Saturday, December 24, 2005

No Doggin' it for Belfour

It was one of the stranger looking special ceremonies in recent times, there was Eddie Belfour with his wife, his son and er, his pet dog at centre ice accepting the accolades of the crowd. Too his credit the dog remained pretty composed with all the excitement as did the guy they call the Eagle.

Belfour was honoured before the Leafs/Bruins game on the achievement of his 448th win as an NHL goaltender. Belfour has moved into second place in all time NHL goaltending, passing the legendary Terry Sawchuk, as he continues to chase down the record held by Patrick Roy.

During the pre game ceremonies video clips were played of Tony Esposito and Vladimir Tretiak, two Chicago goaltenders that Belfour looked up to in his formative years in the Windy City. The good vibrations paid off as Belfour went on to have one of his best performances of the year as the Leafs edged the Bruins 2-1. Both Belfour and Bruins goaltender Hannu Toivonen put on a clinic on how to shut down the opposition. The Finn coming up on the short end of the scoresheet on this night, but not because of anything he did on the night.

Belfour faced 26 shots on the night, the only one to beat him was at the hand of Sergei Samsanov who scored on a two man advantage about four and a half minutes into the second period. After that it was a closed kennel as Belfour put on a performance to make Sunny the dog proud of the old man just before Christmas. Belfour has a fair amount to go to catch Roy's record of 551 wins, but with a little luck, Sunny will get to make one more appearance at centre ice.

With Sunny's newfound exposure as team dog and perhaps the most famous canine in Toronto since the Harold Ballard days, we can see a Fido endorsement just down the road. It should help keep both Sunny and Eddie in Kibbles and bits for the rest of the season.

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