I honestly typed in Isles 4 Leafs 2 first, maybe because I feel our
team is still a winner.
This is a breakdown of one game not a series and not what happened
First off you have to ask what was Peter Laviolette thinking not
dressing Lindgren or calling up a skating forward. Did Cummins even
have his name called once ? Brawls were not going to win game seven,
he had no role and was a waste of a spot. This is where you give
Torres/Lindgren a look or let them watch in uniform because if the
game goes into a second and third overtime you may need an extra
defender or forward you can use for one shift without television
timeouts. If necessary you dress Mezei. What does it say when the
only guy out of Tarnstrom, Korolev/Mezei the best looking player was
Ray Schultz, who was on the ice in the final minutes ?
Why not Ray Giroux for one night if Jonsson cannot go, which he did
not ? This game required skill, not toughness.
Isles came out strong got the shots, the PP, and the Yashin goal to
give them all they needed to open up the game and a lead on a heck of
a setup and finish. Osgood was razor-sharp early and did everything
to keep them in. Isles had control and what they wanted.
Isles stopped moving, Isles got sloppy. Czerkawski kept losing the
puck to where it hit off him and went to Roberts who made sure to get
Osgood as he drove the tying goal in, and try to drive Osgood to the
bench. The way it happened was so unlucky it seemed like destiny
because the puck seemed cleared several times.
Roberts ramming Osgood happened too many times to call it coincidence
anymore 1-1. Osgood looked like he was kicked or was hit by Roberts
leg on the goal and that was why he could not get over and cover.
After that the Isles did not play well, did not have the legs and
played like they were waiting to get beat as Hamrlik also got hurt
and Osgood was in agony and could barely move and still made some
good saves. The jump he had at the start was gone, but he still had
the reflexes. And the Isles had to start killing powerplays and did a
Bates, or one Isles knocked Tucker into next week.
Second peirod: Isles again open slow, and on the run. Maybe the first
time all season the Isles let another team pull the goalie on a
delayed call regroup behind the goal, come all the way down and
score, all they had to do was touch the puck one time. Mogilny is
left alone for a beautiful shot from close in and it's 2-1 and the
Isles are in trouble.
Isles after that got a four minute penalty against them, this was the
game if they give up another one and the rout could have been on, but
they held with a fantastic kill and it really took something out of
the Leafs because after that the Isles got to work with two
powerplays and nothing could seem to go. Hunter had a fantastic move
and it did not go.
Ok, Isles down one goal, with some momentum. Osgood getting a bit of
a break from the early onslaught, what happens ? Blake and Lapointe
get crossed up and somehow Travis Green moves in a gets it past
Osgood, maybe if he is not so injured he stops it, but he is playing
on guts by this point. 3-1 Leafs.
Does Snow stop it ? No second guess, you lose with your best.
From that point until the end of the peirod the Isles are trying but
are not getting much at the Leafs net, one shot, clear....ect.
End of second.
Third peirod: More of the same as the Isles just cannot get deep and
work the Leafs, they are controlling the play, but nothing is really
coming from it and the Leafs look like they are sitting on their
Finally Kip Miller took a beautiful shot that beat Cujo and all of a
sudden the Isles are all over Toronto and they cannot get the puck
out. Yashin gets pulled down from sheer guts and hard work and the
Isles have the PP. Isles did not look good on the powerplay, until
they catch the Leafs changing Yashin, the guy you want to shoot does
and it hits the mask and stays out.
Powerplay ends and the Isles have the Leafs on the ropes with several
great chances that do not get to the net or Cujo stops. Hunter makes
a fantastic move to come to the middle and the Leaf defender gets his
stick which slows down his shot, where he looked to be going high
with plenty of force. Yashin all alone, tries for Bates on his
backhand, no dice. The player knows best and it's split-second, but I
shoot if I am Yashin, can't fault him for trying for an open net.
Yashin also tried banking one in off Cujo from behind the net and it
hit his back and went the other way.
After that the Isles just kept coming, Osgood is forced to stop a
semi-breakaway, but the Leafs are digging in and getting the puck out
in the final minutes. You almost think the Isles are going to find at
least one goal, if not two.
Osgood pulled, a few shots from the point, one desperate attempt to
keep it in fails and Mogilny has another open net goal and that's it.
As for game seven:
Czerkawski could not hold or control the puck as usual and
Kvasha/Bates could not break thru. Lapointe/Blake were playing
defense and little else. Parrish could not get the shot he needed.
Scatchard did little to nothing all night on the offensive, this was
his game to do what Roberts did. Hunter may have been the Isles best
forward, the defenders did all they could and more. Van Impe/Cairns,
Hamrlik, Aucoin were great for the minutes and wear on them. Schultz
had to play and played well. Korolev fumbled a puck in the opening
seconds and it almost cost him and Laviolette did not use him after
that. Webb did nothing and was a poor choice to suit up in a non-
physical game where fighting would not decide it, he looked like he
did not want to put his team shorthanded and his game was hampered.
It could have went either way, the Isles had them set up and as
Micheletti pointed out several times the Leafs were ready to fold.
Joseph was hanging on and hurt all night, the Isles did not make him
move around enough or get a great rebound shot.
Just one goal short, but in reality and at the end of the series, the
cheap hits, and the Isles failure to do what they should have done in
games one and two were the difference. In the overall picture a team
without Jonsson/Peca and whoever else had no shot against Ottawa
because they are a fast-high skilled team that was rested, ready,
full of confidence with their humiliation of Philadelphia, to say
nothing of the ultimate prize and that was to play for the cup.
That may not not sound realistic but if the Isles won last night they
had the highest point total in the East of the remaning teams. With a
healthy team, it very easily could have happened.
But I move on toward next year, proud to be a fan of this franchise,
as I have been after every winning and losing year.