Kukla's Korner

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Leafs Set Up To Fail

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
John Ferguson Jr., it appears, has thus far assembled a team that would be far more suited to play under the old "obstruction, what obstruction?" approach. The Leafs, with seven forwards at 6-foot-3 or more, are a big, big team, having added Eric Lindros and Jason Allison up the middle for extra heft. If, however, this latest crackdown on obstruction actually holds and if the removal of the red line for two-line passes does open up a new degree of movement and flow, there is likely to be a premium on quick, nimble players. And the Leafs don't have a lot of those. They have some, to be sure. Darcy Tucker, Matt Stajan and Tomas Kaberle are quick players and Alexander Steen might fit that description if he cracks the NHL. But in general, the Leafs are big and lumbering, with players like Nik Antropov, Chad Kilger, Wade Belak and Alexei Ponikarovsky likely to be regulars up front and a blueline corps few would describe as particularly fast. Experienced players with light feet like Alexander Mogilny and Joe Nieuwendyk are gone, as is Brian Leetch from the back line.


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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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