Leafs’ Lupul practiced Sunday for first time since injury


41 Responses to Leafs’ Lupul practiced Sunday for first time since injury

  1. leafy says:

    This would give the Leafs a very strong top 4:
    Kadri, Kessel, van Riemsdyk, and Lupul.

    Still need a no. 1 center though.

  2. Gambo says:

    The Oilers are in need of a puck moving defenseman, I think JML would be a perfect fit for them. A good return could be centered around Khabibulin. He’s won a cup and is the experienced backup that Nonis is looking for.

    I really think that the leafs need to trade Grabovski. Not because he’s playing horrible, but he’s probably never going to be a 60 point player and is definitely not worth the 5.5m he’s earning. There is no way the leafs keep both of Bozak and Grabovski by next season and I’d rather keep Bozak.

    The 4th line needs McClement. He keeps them competent in their own end and lets his wingers go wild as he has their backs defensively. He’s doing fine playing in a top 9 role, but the 4th line needs him.

  3. LN91 says:

    I hate lazy athletes that sometimes give half ass efforts, especially when they have tons of skill.

    Doughty, Kessel, Wellwood, Semin, to name a few.

    Then you have Tortorella constantly bashing Gaborik, who has pretty much worked his ass off in NYR. He has 2 40 goal seasons in the last 3 seasons!!!

    • Gambo says:

      Both Kessel and Semin have shown huge improvement in their work effort this year. You can’t call either of them lazy athletes this year, they’re not playing that way. Players change. Just like how Gaborik isn’t playing like a 40 goal scorer this year when he’s paid to be one, Tortorella has a reason to bash him for it.

      • LN91 says:

        Semin maybe, I have not seen major improvement in Kessel. He has not played well in the last 5 games.

        Actually, he was 10x better last year. His decline was a result of Lupul’s injury and the Leafs were thin on depth at the time.

        • LN91 says:

          And when I say last 5 games, that means he has been very poor. The top-line has been invisible the last while. Bozak, only 3 points in last 10…JVR has cooled.

          • Steven_Leafs0 says:

            you have to remember that these guys are not 100+ point players, meaning they will have games where they don’t get points. Doesn’t mean they don’t put in an effort.

            • doorman says:

              Ya I have to disagree as well, Kessel has been 200ft of rink as oppsed to previous years. That he constantly looks winded gives that lazy appearance. However he is not getting credit for back checking. Add this to that he is rounding out his game as a passer not just a shooter and I don’t see things the same as you. Does Lupuls absence hurt, maybe but it has sure help JVR.

              • LN91 says:

                I will disagree with both of you.

                Kessel has 2 points in 5 games and a -5. Not to mention, basically all his shifts in that span has been played in our zone.

                Why is there a double standard from Leaf fans for their players.

                Phaneuf is allowed to be a -9 because he plays against opposing teams top-lines. Big woop, so does every other’s teams top-pairing D.

                Kessel deserves top-marks for work ethic because he back checked once…Isn’t that his job, geeze.

                • doorman says:

                  Aren’t you one of the guys who has constantly pointed out to me the +/- is not the end all be all stat? I could be mistaken on this though.He has back checked all year and not just once lol. I am not saying it isn’t a players job eitgher, but not every player changes and buys into a new system, when they are asked to step away from their comfort zone either.

                  • LN91 says:

                    No, I believe +/- is a very telling stat. Show’s how you truly match up with competition.

                    Everyone always points out how Boston does not have a top-line center…But Boston sure does have a +50 on their top-two lines because they are that good two-way. Toronto is not built that way so they cannot follow the Boston method.

                    • mojo19 says:

                      +/- like all stats should be taken in context. Once I was -3 because my goalie let in a shot from centre, a shot from the corner, and I was on for an empty netter. I had a great game, but the stats looked bad.

                      I wouldn’t dwell on +/- too much. You need to watch guys play on the ice not the score sheet.

                    • mojo19 says:

                      I believe Jay McClement has something like the worst +/- in the league since the lockout. Well, he looks pretty damn good to me.

  4. nordiques100 says:

    Minus the bevy of all star centres, the Leafs could mirror how LA moved from pretenders to contenders.

    They had of course 3 big keys to their win, tremendous centres, a stud on D and amazing goaltending by Jon Quick.

    But, prior to their cup win, they went 6 years without a playoff appears and 2 1st round exits.

    The question for Toronto is who could they get to play centre, can Dion and/or Gardiner for that matter maybe Reilly resemble top 3 Dmen and what kind of upward development will we see with the goalies.

    One of the statements that most grinds my gears is the “I dont want to make the playoffs and get murdered in the 1st round” by BB. Idiotic. I think you learn from losing at that level. Considering Kulemin, Grabovski, Bozak, Gunnarsson, etc and many others haven’t even played a playoff game before, making it means something.

    Back to the comparison, well, the draft was big for LA, but they had their screw ups (Lauri Tukonen, Thomas Hickey), but really drafted well overall. 12 players they drafted plus 2 undrafted free agents made up their roster for their cup win. Nolan, King, Clifford, Kopitar, Brown, Quick, Bernier, Martinez, Voynov, Doughty, Loktionov, Lewis with Westgarth and Drewskie being undrafted.

    They used some other key picks to add to their roster. Schenn and Simmonds went to Philly for Richards. They used a 1st in the deal that brought Carter and a 1st with Teubert to get Penner.

    And they smartly moved vets to get younger players that either helped them that year, or were used to acquire something else.

    For example Smolinski went to Ottawa for Tim Gleason who they used to get Jack Johnson and in turn went for Carter.

    They used Demitra (RIP) to get Patrick O’Sullivan who went to Carolina in the deal that got them Justin Williams.

    They moved Vishnovsky to get Greene and Stoll.

    And they rounded out their team with free agents, Mitchell, Scuderi, Gagne.

    I look at the Leafs and they actually have home grown talents. Holzer, Gunnarsson, Reimer, Kadri, Frattin, Kulemin, Komarov are draftees, Bozak and Scrivens are undrafted free agents. All 9 played with the Marlies.

    They used a former 1st,Schenn to get JVR, 2 1sts and a 2nd to get Kessel and 2nds to get Grabovski and Liles respectively.

    Former mid round picks, Stajan and White went in the Phaneuf trade.

    They too moved vets to get younger as Versteeg went for a 1st rounder (Biggs), Kaberle went for Colborne a former 1st, and another 1st (Percy), Beauchemin got them Lupul and Gardiner.

    Fraser, Steckel, McLaren and Franson came for next to nothing (Dale Mitchell, Lebda, a 4th rounder and a couple dollars off a waiver claim).

    Free agency wasnt great with the signings of Komisarek, Connolly, but MacArthur and McClement were ok. (Canadian guys). Heck even more Canadians, Kostka and Orr weren’t bad.

    The trajectory is the similar. They obviously need a boost and i think it needs to come as a centre. But overall another impact forward wouldnt hurt.

    I am obviously not saying they’ll win the cup. But they need to get to the playoffs to learn a thing or two. Then in the off-season Nonis has to get something significant.

  5. leafy says:

    Forget the “franchise center” for this year.

    All the Leafs need to do is plug the hole using a temporary but reliable fix.

    I’m thinking back to 1999 when the Leafs acquired Yanic Perrault from L.A. in exchange for Jason Podollan (remember that guy)?

    Who’s got ideas?

  6. doorman says:

    Well Stephan Weiss is out the window for anyone suggesting it. Out for the year with wrist surgery.

    As far as a temp fix goes, I guess we could, however, why not either just let the kids play and learn. we have internal options without sacrificing assets for short term solutions.

  7. doorman says:

    It eneded up as nothing, but there were more then a few people who thought Podollan was going to be a good player. But I do see your point. I remember meeting Yanic in a hotel gift shop, lol, he was a pretty cool guy. was just happy to get involved in a conversation a couple of us were already having. Was refreshing to see that out of someone.

    • leafy says:

      Yanic was a really good player. Many Leafs fans might not even realize it. He had a great shot and was a naturally gifted goal scorer. He had Hall of Fame hands!!

  8. toronto77 says:

    Leafs sign Leivo! Finally, I really like this kids progress. He could be a prefect 3rd line player with a lot of skill. I think he could be to us what Versteeg was to Chicago when they won the cup.

    A couple of years away but there will be more attention paid to him now with Ross being sent down to the ECHL.

    We could have an excellent 3rd line in a few years with

    Leivo/Ross-McKegg-Ashton – a little bit of everything on that line, speed, skill toughness and can throw big hits.

    • LN91 says:

      Leivo has been terrific this year. He was great for an average Sudbury team and is being the go-to guy in Kitchener.

      A younger Lupul? I was surprised he was not called for the WJC.

      I actually really like Matt Finn of the G Storm, reminds me a bit of Matt Greene in Los Angeles. Mobile, tough, moves the puck well.

      • doorman says:

        Ya we have a definate increase in home grown NHL calibre talent waiting in the wings. I have not been this excited about Leaf prospects in years. While I am not saying they will all be all stars, it is just nice to see qualtiy team players coming up the pipeline.

        • LN91 says:

          One thing to note, Burke has drafted many captains and assistant captains in the CHL.

          He loves great character, and since Toronto is a hard place to play in…That was needed.

          Their is no greater character in hockey then Morgan Reilly, which is why he will most likely develop into a star.

          The guy used to wake up at 6 am in the morning to wish his teammates good luck before they boarded onto the bus to their next game. That is unbelievable character and what usually gets you a place in a roster.

          • doorman says:

            He also used to be waiting for them when they got off the bus at the end of a road trip. Coaches can’t say enough about the kid. Speaking of character guys that’s why i would love to see the leafs draft alumni’s son……Kerby Rychel. This kid is exactly what we need based on where we are looking at drafting if this play keeps up.

          • toronto77 says:

            I think Rielly will be our next captain in the next 2 to 3 years. He definetly has leadership qualities that Phanuef does not.

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