Souray fools the Leafs

Saturday, 02.12.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Souray fools the Leafs
Defenseman converts shootout clincher over Toronto with help of nifty move

Andrew Raycroft is turned inside out by Sheldon Souray in Saturday's 4-3 Canadiens shootout victory.

MONTREAL - As if cracking Guy Carbonneau's list wasn't enough of a shocker, the trick Sheldon Souray had up his sleeve in the shootout surprised everyone, especially Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft.

"I have to admit, I was expecting him to shoot," conceded Raycroft after falling to 1-3 in shootouts on the year. "He got me. I totally froze on his move."

The league's slapshot king, Souray swooped in as the Canadiens' third shooter, teed up for one of his patented blasts, but corralled the puck instead and then flipped it over a helpless Raycroft.

"I'm not sure what Carbo was thinking sending me out there," laughed Souray. "It's something I had done a few times in practice and I'm just glad it worked. I was hoping to catch him flatfooted, but I figure it's the kind of thing that can only fool them once."

While many were scratching their heads when Carbonneau opted for Souray as his No. 3 guy behind Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu, it wasn't the first time the Canadiens' coach has had blue line on the brain come shootout time versus Toronto this season. On October 28, in one of the two other games against the Leafs this year that has gone to a shootout, Carbonneau sent out Mark Streit to face Jean-Sebastien Aubin, but the Swiss blue liner was unable to convert.

With a pair of goals against the Leafs plus a shootout marker of his own, captain Koivu was blown away by the big defenseman's beauty goal.

"What a move by Sheldon!" said Koivu. "That was pretty exciting stuff."

Souray was grateful for the opportunity but isn't expecting to become a shootout regular.

"It's really amazing how Guy has treated me great this year," said Souray, who appears well on his way to his second career All-Star Game invite. "He's allowed me every opportunity to show what I can do and he keeps giving me added responsibility. I couldn't ask for more from a coach."

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com

Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3 (SO) 

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