Phil Kessel, in his short tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has displayed an offensive acumen unparalleled by his teammates. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason the Leafs embody mediocrity.
The prolific 22-year-old sniper has scored five goals in seven games, and his creativity on the ice has silenced his critics, who questioned whether Kessel would find life difficult without Marc Savard delivering tape-to-tape passes.
While the infusion of Kessel to the Leafs' top-six has brought a glimmer of hope to Leafs fans, there still remains a heap of work before this team even comes close to contenting for the Stanley Cup.
However, with the likes of Tyler Bozak, Christian Hans...
*Inspired by Eric Engels' question blogs over at HockeyBuzz*
As you all prepare for the Toronto Maple Leafs' division tilt against the Ottawa Senators tonight, allow me to throw some questions your way.
1) With Vesa Toskala getting the nod against the Senators tonight, do you think the Finnish goaltender will finally get back on track?
2) Are you concerned with Jonas Gustavsson's performance last Saturday? Is he still in possession of the starting goaltender role in your opinion?
3) Were you impressed by Carl Gunnarson's first National Hockey League game? What type of future do you see the Swedish rearguard having with the Leafs?
4) Is Luke Schenn's sluggish play concerning yo...
Today I was driving along listening to Leafs' Lunch with Darren Dreger, which I normally do whenever I get the chance, even though I know I shouldn't because the mental damage created by listening to that show is likely irreversible.
Today was no different, but instead of the usual callers, it was Dreger that got me shaking my head. Dreger suggested that Burke should send out a memo to other GM's in the league stating that everyone except for a select few are available for trade, and that Luke Schenn should not be among those select few.
Now I understand what Dreger is trying to do. It's a radio show, and it's not that interesting if you talk about the Leafs poor start because ...
With the Toronto Maple Leafs failing to garner at least a point against the Chicago Blackhawks last night after an admirable performance from goaltender Vesa Toskala, there was an issue with the Leafs’ offensive squad that became increasingly visible in the dying minutes of the game.
Yes, even after Brian Burke boldly stated his team would no longer be “picking their teeth out of the glass,” he forgot to mention that offensively, the current squad are about as intimidating as a Hal Gill bodycheck.
Besides the fourth line, which lacks any sort of offensive acumen, the Leafs are not in possession of a player that can play the role of an effective power forward. Excuse me f...
Among the struggles and among the hard work, the Leafs find themselves lacking identity. This last week or so, the Maple Leafs have been technically sound. From goaltending to offensive pressure, the Leafs are getting it done.
But it's a team that is difficult to identify. Sure both Gustavsson and Kessel are now the faces of the 09-10 Leafs are most likely many future versions of this team. And believe me when I say that Gustavsson has shown a ton of heart, because he really does care about winning, which has been evident in some of his struggles this season.
But someone who has stood out to me this season more so th...
Michael Nylander has been placed on waivers per Bob McKenzie via Twitter.
Nylander was loaned to American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins on Oct.21 after the Washington Capitals opted not to send the 37-year-old to their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, because he'd have to be placed on waivers. The basis of the agreement was for Nylander to showcase his abilities in an attempt to garner interest from teams around the National Hockey League.
In 4 games with the Griffins, Nylander produced 1 goal and 5 powerplay assists (with 0 truculence points, however--a.k.a. PIM's). Not too shabby considering he's coming off a disappointing 33-point campaign.
Since the Montreal Canadiens disposed of the Toronto Maple Leafs in an overtime decision in the season-opener on Oct.1, Mike Komisarek has been chastised by Habs fans, even garnering the nickname, “Homosarek.”-- but I have to admit, that one is actually pretty damn funny.
However, what Canadiens fans fail to recognize is that Komisarek, in the midst of a slump, has performed quite well in comparison to the Canadiens’ defensemen in terms of defensive statistics--except for +/-, which is generally a team stat, and I don’t have to show you where the Leafs are currently positioned in that regard.
Let’s take a look at hits:
Komisarek -- ranked 26th i...
While there has been much buildup for the debut of Phil Kessel in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform, the goaltending of Jonas Gustavsson against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight should be equally monitored.
In five games with the Leafs this season, Gustavsson has not allowed a questionable goal, and the same cannot be said for teammate Vesa Toskala, who has a putrid .813 save-percentage and a 5.13 goals-against-average.
Gustavsson already has a collection of highlight reel saves, and has consistently provided his team with a chance to win every game. While the defense infront of him hasn’t been stellar, they, like the rest of the team, ha...
Well it has all been confirmed that Phil Kessel will join the Leafs line-up tomorrow night, of course pending medical clearance which is expected to happen tomorrow morning.
It seems quite early, which is a bit worrisome, since this is not something you want to rush. But Leafs fans should have faith in the doctors and if they say he's good to go then so be it. Leafs fans do however need to take their expectations down a few notches. Kessel can score goals, we've seen it, but shoulder surgery is something that takes a while to completely heal, and even when it does heal the mental restriction on what you can and cannot do lingers for q...