It used to be one would say the Leafs are becoming accustomed to skating on tilted ice as the start of a joke at their expense. But a month into the season, it’s beginning to appear as though the joke is on the jester. Despite being outshot for the 11th straight game – and 12th out of 14 – the team improved to 10-4-0 (and 5-2-0 on the road), claiming sole possession of first place in the East and tied for 2nd overall in the league.  Once again, timely shooting and stellar goaltending were the recipe for success.

The question, as we all know, which has been and will continue to be asked, is how long until the seeming imbalance in their play catches up to this group, with an eye toward the schedule becoming much tighter post-Olympics. Certainly, it goes without saying that any points they can continue to bank now will contribute to a more comfortable cushion should things begin to even out – which the numerical evidence suggests is likely – come the season’s second half.

The Leafs will look to continue their road success Saturday in Vancouver before enjoying a 6-day break (yes, you read that right) which, for banged-up players such as Lupul, Kulemin, Fraser and Bozak, couldn’t arrive at a better time.

Onto the links:

Bernier pulls another one out of the hat as Leafs beat Flames
Game recap from the Globe.

John-Michael Liles still has hope for an NHL job
A few quotes from the classy veteran about adversity and the importance of setting an example.

NHL players show off a wide range of Halloween costumes
I nominate “Danger Zone” for the Wild’s new goal song.

Pascal Dupuis casually pulls out two teeth at the bench after a high stick
Continuing with the Halloween theme (well, sort of) …

Semyon Varlamov arrested on domestic violence charges
Further details out of Denver on last night’s late-breaking news.

Maple Leafs fan vows to marry girlfriend after Cup win
Cue the 50-year engagement jokes. When you think about it, this could be the basis of a great sitcom, complete with Kerry Fraser as a bumbling wedding planner.