A New Leaf Turned.

The new Toronto Maple Leafs seem to be on a warpath and their objective is to end this playoff drought. Now its still only October and there is still plenty of hockey to be played but the stats show that only 18% of teams who are in the bottom 8 move up into a playoff position by April so its looking pretty good for us Maple Leaf fans but who should get the praises? My props go out to a few people….

1. David Steckel – Seriously, this guy is turning into Toronto’s version of Kris Draper only we paid more for Steckel than Detroit did for Draper. But the price was still very low for what this guy does. As long as Steckel stays healthy and continues to win face offs and kill on the PK were poised to be a team on the verge of the playoffs.

2. Dion Phaneuf – There is no other way to describe Dion’s play without using some form a slang. I mean the one phrase that comes to mind is “he turned the Beast Mode switch on.” He is acting like the old Dion Phaneuf that got him the nomination for the Calder only now he understands the defensive side of the game as well making him that much more dangerous when hes out on the ice. Add in the new look on D Toronto has with a great deal of PMD and better offensive forwards you get a Norris calibre Phaneuf.

3. Carl Gunnarsson – When you talk about Phaneuf amazing play you can’t forget about Gunnarsson. I mean for all Phaneufs great play he is only able to play this way due to a reliable two way defender. Gunnarsson is doing what he does best, covering peoples asses and not getting the credit he deserves. At first when people heard Gunnar was playing on top pairing with Phaneuf the thought was that he was being showcased but honestly it is seeming more like its because he is exactly what Phaneuf needed. If Carl gets moved it better be for a Top 3 Forward or #1 Center!

4. Reimer/Gustavsson – Reimer came out of the gate with some phenomenal goal tending and when he went down I feared it was over for the leafs. But the monster is proving me wrong. After a shaky start he came back with some solid goal tending in Philly and against the Pens. I am not calling Gustavsson our saviour for the year but hes providing what we need, a reliable backup who can fill in when times are tough.
5. The Kessel Line- I wanted to give credit to Kessel but his linemates have been just as good. I mean Lupul has been meshing well with Kessel and be it Steckel, Lombardi, Bozack or even Connolly centering them they still seem to produce. These two players being on fire has been a big boost to the team and if they continue to produce at this level then we are in playoff contention.
Side Note: Two Boston First round draft picks are leading the Scoring in the NHL and AHL: NHL (Phil Kessel.) and AHL (Joe Colborne.) Just thought everyone should know.

2 Responses to A New Leaf Turned.

  1. mojo19 says:

    1. Steckel has been awesome, totally agree.

    2. Dion, what can you say about this guy? Amazing. You're 2 for 2.

    3. Carl Gunnarsson – oh hell ya! Love him. There I said it.

    4. Can't complain much about the tending this year. We haven't received lights out goaltending but our goalies havent really hurt us like in years past. Remember Toskala and Raycroft years, it was just so tough to buy a win with shitty goalies who were brutal in the clutch.

    5. Kessel's line awesome.
    Good job Mistifo-Leaf

    By the way the Grabovski/Kuley/MacArthur combo has been awesome and just keep playing better and better. Poor Kulemin is snake bitten, he's doing everything except score (last night that shot went off Lehner, fluttered into the post). But they are playing better and better. In the last 2 games they have easily been our most dominant line and the goals will continue to come. So having 2 lines firing…. nice.

  2. MystifoLeafs says:

    Yes, The Grabo/Kuley/MacA line is coming along I mean if Kessel slumps for a bit expect that line to step it up majorly. Kulemin will get his shots to go in soon, he seems like the kind of guy that you don't need him to be scoring on a nightly basis you just need him to be out there opening up room for people and it can be seen. I mean the combo of Kulemin who can hold onto a puck using his body with a guy like Grabovski who has no fear of splitting the deal is just amazing. 

    As for Carl Gunnarsson he is by far my favorite lead d man at this moment. I mean its like the guy never makes a mistake. If Phaneuf messes up some how Gunnar finds a way to bail him out. I mean its like it could be a 3 on 1 but Gunnarsson finds a way to break it up. Got a feeling people are calling about him and I say keep him unless the return is a Parise caliber winger or a Eric Staal caliber center. (Also it would be a package for any player.)

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