Toronto Maple Leafs - Hockey`s Rudy !

We must hand it to those Leafs…they try their little hearts out don `t they ?

Rudy Migay

The movie Rudy is a story about a wannabe football player who – against all odds , was determined to attend and play football for the University of Notre Dame . The film is  about determination and in the end , because of his determination – Rudy got to play because his teammates stood up for him . One by one , the players on the team laid their sweaters on the coach `s desk saying that each one would give up their spot on the roster to allow Rudy to play one game.

All the  players in the NHL  must have lined up and placed their collective sweaters on Gary Bettman `s desk asking that the Toronto Maple Leafs be allowed to play in the league due to their sheer enthusiasm.

Rudy Migay was a defensive player with the Toronto Maple Leafs and known as an elite penalty killer .  He was  nicknamed “Toy Terrier” because of puny size – 5’6″ ,  150 lbs  and that he played the game with a ubiquitous and tenacious style of play. The Leafs are puny in talent compared to most teams in the NHL yet their style of play is very much like that of the `Toy Terrier `.

The `Terriers `arrived in Montreal on Saturday to play the Habs under very sad circumstances . Former Canadien and Leaf coach Pat Burns passed away on Friday and before the puck was dropped – a vignette of the late coach `s life was played on the Jumbo-tron to honor the three time Jack Adams Trophy winner . There wasn `t a dry eye in the place as images of Mr . Burns ` accomplishments

Pat Burns 1952 - 2010

passed by accompanied by the Beatles `song `In My Life .`

Once the players and fans were able to shake their emotions , the Bell Center became a centerpiece for an old fashioned hockey game between two long standing rivals . It was regular season game number 704 between  the pair of original six teams and both squads played their hearts out for their former coach Burns.

Gustavsson Saves the Leafs

`The Monster `as the Leaf net-minder is so well known , kept his team in the game during the first period as the Habs outshot Toronto 17 – 10 . Gustavsson was making his second straight start as Giguere is nursing an injury. The Habs came on very strong with the Leaf goalie making several big stops notably on Cammalleri and Kostisyn . The teams went into the second period tied at zero and now it was Carey Price `s turn to shine.

Price was outstanding as he has been all season long . He made two important stops on Versteeg and Kessel allowing time enough for Hab forward Jeff Halpern to deflect a Jaroslav Spacek shot from the point midway through the period.It was Halpern `s 5th of the season and it gave the Habs momentum as they skated out the remaining ten minutes with Price holding down the fort. The Montreal defensive core bailing him out the few occasions that Price was caught out of position.

Confused ?

As the third period got underway , the game was slanted toward the Leaf net-minder and with a little luck for the `terriers `, the outcome was still up in the air until former Hab blueliner Mike Komisarek  made a perfect pass to Mike Cammalleri at 7 ; 55 of the final segment. Perhaps Mike forgot that he was a member of the blue and white for a brief moment –  after all he did defend the Habs zone for the most part of six seasons and as a Maple Leaf , a moment of confusion is to be expected.  The Leafs then earned their `Rudy `moniker in the last seven minutes of the game as they tried in vain to score a goal and ruin Price `s attempt at his fifth shut – out of the season and eighth of his career . Thanks to Hamrlik and Gill – Carey earned those accomplishments as the Habs defensive duo covered up loose pucks and made sure that Price remains the Bruins `Tim Thomas `closest competition for the Vezina Trophy.

Final score Habs 2   Terriers 0

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