Thursday, January 11, 2007



Well folks, here we are back on the road again. The trip to Toronto to see the Leafs is like a home game for us. We are about an hour and a half from the ACC, so this trip was a piece of cake. We have been enjoying our time at home, but it has been busy too. Lots of friends and family to see and lots of mail to sort out. It seems our kitchen table turned into a mail sorting center for Canada Post. It is amazing how much mail you can get in a couple of months. And Erika kindly sorted out the junk for us. If she hadn't done that, she would have had to use the dining room table too! It was a very early start to make our way to Toronto. We left home at 7:30 AM so we could make our way to the downtown area by 10:00. Graham had some media commitments and we were attending the game day skate. Driving in Toronto is no different that some of the larger American cities we have visited. They are mostly the same when it comes to driving - congested. Luckily it was Saturday morning and we didn't have to fight everyone making their way to work. After the skate, Graham had a good chat with Bryan McCabe and he signed our poster for us. Of all the people that were at Dan's funeral, I still distinctly remember Bryan and Tie Domi coming up to me afterwards and expressing their condolences. It's funny how you only remember snippets of a time like that, but I still vividly recall talking to them both and how very kind they both were. I was pleased to be able to visit with Dallas Eakins. Dallas and Dan played together with the Chicago Wolves and won the the Calder Cup together. Dallas was someone Dan respected and admired so much and we are very proud of his coaching accomplishments and wish him all the best with the Leafs. After the game day skate and the media commitments, we had to put in some time till the game. After a good lunch and long walk, we found a movie theatre and spent the afternoon watching a movie. It was hard to stay awake after getting up so early. Game time came and went and before we knew it, it was time to head home again. Unfortunately, the leafs lost to Ottawa giving us an 10 and 5 win record for the home team when we are in attendance. We were able to chat with some friends downstairs after the game and Mats Sundin graciously signed our captain's poster for us. We visited with Ron McLean and Don Cherry and had another picture taken together, minus the pink feather boa. It does add a little pizazz though. I was going to put it on the online auction, but I'm thinking of keeping it for myself now. Finally we were at home by 12:30 AM. It was a long, long day. It is going to be busy still for the remainder of the week, just getting ready to go on the road again. The next part of the trip will be by car and the schedule is hectic with games almost every other day for two weeks. Let's just cross our fingers and hope for good weather. It is the halfway mark for our tour. Toronto is the 15th stop, so we now have 15 stops to go.

Graham's Game Report

Dec 30, 2006
Air Canada Centre
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

It was a short trip down the 401 tonight for what will be the closest we get to a home game on this tour. The Leafs and Sens have both struggled at times this year and have each faced adversity in the form of injuries to top players. Both teams seemed tentative in the early going but the Leafs jumped ahead late in the first period on a powerplay marker by Alex Steen. Ottawa tied it shorthanded on a Dean McCammond marker and both teams recieved solid goaltending to remain tied well into the third. Boyd Deveraux broke the tie with a hard wrist shot to the top corner just after Andrew Raycraft had stoned Dany Heatley with a quick glove hand at the other end. The Leafs hopes for a regulation time win over their division rivals went up in smoke when Chris Kelley was left wide open in front and he shoveled in the tying goal with under two minutes reamaining. The extra point also went out the window when Chris Philips redirected Heatley's pass past Raycraft in the OT period. Both teams should be able to remain in the playoff hunt with the calibre of goaltending they received last night but will have to get outstanding team efforts to overcome the injuries. We had the pleasure of chatting with Leafs assistant coach Dallas Eakins who was a veteran leader on the Chicago Wolves team that won an unlikely Calder Cup during Dan's time there. His leadership skills will serve him welll in his new career. We also had a chance to cht with Boyd Deveraux who often played against Dan for the Stratford Cullitons and Kitchener Rangers. It was good to see him take advantage of another opportunity in the NHL after overcoming some serious injuries in his career. The Leafs were gracious hosts again and it was a real treat to be back in "hockey country" over the Christmas season.
Happy New Year

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