Postgame: Leafs @ Flyers 3/12/2008
“Derian Hatcher leads the rush.” Sentences like that give me a mini heart attack every time I hear them. Not so this evening.
Perhaps the brightest spot in tonight’s game was Derian Hatcher’s play all over the ice. From delivering gigantic hits to forcing turnovers to creating traffic in front of Toskala to fighting for teammates, big Hatch did it all tonight. Veteran leadership often proves crucial down the stretch, and we saw that in monstrous fashion from one of the best.
Danny Briere has taken heat in Philadelphia for performing below expectations. Tonight we had a chance to see some great work from the diminuitive center. He provided great puck movement down low and used his body against the Leafs despite an extremely tender shoulder. The Briere-Prospal-Umberger line created chances all night – they simply couldn’t finish.
Joffrey Lupul returned this evening. A bit rusty, but he was physically involved in the game and was taking shots first. That’s what you want to see from this sniper. The rest will come.
Also back from injury – Denis Tolpeko. The Russian has spunk, and he did some nice work offensively with Upshall in the second period. Hopefully we’ll see more of that in the future.
Note: I no criticisms to offer for tonight’s game – I’m done with the Leafs. If you’re a masochist and need those opinions, I’m sure the journalists and plenty of other bloggers have it covered. I just wanted to cite a few positives and move on.