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.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/11/26/leafs-win-could-be-costly