Thursday, December 16, 2010


The Toronto Maple Leafs began a three game Western Canadian road trip in Edmonton last night. However, judging by the crowd reaction, it might has well have been a home game. The crowd was pro Leafs, and it was fun to hear the dueling fan chants of Let's Go Oiler's against Go Leafs Go. Leaf fans seemed louder, and at times drowned out the Edmonton faithful. The commentator even remarked that Edmonton might need to score, just to quiet down the crowd. That crowd support clearly motivated the Maple Leafs. as they played one of their most complete games, on their way to a 4 - 1 win.

The captain got the team started with a power play blast from the point. It's fitting that Phaneuf scored his first goal of the year, in his birth place. Edmonton tied the game rather quickly, but after that it was all Leafs. Mikhail Grabovski finished off a lovely give and go with Clarke MacArthur for the second goal. Versteeg tipped a Luke Schenn shot, and got a lucky bounce on the third goal . Phil Kessel finished the scoring on a power play after some creative passing by Bozak and Versteeg. That goal was a pretty one. That goal was the Eva Mendez of Leaf goals this season.

All of the Leafs western Canadian players picked up a point in this game, which is a measure of justice for Leaf Nation, as all Ontario born players seem to have the game of their lives when playing at the ACC. J.S. Giguere made two point blank breakaway saves on Taylor Hall, but otherwise the team was solid in front of him, limiting his work load. The Leafs will look to make Phaneuf's homecoming to Calgary a positive one, when they play the Flames on the next stop of this road trip.

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