Leafs Stronger Than Last Season
As most of us come to look at the Maple Leafs latest off season, we wonder how could a team succeed if they only lose talent over the off season. How could they possibly perform? Many Maple Leafs question the future of their organization as people who oppose the team are waiting for the collapse of the team so they can rejoice. Well, keep those Champaign bottles packed, Leafs are still a contender.The biggest issue which plagued the Leafs over the off season was the loss of Curtis Joseph, every non-leaf fan (which is many) said, “With out Cujo the Leafs are nothing”. Well it was proved without Cujo they are indeed something, Cujo sat out a number of games and with Scwab in net the Leafs did better than average. Schwab was very inexperienced. So why wouldn’t they survive with a Stanley Cup winning, experienced goalie between the pipes? Every one was so sure Belfour is finished and has nothing left in him, well he has much more to offer and many will be shocked of his good performance we will see this up coming season. The simple reason is for this great play that I expect is the fact that he is a Canadian that he dreamed for playing for Toronto when he was young, shows that he is willing to give this all he has. That he wills every ounce of love he has for this game and play. Well, we’ve seen players do this before, Lemiux in the Olympics gave it his all played great with half a hip, and had to sit out a whole season, Yzerman playing on a bad knee, that now may cause him to retire, because they gave it there all and wanted to play. In the end it won them the Gold. Belfour would do the same for Toronto, something he wouldn’t do for Dallas. He is coming in to this season with great confidence in his and this team abilities.
The next thing most “anti-leafs” attack is Toronto’s defense. I must say this year’s core is better than any of the previous recent years. Start of with Kaberle which most of you consider overrated. How could some one who got 39 points in 69 games be overrated, and is only 24? He improves every year, he is a small and skinny player, but yet he tougher than most defense out there. Than there is newly acquired Shelva, that in my opinion is a clone of Yushkevich, but cheaper and more offensive. He played in Florida a non playoff team, now here in Toronto he should be able to increase his points greatly and be able to contribute to the offensive more. So in my prospective is better than Dimity. So we got an improved Kaberle, and better number one defenseman, than an obvious McCabe who will improve. Who else is there? Pilar, he did outstanding in the playoff’s played great defense, showed excellent grit and determination. He is far better than a Cross, Lumme or a Berg. So that’s four defenses I find that are solid. Than we have Berg and Lumme who both did decent jobs last year. So a improved defense as well in my eyes.
Now to the offense, missing a vital part, Gary Roberts. Mogilny played great last year, and the best line most of you could come up with he is too inconsistent, he will tank this year. But I been watching him since his Buffalo days, and every time people don’t expect much out of him, last year he was challenged buy Leaf fans to perform and he did, this year he has a greater to prove he ain’t that inconsistent player every one thinks of him. One thing about Mogilny when there is pressure over his shoulders, he performs. Expect him to be great yet again. Than there is every one’s favorite player, Darcy Tucker. Who had a career season last year, he even shin Ed when line mate Mogilney was injured. With Mogilney next to him expect same numbers out of him. Than we got the three stooges Reichle, Remberg, and Green all had up and down performances last year. But Green and Remberg seemed to be improving as the season went on. They have found their roles on this team and will perform much better next season. Reicle the most hated player in Toronto will have great season, he has a fresh start to prove him self, and will do so.
While every one else seas a horrible team that is a ticking time bomb, ready to blow. I see a strong contender, that will rise up to the challenge of being the underdogs and play strong, and finish at the top of their conference this year.