Thursday, October 26, 2006

This is not a rivalry - it's a crime scene

I've written before about why the Leafs-Sens rivalry should just be left for dead. The fading flames of this alleged conflict are nothing more than media heat and noise.

Yes, Sens fans may love to beat the Leafs, but they'll need to get in line if they think there's anything unique about despising the Leafs, Leaf fans or even the city of Toronto. (I've lived in Ottawa and if you're going to pick a place to hate-on, the frozen city that fun forgot is a darn fine place to start.)

At the rate this "rivalry" is going I'm thinking the Leafs should adopt Washington Generals jerseys as a special look for games against the Sens (although judging by the number of people in pink leafs cowboy hats and assorted paraphernalia at the ACC during the Rangers game, those 4th jerseys would likely sell pretty well).

Leafs new 4th Jersey?

The Leafs are already down in this year's season series 3-1, haven't been close in their three losses and have been outscored 17 to 9 (that total is as of 2:55 of the third period, it could be 20-9 by the time I get this posted).

Last year, the Leafs went 1-7 against the Sens and were outscored 41-19.

There's a reason the papers and airwaves of full of blather about Kilger's spear, McGratton's antics and the Tucker-Eaves match-up (The Hesitant Yob vs. Sideshow Bob) - it's because the game on the ice is so unbalanced it's the least engaging and least interesting thing between these two clubs.

I'll save my energy for Saturday night and the Habs. At least there's a team the Leafs might be able to compete against in a city that actually matters.

This isn't a knock against Spezza or Corvo (especially not Corvo, I've got him in my pool and am damn happy with his four helpers tonight) but on that sixth Ottawa goal how on earth can anyone be awarded an assist? Spezza blasts a shot into McCabe's shins, the puck bounces at least six feet away and hits Heatley in the chest. Heatley swats at the puck with his arm, it hits the ice and then he buries the shot. Two players get assists for that? Absurd.

Is there a goalie equivalent to the Mendoza line? With tonight's loss Raycroft's stats are looking more Boston-bust than Rookie of the year. I'm no mathematician but giving up 23 goals in the last five games puts his GAA up to about 3.2 and his save percentage down to about .892

Positively Belfour-esque.

Wonder if the Leafs three game losing skid will put an end to the ridiculous notion that JFJ should get an extension to his existing deal. With Kubina on the IR, Raycroft coughing up a five-spot with each start, and the Leafs specialty teams struggling there's not a whole lot of good news for Jr. Nor is there a lot to show for the mountains of cash and long-term commitments he gave out this off-season. Speaking of off-season moves, anyone else think McCabe has misinterpreted his non-movement clause thinking it refers to his on-ice activities.


  1. Anonymous8:40 a.m.

    To be fair, Raycroft is getting absolutely no help. He made a number of really good saves but when the defence is letting the sens get tap-ins there isn't much he can do.

  2. I'd love to see a stat as to how many of Raycroft's goals against are off rebounds, how many are tipped/deflected and how many are just put right past him (all too often on the short side...)

    He looked really shaky at the Rangers game and the trend lines are not pointed in a good direction.

  3. Anonymous4:18 p.m.

    That would be a good way of evaluating his actual level of play. He does have games where he is launching rebounds out on every shot but at the same time the defence has to clear more of them. I feel like Raycroft is a great goalie if his defence is playing well but hit or miss if they aren't supporting him properly.