October 29, 2010
Seguin turns out lights on Leafs
By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
It was midway through the second period of the Maple Leafs-Boston Bruins game Thursday night when some of us in Toronto's eastern suburbs temporarily lost the Leafs TV broadcast signal.
Was it just a coincidence that Tyler Seguin would score for the Bruins just moments after the screen went black?
Maybe the carriers had an inkling that Seguin, the Brampton native selected No. 2 overall by the Bruins with one of the draft picks acquired from Toronto in the Phil Kessel deal, was about to rub it in the faces of those loyal members of Leafs Nation.
OK, maybe that's stretching things a bit.
But it's not a stretch to come to the conclusion that, after nine games of the season, the lack of secondary scoring on the Maple Leafs is becoming an ugly wart for this team.
Sure, Toronto was without Colby Armstrong (finger) and Kris Versteeg (back) in this contest. And yes, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was, indeed, spectacular at times.
Nevertheless, after being blanked 2-0 by Bruins, the Leafs have now scored just seven goals in their past five games. And that's troubling.
At one point in the game, Phil Kessel had six shots while the remainder of the team had five. If ever there was an indication that the Leafs at times rely on Phil The Thrill too much, that was it.
Keeping that in mind, it's time for the supporting cast to step up. This team does not have the offensive depth to survive when Tyler Bozak and Nikolai Kulemin have just one goal after nine games, while Mikhail Grabovski has none.
Those three players, remember, make up 50% of the team's Top Six forwards.
In the end, those poor Leaf fans who had their screens go blank Thursday night didn't miss any Leaf goals. Then again, neither did the people who were able to watch the whole game.
While goalie Jonas Gustavsson continues to improve, he still has some wobbly moments that exhibit his inexperience ... On Patrice Bergeron's opening goal, Gustavsson seemed to wave at the high shot with his glove, although he appeared to be screened on the play ... Few could argue he probably should have stopped the Seguin goal, however ... At times, he seems to be too far in his net instead of challenging shooters ... He also needs to improve his angles.
In order to find some additional offence, coach Ron Wilson dropped Kulemin off the first line midway through the game and replaced him with Clarke MacArthur alongside Kessel and Bozak ... Not sure if he was hurting or just benched, but Mike Komisarek was nailed to the pines in the third period ... Love the way recent callup Luca Caputi goes hard to the net. His shot off the post in the first period was the Leafs best scoring chance ... John Mitchell also accounted himself well after being inserted into the lineup when Versteeg was scratched ... Luke Schenn was hitting everything in sight and continues to have a fine season ... Just wondering: What did Dion Phaneuf say to Nathan Horton that caused the Bruins forward to snap and drop the gloves in the second? ... And what were the officials thinking when they blew the whistle during a first period scramble just as Kessel was about to rip a shot from the slot with Thomas down and out?
Classy pre-game ceremony put on by the Bruins to honour Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt. Bringing in legendary Bruins Bobby Orr, Raymond Bourque, Terry O'Reilly and Johnny Bucyck for the event was an excellent touch for the festivities, which were capped off by the raising of Schmidt's No. 15 to the rafters of the TD Garden. Just one question: What took them so long to finally do it? The man's 92 years old. Shouldn't Schmidt have been acknowledged like this a long time ago? Give present day Boston GM Peter Chiarelli credit for getting it done ... Whether it be the home or away versions, the Bruins black-and gold jerseys, complete with the spoked B logo, are among the best in pro sports. That's why it's always a disappointment when they wear their third ones like they did Thursday night, the black ones with the outline of a bear on the front. It's a throwback jersey, so we'll cut the team some slack. At least they don't wear those awful yellow ones with the Kraft peanut butter bear head on the front like they did a few years ago. Those were brutal.