Wednesday, December 02, 2015
A Sparkling Effort!!
I struggled to come up with a theme for this week’s column. The Grey Cup game was great, as usual, but a little disappointing for Eastern Division fans. Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson was named as the American League Most Valuable Player, and rightfully so. The Raptors are beginning to show signs of consistency. And yes, I did celebrate my 70th birthday last Sunday.
All of that pales in comparison to the event which took place on Tuesday night in
The Maple Leafs defeated the Toronto
Oilers 3-0, and the shutout was recorded by Garret Edmonton
in his first NHL game. For the record, that is a first for a Maple Leaf, ever.
There have been some wonderful goaltenders between the pipes for the Leafs over
the years, including: Turk Broda, Terry Sawchuk, Johnny Bower, Harry Lumley, Curtis
Joseph, Don Simmons. Sparks
To say that
was a bit shell-shocked after the game would be an understatement. In his post
game interview, on the ice, he stated: “I can’t even describe it. Thank you,
thank you.” With that, he spun around and headed for the dressing room.
Naturally, he was the first star in the game. Sparks
Coach Babcock made reference to the fact that
is having a pretty good season with the Marlies this year. In eleven games, he
has a sparkling 1.90 Goals Against Average, and two shutouts. In his shutout
performance with the Leafs, he was grateful to his goal posts, which made
things easier for him. Twice in the second period. As they say, a goalie’s best
James Reimer has played well for the Leafs this season, but has been sidelined with a “lower body injury”. That is never good news for the fans. It can mean many things, including a nasty lower groin injury or a “sports hernia’. Many an athlete has had a career cut short with this type of injury. Hopefully for Reimer, it is not serious.
Bernier has had a really tough time of it for the Leafs this season. He has won only one game, lost eight. Confidence is a key for all athletes, particularly goaltenders. With
performance, Bernier could certainly be feeling the heat. And not just from the
red light! Sparks
We are at the quarter pole for the season. Babcock knows that he must get his troops to play better hockey for the remainder of the season, in order to make the playoffs.
At this point, a win is a win, even against the hapless Oilers, who are struggling without Connor McDavid. Once he returns, they will be a fine team.
Keep your stick on the ice!