By Louis “King of Roncesvalles” Pisano
After getting 61 shots on Dwayne Roloson and the Islanders though losing 4-3, the Leafs continued getting pucks to the net against Antero Nittymaki and Lightening. This time 35 was enough to find success in a 4-3 win of their own.
The Leafs got their first win of the year on the road in Anaheim and that began a streak of seven games of at least one point, unfortunately for Leafs Nation mostly one point.
The Leafs now have points in four straight games, including two wins. In 23 total games, they have points in six of 12 on road game while at home they have points in only four of 11.
Four of the next five games are on the road, three of those five are against divisional opponents and should prove to be feisty games.
Florida has been better on the road this year and is only 3-5-2 at home, though they have points in their last four games at the BankAtlantic Center, only one was a win. They do, however, have points in eight straight games and have seemingly gotten the right motivation from second year head coach Peter DeBoer after a slow start.
Buffalo sits in third and just two points off the Northeast division lead, though were on top for most of the first quarter of the season. They got off to one of the hottest starts in the league which has since cooled as many predicted. They have lost two in a row and are just 4-5-1 in their last ten, but they have games in hand, and have only played 21 thus far.
They then get back on the road for three, starting in Montreal.
I am sure the Leafs will want some revenge for the two losses the Habs have handed them this year. The last of which the Leafs lost in a shootout at the Bell Centre, the very building they will do battle in on Tuesday Dec. 1.
The inconsistent goal scoring and keeping for the Canadians has them sitting right at .500 on the year at 12-12-1 with a 7-5-1 record at home. I expect a physical game played much in Montreal’s zone as most of the past two meetings were, yet this time the results may be different.
With a day of rest and travel the Leafs land in Columbus Ohio to take on the Blue Jackets on Dec 3. Columbus can’t seem to hold a lead as of late and have blown three straight game when having the early lead though still hold a record of 12-8-3.
Recently, their young Russian sniper Nikita Filatov must have missed his mother’s goulash enough to go back to Russia and play in the KHL, on loan for the time being. This could possibly a good spot to catch a team that is reeling from some bad losses if that trend continues for the Blue Jackets.
Finally with another day of rest and travel, the Leafs finish this little five-game stint against the now Northeast division leading Bruins. Boston, who has been surging as of late going 6-1-3 in their last ten has won four in a row as well. This will be in my mind the biggest test of all as the Bruins play a very structured game and beat the Leafs soundly in two of their three meetings in Boston last year.
Given, there is time between now and the end of this five game stretch for many things to happen too all teams involved that may or may not drastically affect the Leafs chances of winning or losing these game.
Thankfully, 2012 is still a few years off, and I haven’t heard of any comets nearing the earth, at least at this point.
Toronto, at times seems to have the right parts and then all of a sudden someone at Ikea put half the pieces of two shelving units into the box just to screw with you, and nothing seems to work.
The Leafs are playing well though, as of late, and if the defensive side of their game with the Monster looking over the lair can find a groove and the offence bulges the twine instead of just leading the league in shots, the Leafs could add some notches to the win column and certainly get their roll on.