Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it didn't help with the score

The Toronto Maple Leafs haven't had a chance to go to Disneyland since November of 2003, after Wednesday night's game they may have to wait another four years or so for a chance.

The Leafs were very bad boys on Wednesday, as they simply let the Anaheim Ducks run the game as they saw fit on the way to a 5-0 shut out. It was the kind of game that might even give Captain Mats Sundin pause for second thoughts as to his devotion to the Blue and White.

Vesa Toskala returned to action for Toronto and in his first game back found that defensively his fellow Leafs haven't quite grasped the idea of controlling the play in their end of the rink. While the shot total wasn't onerous for Toskala, the goal to shot ratio wasn't particularly good. Of the 24 shots taken by Anaheim, five found the range. Over at the Anaheim end of the rink, Jean-Sebastien Giguere faced 28 shots as he frustrated the Leafs to his 27th career shut out.

Sebastian's load was lightened by the Leafs inability to score on six power play opportunities, that combined with their defensive shortcomings and a general sense of lethargy that seems to haunt the team, made the night a rather easy one for the Ducks.

The less than stellar play of the Leafs comes at a time when rumours are once again swirling around the club, about Sundin, about coach Paul Maurice and GM John Ferguson. Many saw this western swing as a last gasp chance for the Leafs to turn things around, if Wednesday's game is any indication that's not going to happen.

The Leafs next play the Kings, a team in a similar meltdown as the Blue and White, similar records and a coach under the gun. Meaning that the most likely result will be a 0-0 tie after the shoot out session.

CEO and President of MLSE, Richard Peddie has joined the team on the tour of the West coast, suggesting that he was even planning on dining with Ferguson during the course of the trip. After Wednesday nights effort, there may be less of an appetite for a meeting let alone a full course meal.

There will however, be lots to talk about one would assume, should they get together .

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