Leafs would'nt be able to hack this years playoffs.

Here’s why the Leafs would’nt be able to compete this year in the playoffs.

Any buddy wanna argue it?The spiral of mediocrity continues for the Maple Leafs with the premise they based their season around being proven incorrect in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

John Ferguson said it. Paul Maurice repeated it. Mats Sundin continued with his ever-optimistic ways, chanting the mantra day after day.

All they had to do was make the playoffs. Then anything was possible.

That is what they said. Right to the last day. The National Hockey League was that close. The opportunity for eighth-place teams — the Leafs, for the record, finished ninth in the East, 18th overall — was never more apparent.

Only here we are, as the Western Conference finals begins tonight with Detroit versus Anaheim one vs. two in the conference.

And here we are, on the morning after the Eastern Conference final begins, with Buffalo vs. Ottawa. One vs. three, if you go solely by points.

The Red Wings and Ducks had 113 points and 110 points, respectively throughout the season: That puts the Leafs 22 points behind Detroit, the same number they finished behind the Sabres.

So, Ferguson gets another year to prove he can’t build a winner, which means one of two things: Either the board of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., finds 18th place acceptable, or it can’t find a suitable replacement for the general manager to sell to the public.

The betting here is that Ferguson will continue on as lame-duck GM, with no contract extension, while around him the search for his eventual replacement quietly will continue.

It’s not a good situation for him, not a good situation for the hockey club.

And it looks worse when you consider the Final Four teams and realize just how far the Leafs are away from being a meaningful contender.

All you have to do is take stock of those teams to see what the Leafs are lacking.

They can’t compete with any of these teams in overall

speed. They can’t compete with most of these teams in depth up front. They certainly can’t compete in goal.

But begin on the wing, where the Leafs have their deepest needs: Their leading point-getter among wingers last season was Alexei Ponikarovsky. He had 45. Ponikarovsky, at 27, is an honest, decent hockey player. The first winger on a team he is not.

Darcy Tucker led the Leafs in goal-scoring among wingers. He would have had more than 24 had he lasted the entire season. And while he does score most of his goals on the power play, that means something. It also means he is the Leafs’ No. 1 winger and that does not a contender make.

The Sabres have a 43-goal scorer in Thomas Vanek and a 34-goal scorer in Jason Pominville. Neither have celebrated their 25th birthday yet.

Anaheim has a 48-goal scorer off the wing in Teemu Selanne. The Red Wings’ leading goal-scorer, Henrik Zetterberg, plays the wing as does Tomas Holmstrom. Both are 30-goal scorers (the Leafs didn’t have a single 30-goal scorer).

And the Senators can serve up 50-goal man Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson as their top two wingers.

Compare that with Ponikarovsky, Tucker, Jeff O’Neill and Nik Antropov and try to do it without wincing.

No doubt, the Leafs will throw large money at a winger such as Ryan Smyth in the off-season, which will bring another high-priced, 30- something player to a team with too many high-priced 30- somethings.

The biggest difference between the Leafs and contention, however, may be in goal. The goals-against averages of the remaining playoff netminders range from Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s 1.28 to Ryan Miller’s 2.07. The save percentages range from a low of Ray Emery’s .919 to Dominik Hasek’s .930 to the .952 put up by Giguere.

Andrew Raycroft isn’t in that stratosphere. But he is good enough to play for a team that turned over half its roster and its coaching staff and managed to vault all the way from 18th place to 18th place in a league of 30 teams.

With progress that affirmative, who are we to argue?

The Source.


9 Responses to Leafs would'nt be able to hack this years playoffs.

  1. FarFromFreedom says:

    lol are you stupid? .. your comparing the Leafs to western confence teams. i could see a point if you did more about their confence but bud who gives a sh*t .. and last time i checked the Leafs last season were the 6th youngest team in the NHL .. doesnt sound like 30 year olds to me does it? the average age on this team is 26 years old .. they arnt a ageing team and bringing in a vet who can score like Smyth will infact help this team .. you know thats why theres something called off-season .. to help improve your roster in which the Leafs will do since they have 11 million to spend this off-season .. the Leafs will be one of the best teams again someday .. dont forget as the cap rises .. certain smaller hockey markets that arnt getting the fan base as toronto wont have the cap as the Leafs .. in 3 years teams like Toronto Detroit Montreal will have caps around 55 or higher and other teams that have trouble bringing in revenue will have smaller caps say .. the cap was 55 .. smaller market teams will have around 48. more free agents and cap space for teams like Toronto. Eventually when cap goes up Bigger markets will have more money to spend. who cares if we dont compare to other teams stars like heatley in Ottawa .. eventually it'll take its toll and turn around.

  2. Glucker says:

    we may not have moved in the rankings, but we had a much better season, remember until we got the injury bug that was worse then any other team's in the nhl, we were in 4th place in our conference and 5th place overall. This Leafs team wasnt built as a star lineup team, it was built as a depth team, and our standing before loosing 2 lines showed that.

    we'll be able to make the playoffs this year, not win, if we keep our current line-up, but the question is, do we want to make the playoffs? these next two drafts are awesome, i say we pull a penguins, and get ourselves some young stars

  3. Glucker says:

    oh and tucker is NOT our #1 winger, Poni and Antropov will be the first linesmen unless we make some big move this summer(im funny, arent i?)

  4. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    If the leafs hd played Buffalo in he first round, Buffalo would have gone on a worn out team. The Leafs would have been tourched in game 1, but over a long series the team could have made it interesting.

  5. TheSource2659 says:

    Hey your right and the Leafs can keep doing all the things they were doing wrong before like trying to buy a stanley cup we've seen where thats gotten them.

    Listen I'm a Leafs fan and this was'nt comparing this was stating a fact.

    The Source

    P.S. I think the last time I heard someone call me stupid I was in Kindergarten. Wow keep it up I'm sure you have a great future in sucking.

  6. Scottman75 says:

    Thanks to man games lost to injury and the amount of people on the IR during the last day of the season, the Leafs would not have gotten very far in the playoffs. 

    I don't think anybody would disagree with you.

    There have been two years worth of 'Ifs and Buts' and I too am tempted to throw some out there about last year, but its not worth it. Every other yahoo outthere will rip into my post like Oprah on a baked ham so its best to put this puppy to bed and work on next year.

  7. Flatinum says:

    The Source – you're a JOKE. Why don't you write something yourself.

    This was Steve Simmons article from the Toronto Sun on Thursday of last week. You left that information out.

    Simmons is a joke and this article was wriiten after he was proven wrong that Mats Sundin needed surgery. He doesn't like the Leafs and JFJ so he writes these meaningless articles.

    You don't see articles like this in other markets after their GM's and coaches predict that anything can happen in the playoffs. What else are you going to say. "We have no chance"?

  8. Glucker says:

    i think the source IS simmons… i mean he did claim to write for a newspaper at one point(if im not mistaken) and his 'sources' are as good as simmons….

    STEVE IS THAT YOU?

  9. TheSource2659 says:

    Actually I'm not Steve fuc.k.i.n.g Simmons and I didn't steel this from him he stole it from me I have proof to actually and I'm already on the phone with Sun Media and my bosses trust me I work with simmons deuscth and he's bad for stealing people post's thanks for bringing this to my attention as I don't actually read the sun or anything like Canoe or that so I'll be checking on all websites to make sure he hasn't stolen any of my other post as well.

    The Source.

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