It was far from a satisfying send off but last night’s 4-1 loss to the Habs was in some ways a microcosm of 2010-11 season that was. With their powerplay quite literally working against them, the Leafs put themselves in a hole early, showed some fight back and ultimately fell short, while some promising youthful performances comprised a silver lining for a better tomorrow. That said, it seemed a good portion of the Leafs roster was still suffering from the hangover of a playoff run fallen short, the giveaways and breakaways against were plentiful and the effort generally uninspired.
It’s important to keep one game in perspective but debutants Frattin and Colborne gave Leafs fans a pretty good feel for what the future may hold last night. Colborne’s frame will need some further filling out but he looked like an unrefined model of that big-bodied skilled center fans have been yearning for since Mats Sundin’s departure. Matt Frattin showed no hesitation in getting right in the mix with a high-tempo game and some good offensive instincts in finding the good scoring areas, registering five shots in 15 minutes of icetime. Frattin would have notched his first NHL goal if not for a couple good saves from Carey Price.
Onto the mashup from Greg.
“The run that we went on after the all-star break was a really good building block for our team. Having such a young team and playing in such important games, I think it’s really going to help us next year. You could see how a lot of the guys matured.”
– Dion Phaneuf, courtesy of James Mirtle at The Globe and Mail
PPP recaps the game and then picks apart Cherry’s Kadri illogic.
Mirtle recaps the Leafs dishearteningÂ 4-1 loss last night.
Mislav’s final game in 10 of the season.
Mark Ascione at The Hockey Writers highlights the Leafs’ ups and downs since the All Star Break.
The Marlies snapped their five game winless streak by defeating the Rochester Americans 6-5 in their second last game of the season yesterday.
Other hockey links:
The Bruins/Canadiens matchup highlights the first round in the east.
Incredible individual effort by Oshie to score his 12th of the season.
Last Night in Leafs Prospects:
Jesse Blacker went pointless with a plus-two rating in Owen Sound’s 3-2Â win over the Plymouth Whalers to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Whalers forward Jamie Devane was a minus-one and failed to collect any points. Out west, Josh Nicolls of the Saskatoon Blades was also pointless in the opening game of their first round matchup with the Kootenay Ice.
What were your first impressions on Joe Colborne and Matt Frattin in their respective debuts? Heading into the off season what areas does Leaf management need to address either through free agency or via trade?