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Winning All That Matters

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Jody Vance began her career in broadcasting in a community cruiser on Vancouver radio. Jody hit the sports scene with stints at BCTV, BCCTV and Sportsnet, before landing at Leafs TV and realizing her dream of covering an NHL team for a living.

by Jody Vance

(TORONTO) -- Boyd Devereaux, Pavel Kubina, Chad Kilger, John Pohl, Yanic Perreault, Alexei Ponikarovsky, these are the guys who got it done when the Leafs had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive Tuesday night. 

Not a Sundin among them on the score sheet, not even in the assists column; certainly not a box score Leafs Nation is used to.

I find it infinitely fascinating that, even though the team won, this secondary scoring phenomenon has some fans sweating bullets.

Rather than celebrate those getting it done I hear, "Oh man .... Why aren't the big guns firing, where are these guys when we need them?!" 

Relax people. 

Seriously - do you really need proof that the Captain can score when the chips are down?  Certainly up 6-1 Tuesday Toronto didn't exactly need a mean-nothing goal from Sundin to show that he can score when the chips are down.

I get fans pressing the panic button if the team loses 1-0 or 2-0 -- but please chill-out if your team takes a lopsided win when the pressure is at maximum, alright?

Follow the lead of your Captain. 

There is not hint of panic when Sundin addresses the media; he is savvy to how coverage on TV/radio and in print is fueled by predictions and speculation - its media bread and butter!   

It is a far sexier headline to ponder "Sundin Slumping" and focus on the negative rather than "Surprises on the Score Sheet".  The prior will sell more papers even though the story is the same ... The Leafs beat the ‘Canes and are still in the playoff hunt.
 
Fans need to see past the hype.     

At this point in the season, secondary scoring is a very, very good thing.  Once the snipers find their touch, if those others can keep going with their production, all of a sudden you have a team "built for the playoffs".

The massive upside to victories via secondary scoring is that there is no added pressure on those highly-paid superstars.  While Sundin and Tucker of course would love to score nightly, these veterans know victory at all cost must be their ultimate goal. 

Any fierce competitor the likes of the Leafs undisputed leader will tell you he would trade in his stats for a win any day of the week - any game of the season. 

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