by Matthew Iaboni
April 1, 2006(TORONTO)
-- The Toronto Maple Leafs scored their fastest goals four goals of the season and it helped propel them to a 7-0 victory.
|Aubin made 24 saves for his first shutout this season. |
(Graig Abel Photography)
Just one week ago the Maple Leafs answered questions about giving up four goals to the Montreal Canadiens in the first period. Saturday, they answered questions about building a big lead and not looking back.
It was bound to be a good night for the Blue and White when Jeff O'Neill scored just over two minutes into the game on the Leafs second shot.
"We just wanted to get it in deep and keep the pressure on them," said Matt Stajan. "We've been getting better starts, we struggled for two weeks scoring five on five but we've been better lately."
Defenceman Ian White playing in only his third game already has a three-game point streak as he scored his first NHL goal when his point shot went in off a Sabres player and in.
White never expected to be such an offensive force when he was called up to the NHL.
"I didn't know what to expect," White said. "I'm not out there to get points but it's a nice bouns to get on the scoresheet."
Head coach Pat Quinn was happy with White's play once again and he is encouraged with all of the young defencemen that have played this year with the Leafs.
"These kids are on a curve between good coaching and the opportunity to play a lot," he said " (Brendan) Bell and White were at the bottom of the rung at the start of the season but they've improved and they still have things to learn, a defenceman never stops learning as far as I'm concerned."
Quinn was pleased with his teams effort and has been encouraged with the recent scoring outburst from the offence.
"I don't know if its effort or execution, our positioning has been better lately," Quinn said. "Tonight positionally our second and third man positioning was as good as it has been. The seven wasn't a reflection of the game, the game was closer then the scoreboard.
After not scoring a five on five goal in five straight games, the Leafs have broken out with their even strength goal scoring. Saturday all five goals came five on five.
"Tonight it was our game from the start," Stajan said. "We were frustrated, we had something to prove."
Another bright light for the Leafs continues to be Jean-Sebastien Aubin who has now won all three games he has played for Toronto.
Although he didn't have to make a ton of saves, he was steady and picked up his first shutout since March 9, 2004 against Dallas.
Aubin was very pleased with the shutout but he was glad his teammates made it easier on him by scoring six goals.
"You got to keep sharp on those kinds of games, you always feel like it's a big lead and you don't want to mess up," he said.
It's been a long road for Aubin but he never had any visions of packing it in.
"You never give up and you always try and find positives out of things and you try and keep it together and you know one day you will get your chance."
The Leafs have reaped the benefits for three straight games.