Leafs win could be costly

They don’t appear on the scoresheet often, and are far more about function than flash.

But if the Maple Leafs lose both David Steckel and Carl Gunnarsson, they will lose two important pieces in the team’s decent opening quarter of the season.

Both players paid the steepest price for blocking shots when they were forced out of Friday night’s 4-3 shootout win over the Dallas Stars.

Paired with captain Dion Phaneuf all season, Gunnarsson has been as steady as she goes, allowing Phaneuf to be more liberal in the offensive chances he takes.

Steckel, obviously, has been a key faceoff man and thus an important body on the penalty-kill. While the Leafs have adapted well to the injury rash that has hit them this November, eventually it has to catch up to them.

This and That

It’s tough to say where Nazem Kadri fits on the Leafs depth chart, but he’s not about to stay with the Marlies without making some noise. Kadri had two goals and two assists in the team’s 4-3 Friday win at St. John’s … Depending on the severity of the injury to Steckel, it wouldn’t be a reach to see the Leafs recall veteran Mike Zigomanis. They might not get offensive flash from him, but they do get a proven faceoff man who is also good on the penalty-kill … Then again, that St. John’s-to-Anaheim journey can be a killer … Great stat from Sportsnet: Prior to Friday’s game, Phaneuf led all NHL players with 709 shifts … With the Leafs managing just 23 shots, the Stars have held their past three opponents to 25 shots or less … You want organizational depth? The Leafs and Marlies both find themselves in first in their respective divisions.


96 Responses to Leafs win could be costly

  1. toronto77 says:

    I really don't like hockey's future take on Joe Colborne, they say he is not considered a true number 1 centre, which i believe is a little harsh. Given time I thnk he can be a number 1 centremen. Also what is up with Aulie? after a tremendous season ending with the leafs he has a very poor training camp and is doing horrible with the marlies. In 15 games he has no points and is a -10.

  2. TheLeafNation91 says:

    That is a little high. I think elite second-line C is his potential and where I think he is headed.

    It's not a bad thing.

  3. reinjosh says:

    He hates overpaying his RFA's. Big difference. He rarely overpays for them. UFA's not so much. 

    And RFA's cant's look to UFA deals anyways as arguments for why they deserve so and so money (its prohibited under the CBA), so we don't have to worry about him looking to Armstrong. 
  4. reinjosh says:

    For sure. The guy has some high talent. I know Boston_Bruins has mentioned it before and I've heard it elsewhere, but his hands are probably second best in the league behind Datsyuk. It's just unfortunate he gets injured so often. He is truly a top line center, when he's healthy. 

  5. TheLeafNation91 says:

    But he could decide not to sign….Which he can do.

  6. toronto77 says:

    so basically he is going to replace grabovski, who will end up costing more money or if he starts to tail off.

  7. TheLeafNation91 says:

    That's what I've been thinking future-wise. But do not let the others hear that or they might shoot you.

  8. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Hey guys, some interesting rumors from the NHL:

    -From HockeyBreak:

    Asked several times what teams have shown interest in Bobby Ryan. Leafs, Bruins, Sabres and Canadiens, if moved, it won't be to the West. (LOOKS LIKE A NE BATTLE HERE)

    The Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in 26-year old French F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and 21-year old Swedish G Joacim Eriksson. (Both from SEL)

    From NJ Devils blogger Todd Correll:

    – Speculation has already begun that Zach Parise could be dealt at, or before, the trade deadline. My thoughts: not happening unless the Devils are out of the playoff race and Parise has told Lou Lamoriello that the chances he'll re-sign are slim.

    – The Devils are currently tied for 8th in the Eastern Conference with the Washington Capitals. If the Devils are in the playoff race come the trade deadline they will likely make a move for a defenseman.

    – According to Sportsnet and Lightning beat writer Mike Corcoran of ESPN the Toronto Maple Leafs had Rick Dudley attend the Tampa Bay game last night on a scouting assignment. The Lightning are believed to be looking for some help on defense.

    – According to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers are interested in Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson.

    – Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets are looking for a goaltender and Jonathan Bernier of the LA Kings is on their radar.

    – Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson suggested via twitter that if, and "a big IF", the Lightning decide to pursue a goaltender "it'd be for a Bernier-type".

    – There are rumblings in Anaheim that a big shakeup could be on the horizon and one of Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry could be dealt. I learned from covering the Devils last year that crazy rumors come about when teams are struggling. I'd be shocked if any of the three are moved.

    – Quite a few media outlets have reported throughout the week that the Hurricanes are shopping Tomas Kaberle. Their only problem? Nobody wants him; especially at his $4.25M cap hit.

    Time to discuss

  9. Boston_Bruins says:

    I wonder what the asking price would be on Ryan. I'd have to guess a top 6 forward + a top prospect or picks.

    Anyways, I don't see the Bruins going after him really. Not sure why you'd want to alter chemistry all too much with how they're playing. I think they'll just acquire depth pieces at the deadline like last year.
  10. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I think you could upgrade Horton.

  11. Boston_Bruins says:

    Probably, but not right now. He just was a huge part of the Cup victory and the organization has already said they want to reward the players that helped them do it to build a winning identity. Plus him and Lucic have alot of chemistry. It's just not something that would realistically be done right now.

  12. reinjosh says:

    That's unlikely and you know it. Your just assuming the very worst and I'm saying that it doesn't have to be that way. Your not being a realist in this instance. 

  13. mapleleafsfan says:

    He'll be suspended, but letang said max came up and apologized to him so good for him.

  14. hockey_lover says:

    The way they are calling things lately, he should get suspended.

    But ultimately, I dont think its a suspendable hit.

    Tanger came across the blue line, was winding up for a shot and was "bending forward."  Hence, his head was about 4" lower than it should have been. If he was standing upright, it would have been shoulder to shoulder as they are roughly the same height (Pac is 2" taller). Lower the head a few inches and blamo … headshot.

    So yeah .. by definition it was a headshot but really, I dont think it is.

  15. mapleleafsfan says:

    I didn't get to see the whole game but what I did see was awesome. Schenn was a beast and made some nice stick plays as well. Glad he got the empty netter. 

    Aulie looked pretty solid although their 2nd goal shouldn't have been allowed to happen.

    Colborne was solid again. Another point, looks poised for a rookie and finishes his hits. 
    Liles' pass to bozak was a beauty / bozaks pass to kessel right before bozaks other goal was nice too. 
    PK came up big at the end. Gus was really solid. 
    Kulemin was AWESOME defensively in the end there. Stealing the puck from everyone and literally all over the ice (in a good way). I wanted him to get the empty netter but it's cool schenn got it too. Nice kule got a point on it. 

    Man. When Reimer, Gunnarson and Armstrong come back we have one hell of a deep team. The only "problem" with that, is what do we do now? I don't want colborne to be sent down, but grabo isn't a 4th line C either… Does armstrong replace crabb? Or do we put army on the 4th line? Crabb has also been too good to send down. 
    It's exciting to be a leafs fan right now. Winning those games was huge, now if/when boston gives us a spanking we're not in huge trouble. 
  16. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Grabovski is not really a third-line Center either. There is no reason to break up the Bozak and Connolly lines if their producing, so this is where it gets tricky with these lines.

    Also, Frattin would go down, along with Colborne…So no need to worry about Crabb.

    Your a little high on the team, but the big games are this week against Boston and you know how those end.

  17. TheLeafNation91 says:

    17 Games…This countdown is FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

  18. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Weird, it seems like everytime Toronto does well or go on a mini-streak…They always seem to meet the Bruins the next game.

    Like I said, it would be a statement for the Leafs to get a win over the B's…History though, is NOT on your side.

    Allowing only 6 goals I guess will be a moral victory for me, crap.

  19. mapleleafsfan says:

    Well like I said, didn't see the whole game so I don't know how the whole thing went. But honestly I am very high on the team right now. I'm not looking forward to the boston games because for what ever reason we always suck against them. But seeing them finish a necessary 3 game winning streak is awesome. And seeing the young/new guys produce gives me serious hope. That and kadri is finally lighting up the minors. Depth is an awesome problem. 

  20. mapleleafsfan says:

    Hah yea, playing the bruins sucks… I'd honestly be happy if the games were close, obviously the more points the better but as long as we actually come out to play I'm happy. 

  21. TheLeafNation91 says:

    If we can win 1 game against the Bruins…I will be okay.

    But for some reason, we suck against them, so not keeping my hopes up for that.

    Their best shot is probably Wed. since they are play in Torono.

  22. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Hopefully its not 7-0 or 7-1

  23. glotz_99 says:

    I dont think Colborne or Crabb should be sent down, they have been playing to well.
    Colborne doesnt look out of place at all with the big club and Crabb looks like a solid 4th line guy who is great at parking himself in front of the net.

    how about sending down Phillipe Dupuis, hes an average penalty killer, but other than that he adds nothing to the team. He has a two way contract as well.  Frattin could be sent down as well and improve his all around game with the marlies, and be recalled if there are any more injuries.

  24. LeafsFTW17 says:

    I read that Tampa offered a 2nd to Toronto for Franson and Burke didn't want anything to do with that.  I'm glad too, but do you think that's what other GM's value on Franson? Cause if so keep him forsure, I like him and I know lots of people like him.

    Also Eklund said something about a Carter for Ryan swap, I think something like Nash for Ryan is more likely.

    And Budreau needs to be gone, when players lose respect for a coach, it's over.  Maybe he wasn't that great of a coach, he just had an unbelievable team.  Semin should be traded to a weak team who won't make the playoffs, he will shine when he is the star player and won't have to worry about post season.

  25. dumbassdoorman says:

    I don't think it will be as bad as you guys are anticipating. I am not saying we are gonna walk all over them, but they are playing with more confidence now. That in it self is different then earlier this season. last season once they played more less the same way they did manage to beat the B's, so here is hoping.

  26. 93killer93 says:

    Any comments on Mckegg being left off the selection camp roster for the world juniors? 

  27. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Well, his team is 3-20. Unfortunately, that might of been the deciding factor despite all he's doing for that team.

  28. mojo19 says:

    Extra! Extra! Most draft picks don't become star players! Breaking News!

    You mean there aren't 3000 star players playing in the NHL right now? This is weird…

  29. mojo19 says:

    Also prospects can be 5'10" with a stocky frame and be awesome in Junior, where as a 6'3" player who is wirey and needs to fill out might just be okay. But by age 21, 22, 23 that stocky player is the same as when he was 18, meanwhile that wirey tall player has filled out and is a power forward.

    Just one example of why statistics can only prove so much for prospects. There are dozens of other factors at play. Hopefully this post shed some light on the subject for some of you.

  30. mojo19 says:

    See, what's up with that last line. Stop dwelling on Leaf negatives. That was a pure Hab comment. Be a Leaf fan or don't, get off the fence. Fair enough?

    And yes, I know the PK sucks, I probably ***** about it the most, but I don't go out of my way to bring it up for no reason and pump up the Habs, you dig?

  31. mojo19 says:

    ***** = b i tch

  32. mojo19 says:

    I'm not sure if my point was clear here, I don't want it to be taken out of context.

    Point is, we need to have a hate on for the Habs and vice-versa, don't feed them any ammo, because then we all look like douche bags.

  33. mojo19 says:

    Ya, bizarre that they left him off. I wonder why? He clearly has the talent.

  34. mojo19 says:

    I don't think anyone expected Schenn or MacArthur to get $4+ (maybe a couple delusional fans).

    But ya, Kulemin having an off year could be the best thing that ever happened. Ditto for Grabo who has played well but has been hurt a bit and a bit hot and cold. Now with Bozak going strong, and Connolly healthy, Grabo is #3. I really think we have a legitimate chance to re-sign 2 awesome hockey players at a reasonable cap hit.

    And then, if they don't end up being that amazing, at least they won't be over paid! Its what Charlie Sheen calls bi-winning.

  35. mojo19 says:

    The next 5 games are gonna be big for the Buds. Over the next two weeks we face Boston twice, then the Rangers, Devils, and the new Washington Capitals.

    I figure if we can go 2-2-1 or better in this stretch we'll be in good shape. Winning at least 1 of 2 against the Bruins would be a good start.

  36. dumbassdoorman says:

    I am glad we play Wash last, as the first few games with Hunter they will be pumped. Any predictions on the record the next 5 games? I think we will go 3-1-1, but that's just me….lol and I am wrong severl times a day.

  37. TheLeafNation91 says:

    8 out of the next 9 are rough…Going 5-4 would be a miracle.

  38. mojo19 says:

    "… a miracle." I think going 5-4 is pretty realistic. Do you know what miracles are? Miracle runs traditionally are 11-1-0 type runs. Use your head.

  39. toronto77 says:

    Let's see how the leafs do this time against the bruins. last time we played them we were coming off of some pretty weak performances by the devils and the blue jackets, even though we won both, it did not prepare us for the game against the bruins. now we are coming off of some more games where we say poor performances by the caps, lightning and ducks, which i guarantee will not prepare us against the bruins once again, hopefully the game against the stars did. Not sure if we will win any of the two games but i am confident we won't get blown away 6-2 or 7-0 in either game.

  40. Boston_Bruins says:

    Heh. Should be a good couple of games. We've definitely had your guys' number so far, but you guys had ours last year. 

    I have to say I haven't felt this good about my Bruins, since… ever, really. Everyone is buying in.
  41. Boston_Bruins says:

    I thought the same thing was going to happen to Spooner, but he and his team picked it up lately. Unfortunate he got left off though.

  42. Boston_Bruins says:

    I thought the same thing was going to happen to Spooner, but he and his team picked it up lately. Unfortunate he got left off though.

  43. dumbassdoorman says:

    I am gonna kill him with optimism here lol….over the next 9 we are going to go 6-2-1, I can see him rolling his eyes now….lol…and i flip if i am right.

  44. glotz_99 says:

    Mckegg is averaging over a point per game but is a minus 27, which is a misleading stat since he is playing on the worst team in the CHL. 

  45. senators_choke says:

    I remember during the Pat Quinn years, we actually thrived during the tough part of the schedule. I'd be like, bring it on!

    Seriously, if you're a good team, you can beat anyone and in any building. This is a good test for the Leafs.

  46. MystifoLeafs says:

    I am not 100% sold yet. Nor do I think this Washington team is as weak as they seen. If Hunter turns it around and can motivate Ovie then just like that Washington is a threat for the cup. An Aging Tim Thomas is what scares me for Boston not to mention I really don't like his style. It really pains me to watch him. Its like he is CONSTANTLY out of position flopping around but he always makes the damn save. I mean hes like watching a seal with goalie pads some times. BUT HE STOPS THE PUCK! I don't know. My prediction, Nashville pulls off some move at trade deadline picking up someone like Alex Semin, Bobby Ryan, Zack Parise, etc and tries to make a run at it. With the way the West has been they could very well end up in the cup finals too with that type of fire power up front.

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