The Golden Boy: Luke Schenn's Blunder

Maurizio ZambitoContributor IFebruary 16, 2009

Many of us who were watching last night's game witnessed Luke Schenn accidently score on his own net. Now this isn't the first time that has happened to the Leafs. Stralman scoring twice in one game on himself, and the most memorable being Mr. McCabe's OT winner, for the Sabres.

Now what I was wondering to myself as I watched the replay of the puck slide along the ice through Toskala's legs (a shot he very capably could have, and should have saved), was how is the media going to interpret this. Are they going to go at Schenn like McCabe, or sweep the whole incident under the rug, similar to Stralman's case?

Watching a few highlight packs following the game, most people didn't even make any sort of effort to say that Schenn scored on himself, but rather Cooke scored himself. Now don't get me wrong, the criticism wasn't warranted, as the Leafs battled back and won that game, easily too.

But what if that game finished with the Pens coming out on top, by say a score of 1-0, and theoretically Schenn was the fault of the losing goal. Similar to McCabe's demise. How would the media have responded to it? 

Clearly, I'll begin by taking a trip down memory lane to that night in Buffalo. As most people know what happened that night, I'll save the short story, and cut quickly to overtime.

Shorthanded, McCabe, attempting to clear the puck (being kind), hammered the puck into the back of the net. Media was all over him, as they had the right to. He gave up the OT winner!

Obviously there is fault in his mistake. Was as much scrutiny warranted, maybe not. But that's what comes when he has the contract that he does, and the pressure he had on himself in Toronto. Not to mention he is a veteran, and those things shouldn't happen.

Fast forward to last night, first period, and the Penguins are pressing for a goal. Malkin centres and it appears that Schenn knocks it into his own net. On further review one can make the claim that Cooke helped him out, but if you want to be Anti-Schenn, you could have also said he should have took Cooke going to the net and left the puck for Toskala.

Warranted, it was if anything a rookie mistake, and one that can be swept under the rug, and leave Schenn's armor impervious to bad press bullets. There are a few people I talk to, who love to bring up how well Boedker is going to be, and how well those picks we gave up will be too. But the fact is Schenn is going to be great too. 

Coming into this, I made it seem as though Schenn deserved to be killed for this small blunder but in actual fact I do think he deserved to have his mistake acknowledged, at the very least. As with many new to the Leafs, notably Brian Burke, Luke Schenn, and Ron Wilson, they can do nothing wrong.

Although Don Cherry has broken through the safe guard and loves to get at coach Wilson, sometimes rightfully so. Back to my original question, if the Leafs would have lost the game 1-0, and Luke Schenn was at lone fault for the mistake, how would the media respond. Would they look at publishing an excuse and sweeping it under the rug, never to be heard of again, or would they call Schenn out for his mistake.

Obviously, I have taken this lone incident and stretched it considerably to make an article out of it, however, if you want to get technical, you can go back and look at some errors he has made. Luke Schenn is the future of the Leafs, and rightfully so.

Overall, the way I see it, we are all human, McCabe didn't deserve to get torched for his mistake, but he deserved to be called out on it. However Schenn made a mistake, and he got off scott free. Obviously I am at conflicting thoughts in this article, so best to say to myself, "relax he is just a kid!"

Remember, he is still a rookie, and can make mistakes, but he is going to be "Schenn-sational" in the Blue and White. 

Thanks for reading,
Maurizio Zambito