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01-27-2013, 11:16 AM
  #613
bunjay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meng666 View Post
I agree with this.
Rangers are cup favourites and that first line is unbelievable. We hung in there with them for most of the game with big holes in our lineup. It's not really fair to think that the Leafs are complete **** until the full lineup is in place and they are losing games regularly. The team is pretty good but I think Phaneuf is gonna have to step it up a bit more, he has it in him.
As much as I criticize him, it's not all on Phaneuf to "step up." Sure he can be better, but he should get better support from his forwards, particularly the Bozak line.

As good as the Rangers are, this game was not some foregone conclusion. We were up 2-0. Even when it was 2-1 after the first this game was winnable. It just required more focus. They didn't beat us with overwhelming skill, the Leafs largely beat themselves with underwhelming attention to their defensive assignments.

We beat Pittsburgh with a worse start, and they are about as good as the Rangers. Malkin and Crosby on separate lines are in a way more dangerous than the Rangers' one overloaded line. The difference against the Pens was that the Leafs didn't fold mentally. From Carlyle's reactions on the bench, you can tell he wasn't assuming the Leafs were going to lose the entire time. He expected better. Any team can beat any team on a given night, and we were well on our way. Contrary to what people are now saying after a bad overall game, the first period was quite good for the Leafs. Shot totals at that point weren't the whole story.

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