Leafs on the Rock

By Kevin Kelly

The St. John’s Maple Leafs had a weekend of one win
and 2 losses as they entered their six game road
swing, however the losses off the ice didn’t seem to
help their cause.

First, Harold Druken, much to the disdain of local
Leaf fans was claimed by the Carolina Hurricanes on
waivers and sent to Lowell who ironically are the
Leafs next opponent at home January 30th;
Second, Mikael Tellqvist’s recall saw a rusty
Sebastien Centomo go hot and cold over the weekend in
the Baby Leaf nets; earning first star honours in a 33
save performance in Portland in a Leafs 4-3 victory
and getting pulled in favour of Jamie Hodson in a 5-1
loss in Manchester. Centomo also earned a loss Friday
in a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Providence Bruins.
Thirdly, Allan Rourke, arguably one of the Leafs
better defencemen as of late did not play due to the
death of Rourke’s grandmother earlier in the week. The
defence wasn’t helped by the fact that Toronto had
recalled Anders Eriksson.

The Leafs record now sits at 14-28-4-1, and their road
record is now an unimpressive 7-16-1-1 away from the
friendly confines of Mile One Stadium.

Brad Boyes, despite the team’s losses, has been on
fire for the Leafs. The rookie forward scored both
goals in Leaf losses in Providence and Manchester and
also scored the game winner in the Portland game.
Josh Holden, Dwayne Hay and Brad Leeb (with his 23rd
of the season) tallied the other Leaf goals on the
weekend (all in the Portland contest)

LEAFS NOTES:

Congrats to Mikael Tellqvist for earning his first NHL
win in his first NHL Appearance. Tellqvist, relieving
Trevor Kidd who left with back spasms, made nine saves
to earn the victory in a 3-2 overtime win against
Montreal Saturday night. Also, Congrats to former
Bulldogs coach Claude Julien in earning his first NHL
win with the Habs 3-2 win over Florida. Julien is a
class act who earned a lot of respect around the AHL
and future success is hoped, especially from those
suffering Habs fans, desperate to get back in the
playoffs.

The Leafs have allowed a league leading 177 goals
against this season.

In a bit of a shocker, goaltender Jamie Hodson has
been recalled by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Hodson, 22, has split the season between St. John’s
and Greensboro of the East Coast Hockey League. In
three games with St. John’s, he has a record of 0-1-0
with a 3.10 goals against average. He had been serving
as the backup for Sebastien Centomo and played in the
Baby Leafs last game, making 10 saves in a 5-1 loss
against Manchester after replacing Centomo in the
second period.

This move, due to the probable injuries of Ed Belfour
and Trevor Kidd has two question marks. Why wasn’t
Sebastien Centomo recalled to be the fourth goalie?
Who will be the backup to Centomo in St. John’s?
(Possibly Mike Minard or perhaps JF Racine?) and
finally, it proves what I’ve thought all along.

Glad to see Josh Holden back. Holden, one of the Leafs
best offensive players is desperately needed to spark
the offence of the Blue and White, who can’t rely on
Brad Boyes’ heroics all the time.

Finally, congratulations to Leaf broadcaster Brian
Rogers and his wife on their 25th wedding anniversary.
Rog, ever the trooper, was on the road doing play by
play on the big day. I’m sure love will be in the air
when Brian returns from the roadtrip.