Saturday night hockey on the (CBC) saw the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the hometown New Jersey Devils. Two points were on the line, and for Toronto every match up is important especially this close to the playoffs. Even though New Jersey was outside the playoff picture, the Leafs still had a tough test ahead of them in Martin Brodeur.
Brodeur is a goalie that has done it all in the National Hockey League. The 40 year-old Canadian born goalie has had many achievements during his career in the blue paint. Marin is a four time NHL All-Star, two time Olympic gold medalist and a three time Stanley Cup champion. Brodeur’s counterpart, James Reimer, knew that if Toronto was going to have success, he couldn’t give an inch. Toronto knew that if they wanted to beat the Devils and more specifically if they wanted to get one past the veteran New Jersey net minder, they would have to do something special.
The Toronto Vs. New Jersey game resembled the last game Toronto played against the physical Philadelphia Flyers. There was nothing fancy about the game Saturday, and the game was gritty. The biggest question Toronto had to answer is how would the Leafs walk away with a win without Joffrey Lupul?
Lupul has been a spark plug of energy for his Leaf line mates. With Lupul not taking part in the game due to an upper body injury, where would Toronto find their goal production? For the majority of the game in swamp, Toronto was not only a man down, but they were also outplayed at times and out-shot. However, Tyler Bozak managed to score the winning goal and tuck it past the New Jersey goaltender after a lucky bounce.
I am, however, surprised that I did not see a breakout game by any other Leafs. If ever there was a time to step up for players like James Van Reimsdyk and Mikhail Grabovski, now would be it. But as the old saying goes; a win is a win. Hockey goals, they don’t always have to be pretty, they just have to go in. After Toronto’s win Saturday night, it means that the blue and white warriors inched ever closer to clinching a playoff spot.