Maple Leafs-Flames: Toronto Set to Rumble with Calgary

Graeme BoyceCorrespondent INovember 11, 2008

Quite a few years ago—well, come to think of it, it must have been quite a few years ago, because the game I recall was at Maple Leaf Gardens—I scored good ol' Greens to see the Flames play the Leafs. 

After the first period, if memory serves correct, the Leafs had amassed a three-goal lead—and we talked about a certain 9-0 victory.  The Flames came back, however, and won.

I've never doubted my Leafs could blow a lead since that night.  Like a bucking bronco, I hear the Flames are up and down this year.  Too bad.  So sad.  So tonight's tilt could be fun for our young buds, especially since half the arena will be cheering them on, likely quite drunkenly, after fueling up at Cowboys.

Okay, back to reality.  I thought the Rangers game was up there with the all-time best-ever Leaf games, until the weekend and our clobbering of the Habs.  Tonight I'd like to see the Leafs absolutely dominate the Flames and simply skate circles around their aging club.  This year their top players are struggling—but the one guy I'd suggest Toskala look out for is Bertuzzi.

No longer can Phaneuf take out fleet-footed wingers.  I'm liking Grabovski, a lot.  It's taken a while, though.  I'm hoping his touch around the net will rub off on Kulemin.  I wonder how long Blake will be with us.  In the meantime, Stajan keeps getting better, and Finger?  What a pick up —I'm sure you agree.  Solid.  Completely solid.

It's seriously too bad Van Ryn is out, as realistically it's a Leafland miracle that Colaiacovo is still healthy.  What would be ironically funny is if he started scoring.  I like him, I do—but I thought he'd be traded along with White by now.  I'm sounding a little down on these Canadian boys, but they need to step up, which is what I've been saying since Day One.

On the supremely positive side—Hagman.  Six goals so far, trailing only team leader Grabovski. I'm thinking Antropov must surely have an ego, and must surely understand his role as aging veteran positioned him as a Captain. 

I don't want Sundin to come back—yet with our luck if he does, I'm sure he'll end up on a playoff-bound team, who the Leafs will meet in June.  Speaking of his replacement as vaunted Captain, I pick Mayers, but dammit Jim (to quote Bones) why can't he score?  One goal won't cut it.

Tonight, the hero will be Moore, with an incredible pass from Mitchell.