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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Thing are quiet in Toronto today. 12 games in the Leafs are 5-5-2 and this city is fully aware of the fact that being at the 500-mark 82 games in will mean no playoffs once again. Some early season thoughts:

The Good

Phil Kessel

– The most dangerous player on the ice for the Leafs night-in and night-out.

Clark MacArthur

– The only form of secondary scoring the Leafs have. He also leads the Leafs in points with 10.

Luke Schenn

– The Leafs’ best D-Man so far, no contest. Kaberle’s been solid offensively but Schenn has brought it at both ends of the ice. Not only that, he leads all Leafs’ D-men in +/- (4) and hits (42).

Goaltending

– Toronto’s goaltending tandem of Giguere and Gustavsson has been a major reason why Toronto has been in so many games this season. If they gave Gustavsson as much goal-support as they have Giguere, they’d be well above 500 right now. Want proof? The Leafs rank 12th in GA/G at 2.5.

The Bad

Dion Phaneuf

– Losing him to injury for a month is definitely going to hurt, but the Leaf Captain needs to be better. He is a team-worst and ranks 632nd in the league with –6 on the year. Offensively, Dion has been better and ranks 2nd on the Leafs with 37 shots. But he needs to hit the net more. The Leafs Powerplay could really use some shots on goal.

Kris Versteeg

– Versteeg is one of the offensively gifted Leafs this year but his finishing ability has failed him and the team his year. In fact, Versteeg had two breakaways – one against the Islanders in overtime and one against the Rangers when the Leafs were behind by a goal – and he failed to convert on either. Not only that, Versteeg has had several opportunities in alone on net but has failed to convert. Law of large numbers says those have to start going in soon, but Versteeg needs to finish better if that is going to change. The Leafs need more than 5 points in 11 games from him.

The Ugly

Mikhael Grabovski

– After a strong start to the season as the Leafs’ second line Center, he has fallen into his usual funk of inconsistency. 3 of his points on the season came in the first 3 games of the season. In the 9 games since, he has contributed only 3 more points, all assists.

Tyler Bozak

– Bozak was stellar last season. He put up 21 points in 26 games between February and April. Bozak has been a fraction of that player this year. Ron Wilson has even benched his Line 1 Center for an entire 3rd Period in a game to send a message. Kessel’s pivot needs to have more than 5 points on the season.

Special Teams

– The Leafs have a rank 20th in the league on the Powerplay (20%) and 24th in the league on the Penalty Kill (78%). The Leafs can find a way to improve their special teams considering they rank 26th in the league in G/G (2.42).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: bozak, giguere, grabovski, gustavsson, kessel, macarthur, phaneuf, schenn, versteeg

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