Forever Rivals

The Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. One of the greatest rivalries in sport. While some of their battles are legendary, sometimes you just have to question that wisdom considering the talent (or lack thereof) that have come through both organizations.

For fun, lets take a look at what we Habs and Leaf fans are all ashamed about.

The Grossly Overrated

Each of these original 6 rivals had a player whom the fans talked up as if they were future hall of famers or significant players in the NHL.

For Montreal it’s Francis Bouillon. Fans talked him up like he was an elite defender. So much so they had him in every trade rumour going the other way in return for a truly elite front line forward. Oh he’s a heart and soul player, gritty, a warrior, a rock on defence. sorry when i hear those terms used, i think of Adam Foote or Chris Chelios, not Bouillon. He isnt anything more than a 6th-8th defenceman at best. he is a mistake waiting to happen, has no skill and takes bad penalties. sorry i just had to get that out of my system

Honorable Mention:

JP Cote – Despite clearing waivers, being stuck in the minors, being a UFA without any interest and getting older but not better, good ol’ JP was a loosely defined top prospect. either the habs were thin or he was grossly overrated.

For Toronto, the choice is obvious: Nathan Dempsey. Talk to any Leaf fan at the turn of the century and you’d think Dempsey was the second coming of Orr……..but better. WAY BETTER. His skating was effortless. He had vision like we’ve never seen, including that of Gretzky’s. Every shift it so appeared he could go end to end turning the likes of Lidstrom and Pronger into pylons. It was like the Pope dying when Dempsey left the Leafs organization as a free agent. Ok the guy spent 8 seasons in the minors for a reason. He sucked! He’s one of those guys who got a shot because the League expanded to too many teams. Putting up numbers in pre season or in the minors means nothing. Just ask Brandon Bochenski.

Honourable Mention:

Matt Martin – I swear, this guy was a forever prospect until he retired. When he was drafted he was this big blueliner who could skate. When he was on the farm, he was talked up to being this big blueliner who could skate. After a few years of pro, like 5, he was still this big blueliner who could skate. Obviously he couldnt do anything else which resulted in a relatively non existent NHL career. I bet now, he is still a big blueliner who can skate.

The Two Faced Bastards

While there are some highly regarded players who played for both teams, Doug Gilmour and Kirk Muller come to mind, most of the former Habs and Leafs who decided to leave one organization for another can only be considered traitors and deserve no respect from either group of fans. If they were real Habs or real Leafs, they’d fight tooth and nail to never play for the bitter rival. Ok never mind, the real reason they are two faced is because they equally hurt both organizations with their piss poor play.

These include:

Jonas Hoglund – “Hogie” was one of the many useless wingers to have the privilege of playing with Sundin. He was ok in his first year, but significantly deteriorated thereafter. He is the face of the Leaf’s inability to get the best player available during Sundin’s prime. He is also the face of the Habs in their not so glory years of the late 90s. Fans are still bitter over losing the pocket Russian Rocket to get his bloke.

Chad Kilger – Fans of both teams liked his speed and big body presence. The fact is, Kilger was horrible. He shot hard but couldnt hit the side of a barn. He had zero hockey sense and took stupid penalties. It didnt say a whole lot when in his days with both Montreal and Toronto he was one of their better players.

Mariusz Czerkawski – When the Habs acquired the polish prince, many felt he would be this elite scorer like his days on the Island. Big mistake. He was nothing more than a glorified floater with a cool name. The Leafs of course, as mismanaged as they were, brought him in as well with the same expectations. Thanks John Ferguson. I’m glad your days as a scout came in so handy.

The best of the rest: John Kordic, Sergei Berezin, Jeff Brubaker, Playboy Bunny Laroque, Scott Thornton, Bill Root, Gilles Thibaudeau, Robert Picard, Yanic Perreault, Sergio Momesso, Gary Leeman, Tom Kurvers, Mike Johnson, Gerald Diduck, Lucien Deblois, Dan Daoust, Paul Dipietro, Serge Boisvert, Jyrki Lumme Ric Natress, Rusty Courtnall, Dave Charlie Manson

Draft Schmaft

The Habs went on that binge of Western Canadians in the early to mid 90s. Wow did that ever set them back.

Lindsay Vallis – Where it all began. When the Habs went on a binge of Western Hockey Leaguers, one of their best (at being the worst) was Vallis. He solidified his mark as perhaps the worst 13th overall pick ever. He finished up his career playing in hockey hotbeds like Bakersfield and Asheville.

The Habs went on to pick 2 more Seattle players in Turner Stevenson and Brett Bilodeau. They stopped with the Westerners so we thought after David Wilkie and ended up with some guy named Koivu. Not bad if you ask me, however you ask another Habs fan and this poor guy should be traded or at the very least stripped of his captaincy. However this good pick didnt deter them from continuing their western ways.

Matt Higgins – Before the Habs picked up the excellent Chris Higgins, they had Matt Higgins, the excellent bust of a 1st rounder. ironically after all those WHL failures, the Habs couldnt resist and picked him over quebec league star and a guy the Habs tried valiantly to sign in Danny Briere. Good thing this pick didnt turn them off all guys named Higgins.

Terry Ryan – As someone who has had to endure the JFJ era in Toronto, i can sympathize whole heartedly with the Habs now when they endured the Houle epidemic. My sincere condolences.

As for the Leafs, it appeared that if your team didnt play along the 401 heading east, than you weren’t seen by any Leaf scouts if they had any (Ballard was pretty cheap).

The Leafs went on their own binge grabbing players with mullets, players from Belleville or players with mullets who played in Belleville. If when all else failed, they grabbed players from the far distant city of Oshawa.

It all began in 1988 with the selection of Scott Pearson. His claim to fame? Having one of the best mullets we’ve seen. The short top along with his flowing locks that whispered in the wind as he chugged around the ice in his choppy horrible skating style were great reminders of how bad the Leafs were in the Ballard years.

Like Montreal the Leafs selected a trifecta of players from the same Junior team in the first round. Only they did so in the same draft. Rob Pearson, Scott Thornton and Steve Bancroft all played for the Bulls, all were picked by the Leaf, all didnt do very well. Ironically that draft, the first overall selection was Mats Sundin. That hurts.

The malaise continued on with Drake Berehowsky, Brandon Convery and finally Jeff Ware. In making these selections the Leafs passed on some really below average players: Keith Tkachuk, Martin Brodeur, Martin Straka, Sergei Gonchar, Martin Biron, Petr Sykora. All i can say is OUCH!!

Jeff Ware takes the award as the worst prospect on either team, ever. It was like Fletcher was making it a point to prove that it really is Draft Schmaft. Screw scouting. We’ll just go down the 401 and watch any team that falls along that highway. Fans will love us for picking the local product even if he couldnt skate, stickhandle, pass, shoot, hit, fight or think.

It was a Good Idea at the Time

At the time, some moves seemed good. When the Montreal Canadiens acquired Denis Savard, they thought they were getting that dynamic forward they were missing since Naslund left. The problem was that they ended up moving
a future hall of famer who is in fact still in the league as we speak in Chelios. As good as Savard was as a player, considering Chelios went on to win Norris Trophies, Stanley Cups and other accolades, this might be one of the most lopsided trades in Habs history.

Another one, Sly Turgeon for Claude Lemieux, didnt turn out quite as expected for the Habs. Turgeon was an often injured dud of a player who’s best days were left in Hartford. Lemieux went on to forge a career as one of the best playoff performers ever. At least Turgeon wasnt from Western Canada…..

For the Leafs, well the ill fated Dmitri Khristich signing will go down as one of the worst by the Leafs. Not only did they have to move a 2nd to acquire his rights, they lost Steve Sullivan off waivers to make room for him. Khristich morphed into an overpaid, overweight, underwhelming 4th liner towards the end of his leaf career. More evidence that shows the the Leafs refused to get the best player available.

Also high on the list was Mike Craig. While the Clark for Sundin trade really took away from the Leaf’s character, losing Peter Zezel for Craig was almost as devastating. Craig was the biggest floater and most ineffective player on the leafs in that time period. He gave no effort whatsoever. The Leafs, after losing Lefebvre on D, lost all their defensive conscienous under coach Pat Burns when Zezel was gone. Lets hope Fletcher doesnt do something this foolish again.

The Worst of the Rest


Ed Ronan – Its truly a shame that a player like Ronan has his name on the cup but greats like Marcel Dionne did not. I guess it does pay to be a black ace to the black aces. I guess Marcel can just borrow his brothers ring to show off with….

Karl Dykhuis – was there another blueliner who was more mistake prone that Dykhuis? I dont recall one. He was the original andy wozniewski. couldnt skate backwards, couldnt hit, couldnt fight, couldnt check, but played way too many games at the NHL level.

Red Light Racicot – Good ol Red Light has to be part of this exclusive group. Maybe Andre Racicot in french stands for Andrew Raycroft?

Honorable mentions: Jason ward, Vladimir Vutjek, Alfie Turcotte, PJ Stock, Todd Simpson, Pierre Sevigny, Yves Sarault, Steve Rooney, Mario Roberge, Mark Pederson, Oleg Petrov, Garth Murray, Jim Montgomery (traded for Carbo yeesh!), Patty lebeau, Scott Lachance, Martii Jarventee, Eric Houde, Ben Gratton, Bryan Fogarty, Rory Fitspatrick, Randy Exelby, Donald Dufresne, Rico Ciccone, Joe Charbonneau, Sebastien Bordeleau, Pat Baby Got Carnback, Donald Audette, Randy Bucyk, Les Kuntar, Pat Jablonski, Fredric Chabot, JC Bergeron, Zarley Zalapski, Patrick Poulin, Brad Brown, Eric Charron, Juha Lind, David Maley, Scott Fraser, Andy Dackell, Eric Chouinard.


Lonny Bohonos – He had that magical playoff as an injury fill in and everyone expected him to be the 2nd coming of Rocket Richard. The fact was, he was the original Kyle Wellwood without the babyface. He was out of shape and had zero dedication.

Andy Wozniewski – Was there any worse defender ever for any team than Woz? I dont think so. He was big and he could skate, but he couldnt skate backwards. He also wouldnt hit anyone, didnt block shots, couldnt pass, shoot or stickhandle. Even the simple chip it off the glass play was beyond his ability.

Sebastien Centomo – He made it to the NHL and suddenly he was this elite goaler because he was French Canadian. Well if anyone remembers his debut he let in 2 goals on the first 4 shots he faced and was basically never heard from again. The fact was, they ran out of goalies. It was him or bringing back Palmateer. Come to think of it…..never mind!

Honorable Mentions: Aki Berg, Matt Martin, Anders Eriksson, Mike Craig, Mark Kolesar, Trevor Kidd, Peter Ing, Harold Druken, Jeff Farkas, Todd Warriner, Clark Wilm, Dmitri Khristich, Patrik Augusta, Jamie Baker, Don Beaupre, Ken Belanger, Tim Bernhardt, Brendan Bell, Allan Bester, Frank Bialowas, Bran Bradley, Jack Capuano, Mike Bullard, Rob Cimetta, Jason Podollan, Sean Haggerty, David Cooper, Rocky Dundas, Dallas Eakins, Len Esau, Kelly Fairchild. Aaron Gavey, Alex Godynyuk, Mark Greig, Bob Halkidis, Ken Hammond, Jamie Heward, Dan Hodgson, Mike Hudson, Ralph Intranuovo, Ric Jackman, Wes Jarvis, Craig Johnson, Ladislav Kohn, Mark Laforest, Paul Lawless, Brad Leeb, Derek Laxdal, Guy Larose, Ken McRae, Zdenek Nedved, Ben Ondrus, Nathan Perrott, John Pohl, Martin Prochazka, Wayne Elvis Presley, Jeff Reeze, Warren Rychel, Joe and David Sacco, Jeff Serowik, DJ Smith, Chris Snell, Rick St Croix, Peter Svoboda, Dave Thomlinson, Garry Valk, Darren Veitch, Dixon Ward, Terry Yake, Marcel Cousineau

As you can see, both teams have a little something to not be proud about. Storied Franchises they are in some ways and they do have passionate fans. However clearly the fans can get carried away with blind favoritism and bias. So there is nothing like poking fun at Habs and Leaf fans (myself included) to break a bit of the tension and let people know, its just all fun and games, especially when my Leafs crush those Montreal Wussies. haha!

56 Responses to Forever Rivals

  1. leafy says:

    Beauty article!

    So much to discuss here.  Let's see….

    Anybody remember that game when Matt Martin missed a completely wide open net?  I mean literally, no goal between the pipes, he hit the post.

    I'm not sure if you mentioned David Cooper. Some Leafs talked about him like he was Scott Neidermayer.  He vanished like Hoffa.

    I hope nobody gets mad at me, I actually liked Kilger with the Leafs.  Solid 3rd or 4th line guy, big frame guy, gave out some solid hits, scored his share of goals as a role player, and paid cheap.

    I didn't think Dempsey was awful.  He was ok….as long as he was a 7th defenceman, and preferably not getting too much ice time in playoff games.  I've seen many worse defencemen than Dempsey.

    Many people don't realize this, but a truly terrible player was Alexander Khavanov.  I've never seen a D more afraid to fetch the puck along the boards and afraid to get hit.  I don't think he ever won a battle for the puck in his time in Toronto.  Total chicken shit.

    I'm really glad you brought up Jeff Ware, PERFECT timing.  Leafs fans take note!

    Folks, Jeff Ware is a perfect example why I'm very skeptical about new players….UNTIL WE ACTUALLY SEE THEM PLAY!!!!  You say Finger, Frogren, Van Ryn are good players?  Yeah maybe.  But believe me, I've seen countless players come and go over the years going back to Bob Neely in the 70's, many of them hyped like you won't believe, and then later saw these players turn into complete duds!

  2. nordiques100 says:

    but he scored 30 plus goals as a rookie making him fantastically overrated. i didnt put him on because he played in Boston. haha

  3. hockeyhead says:

    yes he did.

    i thought he could of been one of the two faced bastards.

  4. nordiques100 says:

    its not as big of a sin to play in boston as it is to play in Montreal LOL

  5. hockeyhead says:

    oh man the scabs are the absolute worst.

  6. nordiques100 says:

    ha i fear for the Habs going after all those american born blueliners after seeing Matty play for us. horrible. but he was like the never say die prospect for some insane reason.

    the problem for me and ware is that i saw him play junior. he couldnt make a forward pass. all he could do was skate and that allowed him to actually catch a few players on the boards with a hit. at the NHL level, no way. his brain function was slower than hal gill.

    the same goes for kilger and mike craig for that matter. i saw these guys play in junior. they were terrible. they were such huge floaters. they got a bit too comfy about their status as high draft picks.

    when you say see them play before you make an accessment, tell hab fans about pavel valatenko. when you speak to some of them, its like this guy is the next slava fetisov, but better. i think they are carried away a bit. i like to see him get 2 NHL seasons under his belt to see if he can actually play at taht level or if he'll be the next alex godynyuk.

  7. pezzz says:

    I expect Plekanec lauching a bomb on this article in the next few hours.


    Bouillon is really worth at least 4 millions a year…he's a solid #1!! he's REALLY underrated.

  8. pezzz says:

    is Kilger that bad?

  9. Plekanec says:

     Actually just on my break from work no time to read but you should put the name of Mario Tremblay and Paul Maurice in there.


  10. simplyhabby says:

    Seriously, who was hyping up Bouillion?  When he is at his best, he plays above his weight defensivley and thats all I can say about him and I think he is a decent depth guy (who I will bump down the charts for someone better.

    LOL, you mention he is worth 4 million a year..the sad reality is he is worth that much if you directly compare him to the Finger contract.  (Yes leaf fans I know its a wait an see with Finger but still)

  11. Plekanec says:

     Soon you'll be able to put the name David Fischer on that list, What the hell is he doing?

      How about Brisebois, he's number 1 on my list!

  12. simplyhabby says:

    I say so.  For a highly touted player, Toronto and Montreal were not the first teams to give up on him.

    Now, they are not even expecting him to play in FLA due to family problems?

  13. simplyhabby says:

    Blast from the past with some of these names.  Just have to throw in my two cents about some of these guys from MTL.

    Ward….for a guy who idolized Wendel Clark, from a guy who lead the AHL in scoring, what happened?

    Petrov could very well = Berezin and Grabovski.  A tonne of speed but thats its. (We wil see how Grabs does with regular NHL ice time)

    Ever since that nasty wrist slice, Donald Audette was never the same.

    Zarley Zalapski….this ridicoulous name says it all. (Sorry to all the Zarley's out there)
    Done remind me of Dkhuis.  He brings back visions of Houle and Tremblay.

    As for the Leafs:

    Aki Berg…Loved how Chuck on the Fan called it the Aki Berg network.  He has to be the worst leaf of all time with Hoglund being a close second.

  14. leafy says:

    I understand that he was bad with the Habs, but in his 3 years with the Leafs, I actually liked him.  He was a solid 3rd or 4th line guy, big frame guy, gave out some solid hits, scored his share of goals as a role player, and again…paid cheap.  Nothing wrong with that.  Solid role player.

  15. nordiques100 says:

    I actually dont believe kilger is even at camp to be honest.

    well i saw kilger play junior. he was pretty piss poor despite being a big time prospect back then. he was nowhere near as good as gratton.

    i saw kilger play for the habs against the sens. the habs did end up winning that game but were outshot like 48-10. him, dackell and juneau were on the ice all the time. they were the top line that night. he was terrible. he lost his check like a dozen times, got caught out of position, missed assignments, took a bad penalty and had a breakaway where he missed the net by like 10 feet.

    it was not ironic to see him do those exact things in toronto most nights. was he bad for a 4th liner? i guess not. but i just couldnt stand his sloppiness and the fact that on most nights he was the leafs hardest working player which tells you how bad the leafs have been.

  16. nordiques100 says:

    really about fischer? it seems a bit early to write him off. he's still in college. he was considered a project anyways.

    haha well as for breezy, at least this guy is still in the NHL and forged a pretty long career. but he was patrice blunders. maybe in finnish his name translates to aki berg. LOL

  17. nordiques100 says:

    haha yes hideous habs and leaf coaches. well the leafs were far worse in that regard. out of both teams, tremblay is perhaps the worse coach ever.

    but the leafs had brophy, dan maloney, carpenter, nick beverly, it was brutal.

  18. simplyhabby says:

    LOL, the irony of your statements. 

    "dackell and juneau were on the ice all the time. they were the top line that night. he was terrible"

    "but i just couldnt stand his sloppiness and the fact that on most nights he was the leafs hardest working player which tells you how bad the leafs have been."

    Both teams were stinking it up at the time.

  19. leafy says:

    I just hated Mike Craig.  He did absolutely nothing on that ice.  And to think they kept that garbage around for 3 years!

    Kilger at least gave out some body checks to let you know he's there.  I remember Craig's last 2 season, he got like 7 goals in each one.  That's like a .120 batting average in baseball, yet they kept giving him a regular shift.

  20. nordiques100 says:

    well after having to endure andy wozniewski the last 3 years, i can say berg was replaced as the worst leaf blueliner ever.

  21. simplyhabby says:

    Didn't Fischer have an injury whihc wrote him off for a good chunk of the previous season.  I also do recall that he was not geeting much time as he was a freshman.  he should be relied upon for more minutes this year.

  22. nordiques100 says:

    This is pure DNA evidence that bettman messed up with expansion haha. half the players on both those teams werent NHLers for the most part!

  23. nordiques100 says:

    he's one of those long line of top OHL scorers who were duds at the NHL level.

    Rob Cimetta
    Mark Greig

    Craig was the worst. he refused. absolutely refused to fight whatsoever for the puck.

    oh yeah, another: Todd Warriner.

  24. leafy says:

    Yup Todd Warriner.  He irritated me because he played the game with no emotion whatsoever, like an aloof zombie.  lol

  25. nordiques100 says:

    haha aloof zombie haha thats hilarious! that describes him perfectly!

  26. Kramer says:

    Leafs-Habs in the conference final this year.  Just remember Kramer called it.

  27. the_word says:

    Like how this thread is shaping up like all those useless hockey cards you'd collect as a kid. For some reason no one would bite on the pitch I use give when trying to rid myself of those dreaded Mike Eastwood doubles.

    Oh, and I'm more scared of the Schenn/Ware parallels than Schenn/Finger.

  28. leafy says:

    I remember deadline day in 1995 when the Leafs acquired Domi from Winnipeg for Eastwood, there were Leaf fans at my workplace who thought it was a bad trade because they thought Eastwood was a keeper.

    As it turned out, that was a great trade by Fletcher.  Domi was one of the most feared tough guys in the league for the next 10 years with the Leafs, while Eastwood gradually disappeared into oblivion.

  29. Visco says:

    Nothing against the names on this article.  You have successfully managed to pick apart both teams (specifically from the mid 80s through the 90s).  The only criticism I have is not against your claims.  More so to defend both teams and generalize your thoughts towards the whole league.  Lets be honest,  majority of teams in the league has drafted people in the first or second round and hyped them up and then we never hear from these guys again.  I think the scouting changes that went on in the last couple of decades has benefited those who decided to make the change sooner (only in some cases).  Kids are getting drafted from all over now and have been for years.  There still was a one way mindset on many teams to consider the North American players to be better or have more potential in the NHL.  That still happens and I'm sure all these highly touted Canadian and American kids who play in the world juniors will loose their hype as well.  When people start mentioning getting guys in the later rounds like Alfy, Zetts, Datsyuk or Kaberle….etc. I start to wonder did anyone even know who those guys were when they were drafted.  Most likely not at all.  It is purely guys doing their job and taking a stab at it.  One guy who really went under the radar was Thomas Vanek.  I'm pretty sure most people can say that they never heard of this guy at all, yet why did Florida and Columbus take Horton and Zheredev before this guy.  Basically what I am saying is that the draft is based on knowledge, experience and probably a really critical factor, luck.  Some teams luck out, some get stuck with nothing, ask Columbus how things have been (I'd feel horrible if Filatov bombs it here).  Aside from that, there are a million other factors that contribute (what type of market the kids play in, who is on the team, what ice time they get, the coaching, the effort each player puts into the off season and staying in shape…etc).  These are all things that scouts look at now,  they can better predict the future of these kids, but we still do find many players who go under the radar.  Also, there are many who silently crash and are never heard of again. 

    Aside from all that.  I do enjoy the read and agree with your selections.  Thank you for not anouncing all the most hated players based on politics/media.  I will give you credit for sticking to your point.   

  30. MTL_HABS_24 says:

    I love it!  Thanks for the great read!  Very well written and very accurate.  Do I smell hockey season?  Drop the puck already!!!!

  31. mojo19 says:

    I'm with you totally on Dempsey. I never thought he was anything more than he was – an occasional call-up. I remember specifically getting into debates on htr with 92-93 (remember that guy) who used to hype up Dempsey so much, I tried telling him Dempsey was crap.

    Good article except at the end, the "honourable mentions" section contains a lot of guys who were either good role players or good guys who were just callups from time to time, every organization in professional sports has a list of guys like this. Gary Valk? He was money in the playoffs! Big reason we went to the final 4 in 1999 was our 2nd line of Berezin-Perrault-Valk.

    Guys like Clark Wilm, Harold Druken, Jeff Farkas, Brendan Bell, Aaron Gavey, Ladislav Kohn, Martin Prochazka, Ben Ondrus, Brad Leeb, Nathan Perrott were never really regulars with the team(Missing from the list is a favourite call-up of mine: Paul Healey). These are AHL guys who all got call-ups from time to time. I don't really see what your point is here? Are you saying there were high expectations for them? Because I don't think that's the case.

    You can make a list of guys like this for anyone. Here I'll do Detroit: Devereux, Mark Mowers, Darryl Bootland, Nate Robinson, Ladislav Kohn, Anders Eriksson, Stacey Roest, etc.

    And Craig Johnson was a waiver pick-up, came in for injured players and was released back on waivers at the deadline. What are you trying to say about him, that he didn't do a good job when he was here? He did what was expected.

    Lastly, Chad Kilger was much better for Toronto than he was for Montreal. Case and point, they put him on waivers, we dealt him for a 3rd round pick.

  32. nordiques100 says:

    oh man clint was the team's 2nd line centre back when they made their long playoff runs under burns.

    funny though he only played every other shift. it was gilmour borchevsky and andreychuk, gilmour, gartner and clark, zezel, berg and ozzie then gilmour again clint with mandy and mullethead. haha. to think dougie did all that on one leg!

  33. mojo19 says:

    Sorry the bottom of my comment got cut off, I just wanted to say about Kilger – He may have been useless for Montreal but he was a lot better for Toronto. Case and point – Montreal placed him on waivers, Toronto dealt him for a 3rd round pick.

    Chad was a good 4th liner, I don't care what you say.

  34. nordiques100 says:

    nah just a list of crap that went through the organization.

    actually though, bell was hyped quite a bit, so was farkas and druken. wilm, his claim to fame was complaining to the media about not getting enough ice time. can you beleive that?

  35. mojo19 says:

    OH! Okay, that makes more sense then. But ya, I still wouldn't put Gary Valk in with those other guys. He was an established vet when he came here.

  36. pezzz says:

    yeah I'll never forget the goal he scored against the Habs when he received a bomb from Kaberle, ruled out both Markov AND Komisarek and beat Huet (or was it Price? I can't remember) in the top of the net.

  37. leafy says:

    I agree.  Hey Mojo, I'm going to miss the pre-season opener because I'm still at work.  Can you believe this garbage?  Anyway, you guys are going to have to fill me in on who looks good for the buds.

  38. leafy says:

    Re Dempsey, when you think about it, it is quite remarkable that the Leafs made the Final Four in 2002 with the following top 6 defencemen: Kaberle, McCabe, Pilar, Lumme, Erikson, Dempsey.

    Remember that was the year Yuskevic developed the blood clot in February, plus we already had traded Markov.  Plus Cujo started to slip a little bit.  So how did we reach the Final 4?

    Well, it goes to show how deep we were in the forward position in those days.  The total opposite of today.

  39. Plekanec says:

     I also missed the game, the only day i work overtime in years and it had to land on today!

  40. mojo19 says:

    Wasn't Cory Cross on that team? Maybe not.

    We made it to the final 4 out of pure hard work and bounces. Don't forget that on top of the Yushkevich injury, Renberg missed most of the playoffs with a hamstring injury, and Sundin broke his arm in game 3 or 4 against the Islanders.

    Basically Alyn McCauley played over his head, Roberts was a god, and Mogilny was Mogilny at his best. Other guys stepped up like Valk, Tucker (hurt for game 7 vs Ottawa), and call ups like my boy Paul Healey came in and got the job done.

    But ya, you're right, making it was a bit of a miracle looking back.

  41. mojo19 says:

    Sorry you had to miss the game. If you haven't heard the stars of the game were Dominic Moore and Carlo Colaiacovo.

    Moore's 2 highlight reel goals aside, he did play a good game, lots of time with the puck, really noticed him out there. But more impressive was Carlo. He threw a few big hits, scored a goal, jumped into the rush a handful of times, and jumped up in front of the net a couple times too.

    Carlo nice assist on Devereux's goal to steal it, send it down low to Bell who went wide on the d-man and cross crease to Boyd.

    I like the way Carlo played a lot, and I think its good because it doesn't look like Finger is the type of guy to join the rush like that, and I know Frogren isn't supposed to be like that, and Van Ryn was a little more defensive minded too by the looks of things (although MVR was looking sweet on the PP, good vision). So it will be nice to have Carlo in there as an offensive minded d-man in our bottom three, with Kabs and Kubs leading the way back there.

    Lots of positives to take from this game.

  42. mojo19 says:

    Oh ya, I know its just one game but I don't think Hollweg is as bad as Rangers fans would lead you to believe. He doesn't have good hands, but he's a feisty guy. Threw a couple really big hits and really got under Andrew Peters skin causing Peters a game ejection. Hollweg was a little sparkplug out there, Fletcher talked about him between periods, I think he's here to stay.

  43. Viceroy says:

    Buddy try to understand that Bouillon is a solid physical No.5-6 defensemen.  Sure, are we over paying him at around 2 mil.? Yup.  But a guy who sticks up for his teammates, plays his role with relish and is great in the dressing room do get paid a bit extra coin.  Hey and if he sucked so much why did the Pens try to get him from us on more than one occasion?  

  44. leafy says:

    Thanks for the highlights Mojo.  I've been saying it all summer, Moore should be ahead of Mark Bell on the depth chart.  One of the most under-rated Leafs and a good player.

    And what did I say the other day about about Carlo?  Tossing salaries aside, Calaiacovo is probably the No. 3 or 4 defenceman on the team, after Kabs, Kubs, and maybe Stralman.  He's a raw talent.  Yes he's injury prone, but that's independent of his abilities.

    The goal production is very encouraging, but of course, it's only September.

  45. leafy says:

    That's also good news.  And when you consider Mayers' sandpaper game, the Leafs won't be lacking in toughness.

    The Leafs haven't been the same in this department since the lockout, mainly because Domi was done and Tucker could no longer play the same physical agitating style as before.

  46. leafy says:

    I hear ya.  I've been in that boat many times. lol

  47. leafy says:

    Yeah I forgot about Cross, but I think we had another injury to our D (I think Pilar), because I remember Dempsey and Erikson saw plenty of playoff action that year.

    True Mogilny and Roberts carried that team after Mats' injury.  Sundin also predicted McCauley would step up, and he was right!

    Another explanation for our success in '02 is that we faced Ottawa in Round 2.  It helps when the opponent plays without a goalie.  Haha!!!!

  48. pezzz says:

    Bouillon is a physical #6 d-man, nothing more. He's mistake prone, his first pass is awful and he often gets himself out of the play to make the big hit. On many teams he would be #7.

  49. mojo19 says:

    Todd Warriner was a softy but as a throw-in in the Mats deal he was a decent 3rd liner for a few years. A good holdover guy before we built our contending teams with Tucker, Corson, Roberts et al.

    I'll always remember Todd Warriner scoring the 2-2 tying goal on Dominic Hasek the first game back after the 1998 Olympics. The cover of the paper the next day "Leafs out-do Canada" lol

    And didn't Todd score the inaugaral goal at the ACC?

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