Punchless Leafs a goalie’s best friend

It was like watching the same game twice in one day.

Saw my boy’s peewee team dominate and lose in the afternoon, then watched the Maple Leafs dominate and lose in the evening.

Such is the sport of hockey.

To steal a phrase from Bull Durham and apply it to the ice, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes the goalie decides the outcome.

Been going on for a few decades now.

The Leafs, it’s obvious, are the team every masked man wants to play these days, a team that can’t score, can’t push the puck over the goal line even when it appears just the simplest hockey play would get the job done.

Tim Thomas and Henrik Lundqvist? Nope, the Leafs couldn’t get a puck by either over a three-day period, including Lundqvist’s 36-save perfection for the New York Rangers in a 2-0 triumph on Saturday night.

The only netminder the Leafs could beat in the final week of October was backup Scott Clemmensen of the Florida Panthers, and they needed Colton Orr making like Jerry Kramer on a Packer sweep to make that happen.

Yes, the Rangers battled on Saturday night, hanging in there despite tired legs after losing a hard game to Carolina at home on Friday. But this was undeniably a one-sided game, with the rink mostly tilted in favour of Ron Wilson’s group.

The Leafs had 36 shots and another 35 blocked. The rope-a-dope Rangers had 24 shots and only six blocked because, well, they didn’t take very many.


55 Responses to Punchless Leafs a goalie’s best friend

  1. mojo19 says:

    Well really Kaberle and Schenn have been getting pretty much as much ice time as Beau and Dion, so ya I figure their ice time will go up even more with Dion out.

    No I would not split them up, to me that makes no sense. If the team is struggling offensively I would double shift Kaberle from time to time and give him some extra shifts with other partners on top of his usual shift with Luke.

  2. TimTheBone says:

    I'm not disputing the designated enforcer role… but it can be done with a player that has the ability to actually play the game at the level required…

    Boogarrd cannot play at even the AHL level… He hasnt scored an NHL goal in four years…hell he couldn't even play at the ECHL level 6 years younger ago…. So no I'm sorry, the derek boogarrds of the game are just wasting good oppritunities for younger skilled players to maybe get in a line-up and gain some experience…. there is no need for a guy like Boogarrd and no argument to have him in the line-up… you hurt your bench as well as the young players who miss their chances… when you spend more minutes a year in the Penalty box than your do on the ice, there's a problem…

    Even your own Colton Orr is on the fine line….. Why can't you be tough and a good player…. Like the days of old…. The single best example of a tough skilled hockey player is The Rocket… Gordie is a good one as well…. Legends of the sport yet tough guys that ppl don't f*ck with…. and no im not saying that every player whos tough should be a 50 goal scorer…. just have the skills to hang with the big boys and contribute

    F*vk Don Cherry and his stupid philosophy…. im not saying you do, but ppl eat up his words too much…

  3. mojo19 says:

    Well those guys still exist, like Jarome Iginla, and to a lesser extent players like Hartnell etc.

    But Boogaard actually can play hockey, you're underrating him. I remember one game, Leafs vs Minnesota two years ago, Boogie man ran over Hagman then pushed Jonas Frogren really hard and got the Leafs to take a couple of retalitory penalties. He changed the pace of that game by being more of an agitator/enforcer and no one could do anything about it.

    Colton Orr can play hockey. He scored 4 goals last year, has 2 so far this year, but more importantly he's a solid defensive player. I agree with Don Cherry's comments that if Colton Orr played more than 7 minutes a night and got a regular shift (12-15 minutes) he would be a 10+ goal guy.

    The enforcers who can't play, who just fight come and go and don't last in the NHL. The guys you're describing are guys like Kris Newburry, Andre Deveaux, etc. They never stick in the NHL because they can't play at this level. These guys are not as good as most NHL enforcers like Jared Boll in Columbus, and Andrew Peters, etc.

    Besides, there's only so many minutes to go around. Does every forward finish the game at an even 15 minutes of ice time (60 minute game divided by 4 lines) ??? No. Some guys have to play less. Would you really want a young guy playing 5-7 minutes a night, when a gritty guy with less offensive upside could occupy that spot. Think about it.

  4. TimTheBone says:

    Boogie man can play hockey… just not at an elite level….. elitle being professional…. Boogie man makes money in the sport for being big and tough and because he throws punches with the best of them…. nothing more…. i dont underrate boogarrd… its impossible to underrate a guy like that… Your reply sounds as though you think im anti-enforcer… im not… I think Colton Orr brings MUCH more to the table that boogarrd.. disregarding size ofcourse… I'm glad your able to pick out one game and one play in Derek's career where he made a decent play… and ofcourse he runs over guys… he's 6'7 250 pounds.. you cant move him… he can't play the role of aggitator like the averys, the lapierres, the ruutus of the league….guys like boogarrd to me have no place in the league…. Orr, Hartnell, Boll, Kesler, Talbot, Torres, Tootoo….. all guys who are tough and can drop the mits with the big boys… but they can all also play hockey on varying levels….im not anti enforcer or anti toughness….. but I don't like these big skating punching bags taking up a roster spot for 2-4 minutes of play….

    Also the average top forward line on a team will get about 20-25 minutes…. unless your crosby, ovechkin, forwards dont usually play 30 mins a game…. it would break down somewhat like this….
    line 1 = 30mins
    line 2 = 17 mins
    line 3 = 10 mins
    line 4 = 3 mins

    To me that just shows a lack of depth and no trust in your bottom guys…
    To me a good balanced teams offense should break down like this:
    line 1 = 23 mins
    line 2 = 17 mins
    line 3 = 12 mins
    line 4 = 8 mins

    to me the fourth line should be your Talbots or torress or Tootoos of the league… agitators who can still score points and skate… and obviously you wouldn't put a kadri on the fourth line getting only 8 to 10 minutes… but for guys like ryan white or ben maxwell… thats a great amount of minutes for them to be getting some experience…. it breaks down to roughly 1 shift out of every 6… 10 shifts… roughly… thats decent for those types of players…. and should be given to them instead of guys like boogarrd

  5. mojo19 says:

    Well you're right. Boogaard can't play the agitator role like Avery or Ruutu etc. on a regular basis, I'm just remembering one time when he did. And I have to assume that he's done it other times as well. Look, he's lasted in the NHL for a long time so he's doing more things right then just being big. That being said, ya he's not as fast as Orr, so he's not going to be able to play that same kind of fourth line forechecking role, nor will he be as good defensively because he can't keep up with everyone else.

    We'll just agree to disagree about Boogaard. Besides he's a Ranger not a Hab so if you think he's only detrimental to his team because he can't play and only fight, then it should be no problem for you 😉

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