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Pat Quinn


C - Mats Sundin, Darby Hendrickson, Steve Sullivan, Alyn McCauley. LW - Fredrik Modin, Steve Thomas, Todd Warriner, Derek King, Kris King, Igor Korolev, Garry Valk. RW - Sergei Berezin, Tie Domi, Mike Johnson, Adam Mair, Lonny Bohonos. D - Sylvain Cote, Dimitri Yushkevich, Alexander Karpovtsev, Jason Smith, Daniil Markov, Glen Featherstone, Tomas Kaberle, Yanick Tremblay, Francis Larivee. G - Curtis Joseph, Felix Potvin, Glenn Healy.


Daniil Markov, d (separated shoulder, 4-6 weeks).


12/18/98 - Kevin Dahl sent to minors (Chicago of the IHL); 12/16/98 - Alexander Karpovtsev no longer on IR.


12/11 at Chicago    W 3-2
12/12 Philadelphia  L 3-0
12/16 Phoenix       W 5-2 
12/19 NY Rangers    W 7-4 
12/21 Pittsburgh    W 7-1


Northeast Division  GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA   
  Toronto           32  19  11   2    40  105   90  
  Buffalo           28  17   6   5    39   83   51   
  Boston            30  15   9   6    36   82   61 
  Ottawa            29  14  12   3    31   86   73   
  Montreal          32   8  17   7    23   70   92 


by Jonah A. Sigel, Toronto Correspondent

Something in the Water

Number one! Number one!

When was the last time Leaf fans could claim that in any category with the exception of team least likely to qualify for the playoffs? With 19 goals in their last three games (Hello, Mike Murphy), the Leafs have vaulted or at the very least remained at the top of several categories as leaders, co-leaders, or contenders in areas they have not led, well, perhaps in my lifetime.

The Leafs have not had back-to-back seven-goal games since, dare I say his name, Coach Carpenter was at the helm. That was a team that was all offense, no defense. Here things are different. The leader of this team is the goaltending. Quite frankly, the real reason the former number one goalie bolted was that he was sick of hearing his teammates claim how much more confidence they had with Curtis Joseph in net.

Perhaps most surprising is the rise of certain players to the forefront. Quinn seems to be able to get production from guys who Murph couldn't. Berezin is playing well, so is McCauley. In my humble opinion, the addition of Cote is paramount. He is, on most nights their best player, as well as the leading player in ice time. He has brought a confidence to the blue line that certainly has not been there since Sylvain Lefebvre was shipped out. With no apologies to Macoun and L. Murphy, Cote is the real deal.

Speaking of real deals, some scribes certainly are eating crow of late. I'm sure you all recall the dailies crucifying Mike Smith for dealing holdout Schneider to the Rangers for Alexander Karpovtsev. What a horrible deal, one wrote. The worst scribe of them all claimed this nothing more than Smith getting another Soviet on the squad and that he should be fired for it. Well, suffice it to say, Smith has been saved by the play of Potsie to say the least.

While few have come to like Smith, it is difficult to not respect him. So many verbal darts, or should I say missiles, have been fired at him he certainly would not be blamed for taking some credit for the success of the team. He has been totally professional. He has not said a word, not complained about the treatment, or anything for that matter. All the while he has been spending the bulk of his time at his ailing wife's side as she battles cancer.

So the team is going well. They are 3-1 on a current seven-game home streak. The holiday trade freeze is currently in effect and should the Leafs continue on such a pace, Smith's phone will keep on ringing. The former number one goalie continues to sit at home and not collect a pay check. Smith on the other hand has all the power and leverage. I'm sure the Leaf brass is only sorry that the former number one goalie did not pull this earlier, it would have saved them some cash.

So Smith has the ability to sit and wait for the right deal. Actually, he MUST wait for the right deal. He has passed up, missed, or failed to complete trades for some good players, such as Linden, Renberg and maybe, depending on how you see things, Niedermayer. In waiting this long Smith has in one way hurt himself. Whatever they end up getting will be measured against these deals, and he MUST do better than that, or at the very least something comparable.

The team has started to dribble out news of the big move to Air Canada center. There will be some huge going-ons in the new year starting in early February. The last game on the 13th will be a huge event, followed by a parade to the new building. It certainly will be a fun time and ESPN 2 will carry it for those living south of the border.

Happy Holidays to all!

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