October 15, 2008
Ok, ok, fine. The man can dance. But he sucks at hockey. He can't fight, he can't score, he can't do anything but knock a man face first into the glass. Ryan, I don't know if you missed the memo, man, but you don't hit from behind. Stop it. Before you kill someone. If Hollweg keeps his act up, the league will have to start using those minor hockey league jerseys, you know, with the stop signs on em. Even then, I don't trust him. Hollweg has, in a very short time with the Leafs, proven that he is clearly an idiot.
Points squandered in October are the ones that always come back to bite the Maple Leafs in the ass come April, and Hollweg cost us a point on Monday. The Leafs were sitting pretty up 3-1 before Hollweg hand-delivered the St. Louis Blues an invitation to get back in the game.
It's clear that all Maple Leaf fans think Hollweg's a douche. He is. But I'm surprised many in "Leafs Nation" aren't thanking him. He was largely, if not solely, to blame for Monday's shootout loss, and isn't that what everyone wants around here, more losses for our beloved Leafs? You know, Tank Nation? The Tank for Tavares? To all you pro-tankers out there, go out and buy your Hollweg jerseys because this guy is doing more harm than good for the Maple Leafs.
Damn pro-tankers. They make me so mad. I'm not a pro-tanker, so what, other than an idiot, does that make me? A pro-just barely make the playoffs-er, I guess.
As for Hollweg, when everyone in the Leafs blogosphere is agreeing with Damien Cox, you know something's amiss. But Damien's right (*shudders*), this guy doesn't deserve to wear a Leafs jersey, plain and simple. Get him out of here, Fletchra. Pretty please.
Pour Yourself A Drink
I know it's only been three games, but the numbers don't look good my friends. Going into last night's NHL action the Leafs had allowed the most goals in the league (12) and, much to my chagrin, still can't kill a God damn penalty.
The penalty kill is "performing" like a 72-year-old man in the bedroom. It needs help. The Leafs have killed off only nine of their opposition's 15 power plays, good for a 60% success rate and, you guessed it, sitting last in the league. Just how God-awful the PK unit has looked out there is what worries me. Guys are skating around like they don't have a clue. Montreal made us look downright silly on Saturday night when they had a man advantage.
This should put things in perspective: the Leafs and Habs have both played three games and Toronto has allowed more power play goals (six) than Montreal has allowed in total (five).
You know what else the Leafs suck at? Faceoffs. For teams that have played two or more games this season, the Leafs are, once again, dead last in the league, winning only 42.3% of their draw's. Sure, the Leafs will miss Mats Sundin's automatic 25-to-30 goals, but it's on the draw where his absence will be felt the most. He spoiled us when it came to faceoffs. He was money, always above 50% and at or near the top of the league every year. Oh, Mats.
Vesa Toskala's numbers aren't that great either: a 4.36 goals against average and a Raycroftian .860 save percentage. I blame the penalty kill for Vesa's poor numbers, but I'm sure he'll be the first to admit that he's got to have more nights like the season opener in Detroit.
Something To Be Thankful For
Yeah, the Leafs lost their Thanksgiving matinee thanks to that imbecile Hollweg, but I did have something to be thankful for: Matt Stajan was a healthy scratch. Ironically, he was replaced by Hollweg, so the whole thing didn't work out so well but, still, Matt Stajan was a healthy scratch. Say it. It feels good.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think the Leafs finally have a coach who realizes that Stajan simply isn't that good. Pat Quinn loved him. So did Paul Maurice. And I have no idea why.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that if you give me the option between having Hollweg and Stajan in the lineup, I'm picking Stajan eight days of the week. But, that being said, now that Hollweg is suspended, I'm open to seeing Ian White on the wing before Stajan gets back in there. Let Stajan sit up in the press box for a little while. Maybe that'll get him to play with a little more gusto, a little more urgency. God knows he could use it.
Ron Wilson Likes Luke Schenn
Anton Stralman? Not so much. Stralman saw his first action of the season Monday afternoon, but he took a seat come the third period. It was Schenn who benefited, and Luke ended up with over 25 minutes of ice time. I think both of these guys have bright futures in the league and, in all honesty, I would have rather Wilson kept the six-man rotation running.
I thought Schenn looked his age, a mere 18 years old, on Saturday night against Montreal, but he rebounded with a solid performance on Monday. Schenn is fantastic, but Stralman needs to be given every opportunity to shine as well. Anton may very well end up turning into a special player in his own right.
Bottom line: we've got a few young studs on the blue line. If Schenn does end up going back to junior, which I hope is the plan, then a 25-minute game against the Blues is perfect for his development. Stralman? He'll get his ice time. It's only a matter of time before Carlo Colaiacovo goes down.
Oh Finger Where Art Thou?
Is it wrong that I'm excited to see Jeff Finger play? This is what it has come to. The days of Alex Mogilny and Brian Leetch are long, long gone, replaced instead by the likes of Mikhail Grabovski and Jeff Finger. Good times.
Paul Kariya's Fist Pump
Did anyone catch Paul Kariya's fist pump after he scored St. Louis' fourth goal on Monday? He displayed beautiful fist pump etiquette, employing the celebration on a game-tying goal in the third period. Well done, Paul Kariya. I salute you. I only hope Jason Blake was taking notes.
A Two-Horse Race
Democracy is at work here at Sports And The City, and it's clearly a two-horse race when it comes to the fate of the blog's welcome banner. Will Tomas Kaberle maintain his slim lead and replace Sundin? Or will Sundin live on in infamy forever here at Sports And The City? The poll runs through until November 1st. Vote early, vote often.
RIP Alexei Cherepanov
Hockey, in the long run, really doesn't mean much. May the young man rest in peace.