The Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the busiest teams in the National Hockey League over the past 7-8 days, yet they are up in the standings, 2-0 after their second win last night at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, PA.
Famed hockey broadcaster Don Cherry brought it to my attention Saturday during the Leafs’ final pre-season match against the Detroit Red Wings. He didn’t mention too many other teams, although did point out that both the Leafs’ opponents in the regular season so far, have had 4 days to prepare for their date with the Leafs.
Toronto wasn’t done with pre-season until last Saturday night around 10pm. Montreal was apparently done theirs at least one day earlier, same with Philadelphia.
Both Montreal and Philly had at least 4 days to get ready for Toronto (who were also forced to play the night before that Saturday game with Detroit, so that is 2 games of pre-season the Leafs had, with only 2 days off before the real season started!
Cherry’s words were something along the lines of ‘whoever came up with this schedule outta be shot’ or something like that.
What it meant was back-to-back pre-season games and then back-to-back regular season games. What’s amazing is that out of the 4, Toronto lost only once, and it was the first game.
So far they came back to beat Les Canadiens’ and then came back again the following night to beat Philly, both wins were equally impressive.
Essentially, spoiling the season openers for 2 teams that for the longest time (not including last season) absolutely owned the Leafs.
Although Toronto has not lost an opener in Montreal in over 6 tries, and then heading to Philly wasn’t exactly a breeze but starting netminder Jonathan Bernier did everything he could to make Head Coach Randy Carlyle’s job of picking the next starter a lot harder.
Bernier was rock solid. I can see him one day down the line telling the Toronto media following a huge win, that this Leaf team is probably the best team he has ever played for!
“We needed a goaltender to keep us in the game, and he did that,” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’re fortunate to have him.”
The schedule finally gives them a break tonight and tomorrow night, then it’s back to work on Saturday, then another 2 days break before another game.
Philadelphia and Toronto don’t play each other again until March 8. … The Flyers played their first game as members of the Metropolitan Division.