Revitalized Leafs to Thrash Thrashers on Way to the Cup

Graeme BoyceCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2008

By annihilating the Penguins on every inch of the ice, the obvious answer to the Leafs winning the Cup is to simply play like the way they did last night, when they didn't allow a shot on net.

Well, OK, they allowed a few shots, only permitting Vesa Toskala to up his stock. So it certainly occurred to me that if Leafs management wants to make a few trades, then the players are obliging.

How's this for a trade?: Tomas Kaberle for Evgeni Malkin, and maybe we can throw in a draft pick and score that oft-maligned Sid the Kid. In fact, I'd be tempted to sweeten the pot a bit, despite all playing like Stanley Cup winners last night, and toss in the stalwart Pavel Kubina or the versatile Ian White, as it seems a lot of teams are in trouble on the way to the Cup. 

I've been saying this for a while: Winning is contingent on luck and injuries. This, of course, pre-supposes a level of professionalism, in terms of playing passionately with effort and consistency, and being well-coached and trained, but then there's the wonderfully intangible "inspired play" to consider in the equation. 

I wonder if, when the Leafs watch re-runs of their games, the announcers actually impact their future play.

It's nice not to have to hear Bob Cole's drivel on Saturday nights, but how many other fans were blown away by the Leafs' awesome work last night that seemed to go completely unnoticed up in the Gondola? Hughson, et al, we're obviously disappointed that they couldn't rave about a spectacular goal by the Kid, or even a pass, or a shot. 

After all, they were a little shocked at Crosby's youthful antics late in the game, chasing Niklas Hagman up the ice. I can only imagine the rhetoric that would've streamed forth if a player like Kordic, Domi, or Hollweg were to engage in such activity.

I lost track of how many times one of the Leafs, whether one of our Russians (except Kulemin), Moore, Stajan, or Deveaux made a really great play in our own end, only to hear the announcers continue to comment on a Penguin play that had occurred several plays ago. It was simply weird, and reminded me of Cole.

The kicker was that these two announcers were introduced as a pair of the best. I'm glad the CBC is trying new teams in the booth, but these two are not allowed (because I decree it) to announce anymore Leafs games until they understand who's who on the team. 

That's right, No. 56 is Deveaux, and he just doesn't turn down fights. He's got a pretty good shot. And our Vikings, Frogren and Hagman, played great, too, after coming back from injuries. But the best shot, and leader in the Wendel Clark shot look-a-like, is Mr Williams. That's right, anyone with a shot like that deserves to be called Mr.

Lastly, there's Sifers. One gaffe, but we won, so who cares? He played well, and it seems there is some depth down on the farm. 

We're told often enough by the announcers and so-called pundits that the Leafs are weak on the depth chart and have little to offer as trade bait; well, I'm sorry, but it looks like the Penguins, and a few other teams we've clobbered lately (despite the debacle in Beantown), are in much worse trouble.

The Leafs just need to play consistently, like they did last night, on all areas of the ice, and win all the remaining games, and presto—the Cup will be paraded down Bay Street and MLSE's product will be revered as great once again.