The NHL started for the majority of teams last night and as usual the Toronto Maple Leafs lost their home opener to the Ottawa Senators. Danny Heatly, a.k.a. Leaf Killer, scored the tying and winning goal last night to win 4-3 in overtime.
The Leafs salvaged a point out of the game by going to overtime, but they gave up the lead two separate times during the game thanks to the poor play of Toronto’s net minder Andrew Raycroft. Raycroft fooled his coaches by having a slightly better preseason then newly acquired Vesa Toskala. Toskala was picked up in the offseason and given a 3 year contract, which most figured would make him the number one goalie. However Toskala had a terrible preseason including being in net for all 7 goals in a 7-2 to the Detroit Redwings.
Toronto and Ottawa finish their home and home series tonight with Toskala in net tonight. I suspect that Vesa will show why he was given the 3 year contract and firmly place himself in the number one goaltending position.
Aside from the poor goaltending the Leafs played some decent hockey. They got 2 goals from Nik Antropov with Sundin assisting on both, and one goal from Matt Stajan. Most of the lines looked pretty good together and for the most part the team seemed to cover their defensive assignments well, which is a change from Leaf teams of the past. A standout on defence was Andy Wozniewski who has battled injuries the last two years, but now looks health and fast for a big defenseman. If the Leafs can stay out of the penalty box and cut their goals against this year they will be a shoe in for the playoffs.
As a Leaf fan all I can do is hope and believe. Ohh, and to make me feel better I’ve included a picture of Trish Stratus in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey!