Leafs a flop on Broadway

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:57 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Even famous Maple Leafs fanatic Mike Myers appears to be losing hope for his bumbling Buds.

Shown on the massive Jumbotron at Madison Square Garden midway through the third period last night, the Scarborough actor rolled up his sweater to reveal his T-shirt to the capacity crowd.

Instead of seeing the word "Leafs" printed across the front, gawking patrons saw the word "Canada."

If their No. 1 supporter isn't showing off his blue-and-white colours, then what does that say?

Indeed, the forlorn look etched on the face of the Wayne's World star symbolized the ballooning disappointment running through the Leafs and their fans as the regular season quickly winds down.

The Leafs outplayed and, at times, outworked the host New York Rangers last night and perhaps deserved a better fate.

But all that mattered when all was said and done was the 5-2 score in favour of the Rangers.

"What can you say after a game like that?" captain Mats Sundin said. "We outshot them and probably were the better team. It's very frustrating.

"We had a strong effort. We can only control what we do out there. We can't do any more."

Here's a suggestion, Mats. Try outscoring the other team.

For the second consecutive outing, the Leafs played well enough to win. But just like their 3-1 loss in Buffalo Thursday night, a combination of stupid penalties and an inability to finish off their scoring opportunities cost Pat Quinn's team in the end.

All the while, time is running out.

As was the case Thursday, the Leafs had an opportunity to close to within three points of the eighth-place Montreal Canadiens. Once again, they blew it.

Instead they remain five behind the struggling Habs, who dropped a 5-4 decision to the lowly Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre last night.

The ninth-place Atlanta Thrashers lost too, keeping them four points ahead of Toronto.

While Myers injected a glitzy Hollywood presence to the world's most famous arena, he hardly was the biggest star in the joint on this night.

That honour went to Rangers sniper Jaromir Jagr, with a supporting nod to rookie goaltending sensation Henrik Lundqvist. The duo helped the hosts build a commanding 4-0 lead through the opening 40 minutes.

LEAFS KILLER

Jagr has been a Leafs killer this season and last night was no exception. In four games versus Toronto he has been the first star three times and the second star once.

"He just gobbles us up," Quinn said of Jagr, who finished with a goal and three assists.

Lundqvist, meanwhile, outduelled Leafs goalie Mikael Tellqvist, his teammate with Olympic champion Sweden. While Lundqvist allowed just a pair of late goals to Jason Allison, a jittery Tellqvist was beaten four times in the first 14 shots he faced.

Now he and the Leafs must compose themselves in time for their game against the Penguins in Pittsburgh tonight.

With just 16 games remaining, a loss could be a fatal blow to their fading post-season aspirations.

"Sure it's a must-win," Tellqvist said. "Then again, every game is."

REPORT CARD

D Forwards: Robbed time and again by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. But must be held responsible for not burying chances.

C Defence: Did an adequate job limiting the Rangers' scoring chances, not that it mattered on the scoreboard.

D Goaltending: Tellqvist looked shaky from the outset, allowing four goals on the Rangers first 14 shots.


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