I’ll have to start by admitting that due to family commitments I wasn’t able to focus on the game last night as I normally would; I saw bits and pieces but not enough to make a good assessment of yet another Maple Leafs loss.
On paper (and the ice), this season is starting to head down the same path as the rest of them since the lock-out…
Scoring, not just secondary scoring, is an issue; despite the dramatically improved play of the goaltenders and defence, putting up some tallies on the offensive side of the puck is the most pressing issue facing this team and will be a key component to their climb from mediocrity the rest of this year and in years to come.
I am a Brian Burke fan – that being said, over-estimating the talent base up front has been the mistake made each off season the last two years. Obtaining some legitimate offensive weapons has to be front and centre in terms of priorities, and as Burke himself has said, those players are not available in the early-going of an NHL season.
Is Tomas Kaberle making enough of a difference on the defence to off-set not moving him for a scoring threat? So far, no…even though his play is off to a strong start and he is paired nicely with Luke Schenn.
Word from TSN this morning is that Dion Phaneuf will be out at least 4 weeks with a deep cut to his leg suffered in last night’s loss to the Senators. This injury will give extended minutes to Mike Komisarek – who is being under-utilized in relation to his salary in my opinion (not his fault). Looking back, Beauchemin or Komisarek’s millions may have been better spent on a scorer…cough, cough, ahem…Mike Cammaleri.
With the abysmal production from the #1 and #2 centre slots, the question has to be asked: Could Nazem Kadri do much worse? (Hint: two-letter word is the correct response)
Enjoy tonight’s match-up…if ever there was time for the goalie to steal a W it’s right now…of course someone will have to put a couple pucks in the net for even that to have a chance.
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About the Author
Written by Mike De Petrillo
Leafs fan; former OHL LW; Live in Toronto