Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Leafs Should be an Inspiration to the Oilers

While the Oilers have had their early season struggles, the team that was supposed to be the laughing stock of the NHL has been a tower of respectability. 6-6-4-1 to be exact. The Leafs have a few key veterans, guys like Toskala, Kubina, Kaberle, Mayers, and younger veterans like Nik Antropov and Matt Stajan. They have not allowed themselves to buy into the fact that by now they should be in the leagues cellar and reading their magic 8 ball on who they should pick with the 1st or 2nd pick in the '09 draft.

Balanced scoring (6 players in double digit scoring and a total of 12 players with 5 or more points) and a never say die attitude makes the Leafs a difficult hurdle to clear on Thursday. Their goaltending has been a sore spot (as Toskala's 0.883 and Joseph's 0.862 save %'s clearly demonstrates) and it could be an area for the Oilers to exploit after scoring a measly 4 goals in their last 2 games.

If there is anything that the Oilers can take from their rare home encounter with the Leafs, it's that they need to have fun, and a winning attitude can go a long ways. It's about time that the Oilers started playing well enough to have a winners swagger. This team doesn't have a swagger to it, they had it late last year, they were making plays that can only be made with supreme confidence in yourself and your teammates. Somewhere along the lines that swagger up and died. Souray has it, Hemsky has it, and Deslauriers is currently swimming in it, but we need it to return to Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Gilbert, and Horcoff.

A run and gun game with the Leafs could be what this team needs to awake from their slumber, however if they take them lightly, it could get ugly in a hurry, just ask Montreal.


Jonathan said...

The team one game above five hundred which has played 80% of their schedule on the road should be inspired by the team four games below five hundred that has had a 50-50 schedule?

Just asking.

Bryanbryoil said...

Yes because the team that was on the road has a crap load more talent on it. Do the Leafs have guys like Horcoff, Hemsky, Souray, amd solid vets like Moreau, Pisani, and Staios? Do they have as good of goaltending?

When were the Oilers predicted to be a bottom feeder this season? When were the Leafs predicted to be a respectable team?

It really isn't too hard to see that the Leafs are an inspirational team this season.

Jonathan said...

Well, although we haven't seen it yet, on balance I think Toskala > Garon/Roli.

The Leafs have some underrated veterans (Stajan, Ponikarovsky, Antropov) and a couple of stud defensemen (Kaberle, Kubina). In the Eastern Conference, they're a bubble team.

I'm not saying Ron Wilson isn't doing a good job, but a) it's early and b) the Leafs aren't the Islanders in terms of talent.

Bryanbryoil said...

Inspiring win by the Leafs don't you think Jonathan?