, but New Jersey tied it up. Jeff O'Neill scored in the fifth round to make it 3-2, Raycroft stopped Sergei Brylin to pick up two points for the good guys. Buffalo visits tonight - but the prospect of beating them without Kaberle in the lineup isn't very good. Leaf Nation hopes the Maple Leafs respond to injuries as they have in recent years - with huge efforts on route to upset wins.

Again, the joy felt by Leaf Nation was tempered by the fact that the SenaTards lost to Atlanta, and the Penguins dropped one in Carolina last night - so the Leafs only managed to gain ground on the Habs who are officially in free-fall mode now. The Maple Leafs still find themselves two points out of a playoff spot - a win tonight would be huge for them. Hazel Karma??????

We are going to give Maple Leafs G Andrew Raycroft a star today - he's been struggling of late, and had every reason to fold when the team went down 2-0, but he held them in the game and came up with a couple of big saves in the shootout to get the win. Good for Razor.

Buffalo Sabres C Michael Ryan had two goals in an 8-5 win over the Canadiens. What might interest some of our readers is that Ryan is a native of Milton Mass.

Detroit Red Wings C Robert Lang had a goal and three assists in a 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night. We have to give it up to him because we don't want to talk about Atlanta or Carolina's stars today.

Tough night last night, going 2-1 and still winding up $70 in the red; still though, we are + $180 for the week. We'll be back later with tonight's suggested plays. For now though...

Nashville over LA Kings - The Preds look solid today against the Kings. Lay $100 on the Preds - $200.

That's about it for this morning gang...have a great weekend peeps.

Leafs win (Toronto Star)

Damien Cox is trying to make a point

Cox's ramblings

Leafs rally around Kaberle

Maurice impressed

Leafs win (Toronto Sun)

Sun agrees that its a bittersweet win

Dub them the POP line

Cujo in blue and white next year?


Griffin's Mailbag

Hinske is one happy ex-Blue Jay

If you ever wondered what makes Sal Fasano tick?

Jays prospect Curtis Thigpen

Is it ok to be excited this early Hazel?

Article on Canadian Matt Stairs

Doc performs surgery on Red Sox

Sun shiney feeling in Dunedin

The harder you try, the more resistance you will experience today. Allow things to develop naturally if you want to accomplish anything at all. Someone is likely to feed you false information. A medical problem will prevail if you don't take care of early symptoms. 3 stars

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world, have a great weekend.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - with thoughts of Cam Janssens

American Idiot - Green Day

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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