by PuckStopsHere on 10/27/11 at 02:22 PM ET
The Toronto Maple Leafs off to a strong start. They lead their division and have the top scorer in the league in Phil Kessel. They are seeing the same success with their farm team at the AHL level. The Toronto Marlies are tied for the AHL lead with 11 points in their seven games played. They also have the two top scorers in the league in Joe Colburne and Joey Crabb. Both of whom have 15 points for a two point lead over anyone else.
The Toronto organization probably will not stay at this level of success all season, but it shows how well Brian Burke is doing in remaking this organization. If they stay the course, they will have a good team in the not too distant future.
The Marlies AHL success shows that there is depth in the Maple Leaf organization. Joe Colburne was the Boston Bruins first round draft pick in 2008. He was acquired by the Leafs in the Tomas Kaberle trade. He is expected to be an NHL player by the end of this season as soon as injuries open up a roster spot for him. Joey Crabb played 48 games with the Leafs last season and is a solid depth forward at the NHL level. He too should be back at the NHL level when injuries open up a roster spot. Toronto is in very good shape having this quality depth available.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of positive in their organization, I am not convinced that they will remain in as good a spot in the standings as they currently hold. I think goaltending is a weakness. James Reimer is largely unproven and is putting up average level numbers so far this season. Jonas Gustavsson has never managed average numbers in any NHL season and is currently posting a .857 saves percentage and 4.88 GAA in limited playing time. It is very possible that goaltending will fall apart in Toronto and if it does this season will not be a success. That is despite strong play from some of the players that Brian Burke acquired via trade including Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf.
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