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Tales from the Leafs last win in Vancouver

It's been 3,010 days.

Which is nearly nine years and only five games. But it's definitely been a long, long while since the Toronto Maple Leafs have won a hockey game in Vancouver.

The last time they did, Brian Burke was the GM of the Vancouver Canucks.

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Dan Cloutier was his goalie. The Sedins were on the third line.

Pat Quinn was the Leafs coach, and he led them to a 45-24-10-3 record that was fifth-best in the NHL that season.

Seems like ancient history now.

The last game the Leafs won in Vancouver was on November 22, 2003, and it was a high scoring 5-3 affair. Here's the box score from that game, where Robert Reichel was Toronto's leader among forwards in ice time.

Ken Klee and Aki Berg were the second defence pairing.

And who can forget the fourth line of Tie Domi, Harold Druken and Nathan Perrott?

(Perrott received a game misconduct in the first period for putting Artem Chubarov head first into the boards. Chubarov was taken to the hospital for X-rays.)

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Only three players from that Leafs team are even still in the league, and none of them are playing a significant role, nearly nine years later.

"It was a big win," Leafs goalie Ed Belfour said at the time. "We're a veteran team and we have to step up and show leadership and play our best every night."

"It's just nice to get things going," teammate Gary Roberts added. "It's been a tough trip for us and we've all been pressing a bit. They made it close but we pulled it out."

"It was a pretty poor performance," Vancouver's Markus Naslund said. "We've gotten away with it a few games where we realized we didn't play well but still won. We need to change that and we need to change it quickly."

So when the Leafs skate on the ice at Rogers Arena on Saturday night, there'll be a little bit of history on the line. Toronto hasn't won very often in Vancouver (24-33-11 all-time), especially of late, and are well behind the Canucks in the standings.

And, of course, Aki Berg won't be on the roster to help them.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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