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Kessel the Best Of The Leafs?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

An Open Book Exam Question for Sunday morning: Who is the best player on the Maple Leafs and where he does he rank in the NHL? After a lot of shuffling of paper and counting, I came up with Phil Kessel as best player and his rank in the NHL somewhere between 45 and 60 ... Next question: Name the last Stanley Cup champion to be led by the 45th best player in the NHL?

a few more hockey notes…


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel



Paul, Simmons quotes are as interesting and credible as quotes from any 5th grader.
Kulemin was arguably the Leafs best forward last season, if you care about such things like positioning, two way play, winning puck battles. The Boston Bruins just demonstrated with a star goalie and a star defender, you don’t need a superstar forward. The Bruins have an excellent bunch of forwards, but you don’t necessarily need a Sidney Crosby, Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky to win the cup. The Leafs group of forwards are also very young, they don’t expect to compete this year, nor probably next.

Posted by maytag from Toronto on 08/07/11 at 02:23 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Please don’t compare the Bruins set of forwards to the Leafs.
While they don’t have that All-star forward (Minus a healthy Savard), the B’s top 6 are better players than the Leafs.

And don’t let the point-totals confuse. The Bruins didn’t play their top 6 as much per game as the Leafs.
The Leafs also had the advantage of playing against other teams back-up goalies most of the season.

I’d rather have Krejci, Bergeron, Horton, Lucic, Ryder and Marchand than Kessel, Bozak, Connolly, Kulimen, McCarther and Grabovski.

The better point to make is that while the Bruins didn’t have the most dynamic offensive players, their defense and goaltending were solid.

The leafs blueline is a disaster and while Reimer played very well, it was a very small sample and it’s not like the opposing team was pushing as hard against the Leafs as they would say the Flyers, Pens or Caps.

I think Simmons point is a very good one.
This is a team that is shallow at every position and they’re going into another season with arguably the 45th best forward as their best forward.

Burke needs to be fired. He had the cap room and the financial resources to improve his team within the current rules of the CBA.
If he has a moral issue with front-loading contracts or using RFA offer sheets then he needs to work on a tree-farm where he can hug Oaks and Maples all day long.

This is a business and Leafs fans don’t deserve to pay a gigillion dollars for a nose-bleed seat to watch Kessel and Connolly ‘help’ their team lose more than they win.
These fans deserve Doughty, Stamkos or Richards (or 2 of the 3).

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/07/11 at 02:59 PM ET


What’s wrong with comparing the Leafs’ forwards with the Bruins’ forwards? ... EQUATING the two, now THAT would be ridiculous ... but there’s nothing wrong with making a simple comparison ... I could compare Wayne Gretzky to a loaf of bread, if I wanted to ... and such comparison would merely point out how many differences exist between the two.

The only point maytag was making, by way of comparing our forward corps to that of the Bruins was that you don’t necessarily need a star to win ... and that statement (as the Bs proved this season) is true and valid ... end of point ... end of comparison.

Sheesh, but people get sensitive for no reason.

Posted by Xalvion from Toronto on 08/07/11 at 04:02 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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