November 19, 2007

Blake Misses Practice

Apparently in the one game where Leaf forwards spend 60 complete minutes in an unorthodox two-way style that still has the Leaf faithful' jaws dropped, a sign appeared from the diligent backchecking as Jason Blake was noticeably missing from this morning's practice. We've been told that he is resting some wear and tear due to a Volchenkov-like shot block on Saturday night.

Leaf media was after it's obligatory interview with the plain-clothed Blake, but instead received a blank stare before he stormed past them briefly mentioning that he had to pick up his son.

Back in the offseason, we probably expected this to be big time news. Even the possibility of missing Blake for a regular season game due to injury would have us wondering how the Leafs would get around this huge lack of offensive power. Especially on the powerplay. But in reality, Blake's 2 goals (neither on the PP) at the quarter point of the season is hardly something to lose sleep over.

Quite frankly, I do not recall this game saving shot block that the Leaf's free agent forward supposedly displayed in the big win against Ottawa. What I do remember from that game was his two lap skate around the Ottawa zone which inevitably ended in not having a scoring chance. It wasn't the first time I asked myself what the hell was he doing this season.

Despite having zero chemistry on the top line with Sundin and Ponikarovsky, Blake continues to get Jonas Hoglund-like minutes without putting up Jonas Hoglund-like points. And before the bleeding hearts out there quickly point out his recent bout with Leukemia, lets keep in mind that his form of cancer is currently being treated with just one pill a day.

Last Saturday night, Blake continued giving away powerplay minutes to the disappointing Darcy Tucker who managed to record his first goal of the year while on the man advantage. And as Bryan McCabe skated out onto the ice earning a first star of the game, it reminded me just how harshly he was booed for not playing up to his contract.

If there was a player deserving of these boo birds, it would be the Dmitri Khristich reincarnate... Jason Blake.

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