Make that four in a row for Leafs!

That’s about as close to a Gordie Howe hat trick as Nikolai Kulemin is going to come.

The Maple Leafs forward, eager to leave a dismal first half of the regular season in the dust, had his best performance of 2011-12 in a 2-0 Leafs win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

As Jonas Gustavsson made 32 saves for his second shutout in three games, Kulemin scored his fifth goal, set up linemate and buddy Mikhail Grabovski for another and destroyed Sabres pest Patrick Kaleta with an open-ice hit in the third period.

“Kulie had a great game, and as a group, we are all happy for him because he deserves it,” Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said. “He has been working really hard and not getting any results. Sometimes that happens. It was a good night for him and hopefully he keeps rolling.”

Kulemin’s career-best 30 goals last season are a distant memory, but his potential has not been a problem. And he is one of the hardest working Leafs, often staying on the ice long after practice with Grabovski to work on his shot.

13 Responses to Make that four in a row for Leafs!

  1. MystifoLeafs says:

    I keep hearing people suggesting trading Grabovski and getting a late first round pick +. I have to ask what would this do for the leafs? I mean as of right now we have a nice 1,2,3 punch down the line when healthy in 

    1. Connolly 
    2. Grabovski 
    3. Bozack
    With a nice Swiss army knife in Steckel. So I don't see the benefit in trading away Grabo? I have not heard he is displeased in Toronto or anything like that. He seems pretty happy here with his buddy Kuli Even if say Bozack played 1st line Connolly 2nd and Grabovski takes third that just makes us that much deadlier with three lines who can contribute and a Utility line as our Forth. 
    I.E Brown – Steckel – Boyce/Ziggomanis/Crabb
    Think about it as well we may get lucky and be able to sign both Kuli and Grabovski to nice contracts with a decent cap hit seeing how it would mean they get to stay together. 
  2. dumbassdoorman says:

    I think people are suggesting the trade because of his UFA status. Depending on his demands and team positioning will determine his fate. I love his work ethic….he has come a long way…..I would love to resign him at a reseaonable contract.

  3. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I wouldn't, I would deal him. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but thinking in terms of the future I would. Unless he is signed short-term.

    We need to open more C spots on this team for guys coming up and if we do get a first-line C.

    As well, we need some more size down the middle.

    I would keep Bozak of the three. Why? Because I like guys that can win you faceoffs and he has a pretty good two-way game to him. He's not a horrible defensive player either.

    The C position is decent, but in no way is it great.

  4. mojo19 says:

    Ya, I'm with you. I don't see a need to deal for a late first round pick either. Might as well let Grabo walk, or else retain him. He's not exactly having a monster year so we could probably get a pretty serviceable centre at a really good price if we can re-sign him.

  5. mojo19 says:

    The Monster and James Reimer have a combined record of 20-11-4 this season. That is damn good.

  6. reinjosh says:

    That is a good record. Maybe we have a tandem to build around finally?

  7. reinjosh says:

    Why would it make sense for the future? We should get rid of the guys who have experience to make room for guys that don't?

  8. MystifoLeafs says:

    I really don't want to get ahead of myself on this one but I am pleased with the way Gus has calmed down in net. He seems like he knows what is going on around him and is getting the job done. I would expect Reimer gets a start soon. I say whenever the monster needs a rest. 

    The one thing I am loving is they are taking no penetlies as of late. I guess the best way to fix a bad PK is to ensure you take very few. Whatever works.
  9. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I would not think of it like that.

    More like make room for more impactful players.

    Like I said, Grabovski's great, but if he signs long-term then this team is officially being built around him?

  10. reinjosh says:

    How does signing him long term mean were building around him? He's not going to get 1st line center money. Signing him just means were saying he's the second line center long term. Not sure how thats a problem. The guy is a pretty damn good center as a second line guy. 

  11. NonLeafFansAreGay says:

    man, what the hell are you talking about? and i doubt connolly will get resigned after his contract expires.

  12. dumbassdoorman says:

    I feel like I have fricken multiple pesonality disorder watching this team….lol. I want sooooooo badly for wilson to be fired, and lose accordingly to do so. Then, they go off and play a pretty decent few games and I find myself smiling……..borderline happy……WTF?????

     If Reimer gets rolling again and I believe he will and Gus keeps up his strong play og late, we could get ouuta the first round….lol…..BUT he should still not be allowed to play the puck.

  13. Boston_Bruins says:

    I want a Bruins/Leafs first round matchup. We need to get this rivalry going.

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