Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2011-2012 Maple Leafs

Time for a serious blog. With preseason soon to be done, and a small amount of cuts left to be done, I'd like to put my Leafs roster together...here it goes. And yes, I know this will likely not be the lineup, although I wish it was. Small things like Orr being a regular or Komisarek making the starting 6 are moves I see Ron Wilson doing.

Lupul-Connolly-Kessel - Gotta go with these guys. Lupul and Kessel had great chemistry last yr. Hopefully Connolly can get in there and become the play making centre we need.

MacArthur-Grabovski-Kulemin - A no brainer here. They have great chemistry and were top 5 in the league in terms of goal scoring for a line. I expect big things again this year.

Kadri-Bozak-Armstrong - A line with a combination of skill and size. They looked great together this preseason, and they bring a scoring dimension to a team that needs secondary scoring. They have the potential to be one of the leagues better third lines. I also expect Bozak to have a good year, as he is in a position to succeed.

Brown-Lombardi-Boyce - A solid forth line as you can get. Brown is a middleweight with great speed. Lombardi could be a 2nd liner on most NHL teams. Im sure he will get a chance to work his way up the lineup. Boyce gets the nod over Orr, well, for the fact he can actually play hockey

Orr - 13th forward. He'll be inserted in the lineup when we need an enforcer. Maybe 10-15 games tops this year.

Gunnarsson - Phaneuf - Gunnarsson is arguably the Leafs better 2 way defensemen. He is vastly underrated and played 30 minutes a night towards the end of last yr. Dion is Dion.

Gardiner - Schenn
- Luke Schenn had a fantastic season last year, once again proving to be a elite defensive defensemen with the occasional offensive flash. Gardiner has been the Leafs best dman in preseason and although he was expected to be a full timer next year, he has earned a spot on the big team. This pairing makes a lot of sense. Big bruising dman in Schenn with a guy who can skate and move the puck in Gardiner.

Franson - Liles - This was the hardest pairing to decide. I think Franson edges out Komisarek and plays on the 3rd pairing with Liles. The great thing is if he struggles we can insert Komisarek into the lineup. Liles will be our PP specialist.

Komisarek - Will be the extra dman. He has had a great preseason, but I don't think he should be in the lineup yet. Wait for someone to struggle, and then let him seize the opportunity.

Aulie - Sent back to the AHL since he isn't waiver eligible. Let him play a full season with Blacker on the Marlies and both should be ready for the big time next year.

Reimer - The #1 goaltender. Has picked up where he left off last year. His spot to lose.

Gustavsson - Had a solid preseason. Bounce back year, hopefully. Has outside chance of taking the starters job IF Reimer struggles

- Sent to the AHL. Should be backup next year. Has the most potential of any goalie in our system. He looked very polished this preseason. Will split time with Rynnas and Owuya.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Toronto Maple Leafs - Fact and Fiction

1. Plan the parade, the Leafs won a game - Fiction. Sorry, you may not believe it, but Leafs fans are actually quite hard on our team. We are realistic and know our team isn't Stanley Cup calibre YET, but they are definitely moving up the ladder slowly and surely. The plan the parade joke is old and overused. Find some new ammo please.

2. The Leafs missed the playoffs, they must be the worst team - Fiction. The worst team in the NHL has the least amount of points. For information on the team with fewest points, go look at the NHL Standings. The Leafs haven't been the worst team since 1985. Try again.

3. CBC caters to the Leafs - Fact. They do cater to the Leafs, but do you want to know why? Because the Leafs get the most ratings. Whether some folks want to believe it or not, the Leafs have a bigger fan base then any other NHL team. Not to mention that besides Leafs fans, many people who dislike the Leafs watch them to see if they lose, thus increasing their ratings on CBC. You are part of the problem, so stop whining about it!

4. Toronto Maple Laffs - Fiction. If you check google, or any other search engine, you will find that the team name is the Leafs. Not to mention calling them the Laffs makes any person look quite childish and brings in to question their grammar, or lack there of.

5. The Leafs will make the playoffs this year - Fact. Yes, now I will go bold. I believe the Leafs have the team this year to take 7th spot in the Eastern Conference. I know a lot of people will laugh at this, but I truly believe it. Their offence and defence has great depth and as long as James Reimer plays to par, there Leafs should be able to sneak in this year. If they don't, everyone can come back and reference this blog post. Putting all bias aside, they do have a decent roster and a above average prospect pool. Get used to Toronto being in the post-season, because it is going to become a common occurrence soon enough.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Bakery? Say what?

Being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan is interesting to say the least. One key aspect to being a Leafs fan is thick skin. The amount of razzing I put up with on a daily basis is quite astonishing. With that being said, there is no better feeling then striking up a random conversation with another member of Leafs Nation.

Well today brought out another, well, interesting moment. Today's Leaf moment occurred in the bakery of a Sobeys. Yes, a bakery. As I was picking up a Leafs themed cake for a cousin, I was taken off guard by an older woman who did the icing for the cake. All she said was, "Here is your cake. Oh by the way, the Leafs suck," and then carried on with regular duties. All I could do is stare and wonder, why?

I can't say I was shocked, but I was definitely surprised. There is a never a dull moment being apart of Leafs Nation.