Monday, November 2, 2009

Leafs Show Spark Late in Two Extra Session Losses

I've been highly critical of the Toronto Maple Leafs on this blog ever since I started it last month, so I'm here to give some credit where it is due.

Although still in last place, Brian Burke's creation has managed to battle back from what looked like regulation losses in Buffalo and Montreal on Friday and Saturday to tie the games before falling in overtime (against Buffalo) and shootout (to the Habs).

More impressive was the Saturday night game at the Bell Centre, when with about four minutes to go, the Canadiens held a 4-2 lead, but defenseman Tomas Kaberle continued his outstanding offensive production, assisting on one, and then scoring the equalizer to pull the Leafs even (his 16th and 17th points on the season) at the 19:02 mark.

Vesa Toskala gave up goals to Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta, giving Montreal the extra point, but give Toronto credit. As was the case against Buffalo, the Leafs battled back and salvaged a point from what should have been a pair of losses. Their record stands at 1-7-4, still in last place, but they are slowly creeping up on other teams near the bottom of the standings.

The late Herb Brooks once said, "You don't have enough talent to win on talent alone," and in Toronto's case, this is absolutely true. Coach Ron Wilson has his guys playing hard, at least, and for them to move up in the standings, they'll have to play like their lives depend on it each and every night.

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