Sunday, 27 September 2015

Pre-Season Game 5: Canadiens 1, Leafs 0

Here's my take on the Canadiens 1-0 win against the Leafs tonight, as presented by Sportsnet's band of Toronto homers.  Thank you Gary Bettman.

--But really, how bad was that?  They basically took a fawning local Leafs broadcast and aired it nationally, quality and objectivity be damned.  It's Lou Lamoriello this, Mike Babcock that...  Awful.

--With the generalized fault-finding centred on him, I'm reduced to tallying occasions when Jarred Tinordi makes an easy, simple play as a big win.  At one point, he got the puck from Greg Pateryn, skated forward, scanning the ice, and I yelled from my couch "No, no!  Give it back to Greg!"  Even I could see there was no easy play to make for him, that the right choice was to pass it back and see what Greg could do with it.  Sure enough, Jarred slid it back to him, I jubilated audibly, and Greg passed the puck up and got us out of our zone.

--Another time, Jarred gets the puck and headmans it quickly to his open winger.  "Success sire!" I shout, like the Klingon lieutenant to Khan, upon their photon torpedo finding its target.  But before they realize that Kirk has more tricks up his sleeve.

--Greg and Jarred had a pretty solid game overall I thought.  Hopefully it's not confirmation bias.

--Darren Dietz and Mark Barberio formed an effective pair, they were like twins out there, similar size, good wheels and offensive instincts.  Young Mr. Dietz didn't help his cause though with two minor penalties.  Go practice your self-control on the windswept Rock, young man.

--I see T.J. Brennan crosscheck Mike McCarron in the back in front of the Leafs net, making him fall to the ice, followed quickly by a whistle.  Big Mac gets up on his knees and looks around, thinking "What the hail?"  Realizing what he's done, Mr. Brennan gives him a friendly tap, breaks off eye contact, and skates off towards his bench.  Quickly.

--Less noticeable turn by Mike tonight, but still saw good things.  He goes to the net when a shot is about to develop.  He fights in the corners.  He doesn't shy away from skirmishes.  Good job.

--If Zack Kassian is going to fight, I'd prefer he'd reserve his efforts for others rather than plugs like Mark Fraser, who's on a PTO with the Leafs, has little effect on the game, and is a seriously tough kid.  You don't owe him anything Zack, don't let him wow his bosses on your back.  Save that for players and games that count.  I don't know what caused it, but yeah, Zacky boy, save it.

--The RDS boys didn't get the memo on Zack.  They already want him to play more physically, to involve himself more, to use his size, like Brandon Prust did.  This bodes ill.

--I just realized who Leo Komarov looks like, it's the London Police inspector or whatever who's Sherlock Holmes' foil, the Cumberbatch series.  That character is plenty dumb, and so is Leo Komarov.

--If the Leafs are going to crash into Mike Condon like that in pre-season, what're they going to do to Carey Price in December?  And more importantly, why didn't one of our guys pick up Tyler Bozak and throw him on top of James Reimer's head?  What are we waiting for, that the NYPD will arrest Chris Kreider, and everything will be okay hence?

--I thought I was jonesing for pre-season hockey, but now I'm kind of over it.  Maybe it's because there's so much good football and rugby on right now, after a summer of famine I'm now bloated from TV sports.

--Or maybe it's because the camp has been a little disappointing.  There's been no Brendan Gallagher, no Michaël Bournival this year.  Sven Andrighetto, Nikita Scherbak, etc., none of them are taking the bull by the horns.  No cavalry.  Maybe next year...

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