Well break out the bubbly and plan the parade route the Leafs are on their way to the Stanley Cup!
Awe come on the Coach is just having some fun here, but what I will tell you that if the Leafs can improve on their win tonight each time they go and play they won’t be kissing the last place spot to much longer.
With a good defensive win tonight, Coach Carlyle’s style that is, the Toronto Maple Leafs put up the first win for the season even after a opening night ceremony that was one of the best we have seen in a long time.
Playing against the Montreal Canadiens can be difficult on most nights but when you start the season off against them you better expect something of a ‘Big Show’ to happen. The Canadiens theme for this season is ‘Raise the Torch’ so former Candiens Captains Yvan Cournoyer, Henri Richard, Vincent Damphousse, Serge Savard and Jean Beliveau, conducted a torch relay that ended with current captain Gionta on the ice.The torch was passed from player to player as they were introduced to the sellout crowd. A classy act by a very classy organization.
Once the game begun though those warm and fussy feelings for the home team soon disappeared because the home team started a parade of their own, the one the coach doesn’t like and that’s the one to the ‘sin bin’.
After the Canadiens first penalty to White had ended and 16 seconds after that, Erik Cole decided it was his turn to sit for 2 minutes which wasn’t a good idea because the Leafs took advantage of it with Nazem Kadri (look out Leafs fans the kid is good) jumped on a blocked centering pass from Kessel and caught goaltender Price moving the other way. This was toronto’s first shot on goal and the time of the goal was 4:51 of the first.
If it wasn’t for Corey Price with some huge saves the Leafs would of ran away with this one real early but the Canadiens ‘Keeper of the Twine’ kept his team in the game as best he could.
The Canadiens frustration carried them into the 2nd period as well as at 7:14 Tomas Piekanec was blown down for unsportsmanlike conduct after giving Scrivens a snow shower. Then at the 8:12 mark of the second Bozak jumped on a loose puck and scored the Leafs second powerplay goal of the game to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead.
Finally in the third period the Canadiens came a bit alive with a goal from Captain Gionta to narrow the Leafs lead to one but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto Maple Leafs finished off the game with some good defensive play, which ‘Leafs Nation’ should get used to this as it is Randy Carlyle’s trade mark.
The Leafs hold of the Canadiens for the final 2-1 score and head back to the ‘Big Smoke’ for their own home opener on Monday night with a perfect record.
Start up the music and get the parade going! GO-LEAFS-GO!
Until next time.
See you after the game.
By Warren Nye, UltimateHockeySource.com
January 20th, 2013