Friday, September 29, 2006


"I think that the exhibition games I've played, I've played pretty good."
- Jeff O'Neill, who was benched for the third period against the Sens.

O'Neill has played in five pre-season games, putting up the following numbers:

Leafs 3 Sens 1
O'Neill had 14:21 of ice time with a whopping 4:20 on the powerplay (wonder if that means something). One shot on net, 2 hits, +1, one assist and no penalties.

Leafs 5 Canadiens 1
14:04 of ice time, 2:22 on the powerplay. Two shots, 3 hits, no goals, no assists and a minus one on the night.

Leafs 4 Canadiens 3
14:46 of ice time, 4:57 on the powerplay. One shot, one hit, no goals, no assists, finishes even on the night.

Leafs 3 Sens 2 - the night of the missing game sheet.
O'Neill opened the scoring on this night and that's all the stats that are available.

Sens 5 Leafs 3
8:45 on the ice, 1:54 of that on the power play. No shots, no hits, a minor penalty for hooking that the Sens scored on to make it 4-2.

This is what the Leafs are getting for $1.5 million...

Jeff O'Neill scored 41 goals once, but he's a 40 goal scorer in the same sense that Glen Healey is a Stanely Cup winning goalie.

O'Neill's numbers have been in decline ever since that one blip of a season, but it seems whenever the Blue and White land a new player, their upside is all fans and media can see. From Mike Craig to Jeff O'Neill - it's a pretty scary meme that Leafs Nation tends to swallow whole.

Be interesting to see how a club that might be starved for goals handles this one and how the fans and media hordes react...

One thing that many people may not know about print media is that the person who files the column - be it a stringer, reporter or columnist - does not write the headline. Still, I had to laugh when I surfed over to Slam today and saw the loony sub-head Leafs goalie situation complex: Disaster written all over it I knew it had to be Strachan.

This is a team that had a pedophilia ring run out of its former arena. A team that hasn't made the Stanley Cup finals in 40 years. A club that had a dispicable owner for 20 some-odd years who did jail time and caused long-lasting damage to the organization and many of its employees.

Now those are disasters.

Having to decide which goalie will sit on a bench for 60 games this year? Not so much.

And if they get it wrong, there's such a surplus of goalies on the market it's certainly not an error that can't be corrected. But I guess Leafs goalie situation complex: Team may carry 3 goalies or Leafs goalie situation complex: No clear cut back-up emerges doesn't sell newspapers or generate click-throughs.


  1. Al actually wrote today that he thinks Aubin should be the starter. I haven't seen a game yet, but would you agree?

  2. Other than the most recent loss to the Sens, I've only seen the highlights so I can't really say if Aubin or Raycroft should start...going by politics and Maurice's penchant for not letting Aubin finish games as a Marlie, there's no chance it will be anyone other than Raycroft.

  3. Anonymous11:45 pm

    The scoresheet for that 3-2 game is missing because the game was not played at an official NHL arena. For some weird reason the league can't trust the locals to keep the scoresheet that really doesn't change much from 5 year old red and blues to the NHL.

    And having seen most of the pre-season games I would say that Raycroft has looked pretty good and will definitely start and Aubin will be the backup. He has started right where he left off. Despite what the Anti-Leafs fans think our goaltending will be much improved over last year. God I can't wait for the season to start.

  4. Anonymous11:47 pm

    I would also say that Leafs's fans defend their players to the death because everyone else is looking to attack them. It's like making fun of family, I can say something bad about my sister but if you say it then we will have to have some words.

    Besides, where is the fun in agreeing with other fans?