2 Games in to a preason schedule and I am already laughing

Remember 2 nights ago, when i said that the exhibition game was fun but it didn’t mean anything? Tonight’s game is no different. It isn’t a sign of anything, the same way the first game wasn’t either. Get a load of some of these early gems from tomorrow’s papers:

“The Toronto Maple Leafs top two lines need time to work out the kinks, but if they don’t get their act together in the regular season, there could be many evenings like the one the Leafs experienced Wednesday night.”

What are we, 4 days into training camp? The team has had as close to a total makeover as possible and we are getting this type of garbage after the 2nd exhibition game?? Come on! Here is a newsflash, there WILL be many evenings like the ones the Leafs experienced Wednesday night. That’s the whole point of this exercise isn’t it? This team isn’t supposed to be a well oiled machine, it is supposed to be a young, inexperienced team in need of a new foundation.

“The Leafs continued to struggle on special teams, when they yielded a short-handed goal to Malkin early in the second period. Stralman fell down while trying to turn with the puck in his own end. Malkin was there to pounce on the miscue and play give-and-go with Staal for an easy goal.”

2 games is now a struggle? 2 pre-season games with less then 4 practices is a freaking struggle????? It’s funny, the penguins were Stanley Cup finalists, they have had 4 extra days of training camp and they don’t have a new coaching staff and an entirely new roster yet the Leafs are the ones being judged like this????? I can’t believe the Leafs ONLY lost 3-2. I can’t believe they came back from a 3-0 deficit. Please, whatever you do don’t ever look for any positives that could come from a game. We fans only want the negative.

Things are no better over at the Associated Press. Love the title of their story “Leafs iced by Crosby-less Penguins” Hello, it was 3-2!!! it wasn’t 9-0, or even 7-4. It gets better too:

“Most of the Maple Leafs’ regular lineup was on display with the exception of goalie Vesa Toskola. Rookie Justin Pogge started, stopping 18 of 21 shots.”

Most of the regular lineup, what does that mean? Kubina wasn’t dressed and neither of the two goalies in the lineup for the leafs are going to be with the team when they break camp, barring major injuries. I also highly doubt that Josef Boumedienne and Luke Schenn are going to be on the roster either. Tim Stapelton played 9:29 minutes and I feel pretty secure in saying that he won’t be on the roster either.

Compare those two assessments with that of the article in the Star:

“Despite the misleading final score, this one was all about the Eastern champs looking great against a rebuilding Leafs squad that was auditioning lines and young players as it gears up for a season of hard work. The Leafs were playing just their second exhibition game and the first contest in which they sent their top line out for a test run.”

That wasn’t so hard was it? It’s fair and it’s accurate. Unlike the other pieces it paints a story that is at least credible. I have no problems with articles that accurately reflect the weaknesses and/or shortcomings of the Leafs, we all know what the facts are. This other crap they call reporting is just that, crap.

I refuse to comment on the moronic comments and quotes made by and in relation to a certain former captain of the leafs who has yet to decide if he wants to play this year. I could really care less what he has to think of a team that has played 1 exhibition game(at the time of the quote). I am quite sure that he has little to no knowledge of the majority of the players in camp and don’t find his opinion the least bit interesting or compelling.

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koopa kid
koopa kid
September 25, 2008 1:47 am

well said, we didn’t look great throughout the game but it’s the preseason, and when you’ve got Kris Newbury and Timmy Stapleton out there why are we even bothering talking about the final score?

September 25, 2008 8:03 am

I agree with the post and koopa.

What I got out of the game is that guys who didn’t play in game #2 like Moore and Hollweg (and Earl although I don’t see him making the team) are going to be critical contributors to this “starless” team. Their energy and aggressiveness on Monday (not present on Wednesday) will set the tone for the rest and finally give this team some grit and identity…a young, speedy, aggressive team that will be entertaining to watch (even the losses) that makes the opponent work for their points. That’s all I ask for this year.

Last note….While I don’t think it’s a big deal that Kubina didn’t play (they know what they have in him) I am surprised that Jeremy Williams hasn’t seen any action….perhaps they simply wanted to give guys like Stapleton, Newbury, Ondrus and Michell one look-see before the first cuts that are apparently coming at the end of the week….Perhaps Williams gets a longer look after the early cuts…who knows.

September 25, 2008 10:06 am

Nice post, two points:

Other than the media contingent that follows the Leafs, does anyone have any expectations at all for this year’s club?

I’d love for someone to look into whether success in the pre-season is any sort of predictor for regular season success. My guess is there’s zero correlation – last year the Pens only won a single pre-season match and they seemed to go on to pretty good things.

September 25, 2008 1:58 pm

There is no correlation between exhibition play and regular season results, none. Having said that, no one with a brain has any delusional expectations with respect to the upcoming season.

Coach Dunbar
Coach Dunbar
September 25, 2008 1:58 pm

So these “reporters” are they new to reporting on hockey? Like I’ve known since I was a kid that the preseason is nothing more than tryouts and warmups… nothing more. You have to be a moron to start making praises or serious criticism about a pre-season squad. We still don’t even know what players will be part of the roster or the team make up will be. Losing to the eastern conference top team by a goal after being down by 3 in the third isn’t all that bad considering the AHL team the leafs have iced.

September 25, 2008 3:21 pm

Couldn’t agree more… According to the AP though “Most of the Maple Leafs’ regular lineup was on display” what a farce!

The star at least tried to get it right “a rebuilding Leafs squad that was auditioning lines and young players as it gears up for a season of hard work.”

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