February 7, 2010
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
With a loss in New Jersey on Friday, the Leafs have engaged in 69 back-to-back situations in NHL play since the lockout, but have swept just eight of them. They will have four more chances this season to get the maximum four points, but their failure to take advantage of such situations already has cost them dearly where playoffs are concerned.
RED LIGHT RETURNS
With his long-awaited first goal of the year against New Jersey on Friday, Rickard Wallin ended the longest current calendar slump by an NHL player. Before Friday, his most recent goal came on April 2, 2004 for the Minnesota Wild against Dallas. Walllin went home during the lockout and played in Europe until this season, when he signed with the Leafs.
Both he and fellow Swede Carl Gunnarsson can say they scored their first goals on projected Canadian Olympic starter Martin Brodeur.
That reminded former Leafs defenceman turned TV host Bob McGill of his first NHL goal, against Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr.
"It came in Edmonton, my home town with my parents in the crowd, just as I came out of the penalty box," McGill said. "Wilf Paiement chipped it up to me and I was so far ahead, I took one stride and glided in."
McGill would get just three more in a Leafs career of 317 games.