Yesterday’s announcement that the Leaf goaltending tandem of Mikael Tellqvist and Ed Belfour would be sharing the duties for the rest of the year, caught a few Leaf fans by surprise. But as it turns out it was more of a necessity than a strategy by Pat Quinn.
The Leafs placed Belfour’s name on the day to day list on Tuesday, as the Maple Leaf Nations guardian of the nets continues to have problems with his back, a situation that has seen him in and out of the line up through the season.
With key games coming up (pretty well the entire schedule actually) it will be quite the test for Tellqvist who will face the double pleasure of not only having to keep his team in each game, but having each game possibly be the one that eliminates the Leafs from the playoff race.
The Belfour health problems put an exclamation point on his and the Leafs year, it seems that the aging and battered Leaf line up has suffered key injuries at the most inopportune time. They apparently have not been following the lead of the team in observing health living month!
For whatever reason the Leaf’s management chose to stay the course with their combination of ancient warriors and young untested kids, unfortunately for them the oldsters seem to be wearing out before the newbies have been broken in.
It’s all rather funny in a way, the way the Leafs continue to keep their goaltending situation under some kind of deep cover. Everything in Leaf land seems to be the thing of a John Le Carre or Tom Clancy thriller! Playing the game that they were planning on rotating the goaltenders down the stretch was a bit strange, as there’s no real advantage to be gained by misdirection at this point. Better to come clean, explain it all out for the fans and hope that the players respond to the desperate times.
The Leafs resume the quest to avoid elimination tonight, with a game against the equally troubled Boston Bruins. Tellqvist takes charge tonight, it will be interesting to see if his fellow Leafs pick up the challenge and rise to the occasion.