Which Leafs will be left standing?
He can count to six and to nine just as quickly as the other defenceman still in Leafs training camp. So there’s no need to beat Keith Aulie over the head with an Easton to remind him he’s in for a battle to retain his starting job on the Leafs blueline. With nine defenceman still in camp, as few as four or five of the starting six jobs are anywhere near settled. Who gets a spot opening night is one of the big stories to be played out over the next 10 days.
“So far I just feel I’ve been okay,” Aulie said after a two-hour practice Monday at the Mastercard Centre. “I’ve felt really good, I’m just a half second late sometimes and haven’t defended the way I want to. “You can’t hide the fact that we have a lot of good D-men here and a lot of good D-men ready to play. Lots of guys are playing well and it’s going to make (management’s) decision pretty hard. “If you are in my shoes, I have to show them everything I got these last two or three games.” He’s not alone. From general manager Brian Burke to coach Ron Wilson, it’s been recognized as a good problem to have. If there’s anywhere in the organization that depth of NHL talent exists, this is it. Many general managers believe a team needs eight NHL-ready defencemen anyway to be prepared for injuries. The other obvious benefit of depth is the currency it provides on the trade market. Theories abound on what management should do though performance over the final three pre-season games could help sort it out. “We might have the easy job just going out there and playing,” said newcomer John-Michael Liles.http://www.torontosun.com/2011/09/26/who-will-be-left-standing