by John McCauley
March 16, 2004
(TORONTO) -- The big Irishman wasn't in any mood to celebrate after watching his team fall further from its goal of home ice in the first round.
Head coach Pat Quinn has seen his team play "river hockey" for the past month and he clearly has had enough.
Former Leaf Travis Green helped make his blood boil scoring two powerplay goals in a 2-1 Boston Bruins' victory over Toronto, Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre.
The score doesn't give a very good indication of how the Leafs actually played. Anytime you lose a one-goal game you were in it to a certain degree, but without Ed Belfour, Toronto would have suffered through a loss of a more embarrassing variety.
|Roberts and the big line couldn't capitalize. |
(Graig Abel Photography)
On at least six occasions, the Leafs gave up 2-on-1 opportunities and each time Belfour was there to bail his boys out. One masked man can only do so much however.
On Green's first goal Alex Mogilny tried to get a little too fancy and left a neutral zone drop in the wrong hands on the PP. Not very often doesn't a team let that kind of opportunity go without a heavy price. Green received the subsequent pass off the rush and went top shelf on the Eagle.
One period later with the game on the line, Tomas Kaberle decided to leave Green unattended in front of the net on yet another power play. The forward swept the puck between Belfour's legs and then pumped his fist to celebrate taking a big chunk out of the Leafs hopes to win the Northeast Division crown.
"When it's that close you are doing some things right, but we weren't playing playoff hockey," Quinn said. "The last goal is what is exactly causing our problems. Lose the puck along the boards, lose it in front of the net.
"We've got some extra guys here. Maybe we need to play them."
Calle Johansson and Ken Klee could be available for Thursday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Darcy Tucker (leg muscle) will probably not be ready in time for the game. Same goes for Mikael Renberg (hamstring).
Changes appear to be in the works, but this much is clear, Irish eyes won't be smiling behind the Leafs' bench until they start playing responsible defence.