Toronto Maple Leafs 2013 season preview

555478_10150967857917466_1968983001_nWhen I look at the Toronto Maple Leafs roster, I not too impressed.  Sure you got the likes of  Phil Kessel , Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul, but that where it basically ends.  There are no big superstars like Sidney Crosby or Steve Stamkos.  In fact, their one top scorer, Mikhail Grabovski, is probably not well known outside the city of Toronto.  In this article, I  will point out the pluses and minuses about  this year’s Leaf squad.

Pluses

Phil Kessel – This guy is obviously the heart of the Leafs offense, finishing sixth in the NHL in total points last year with 82 (37 goals, 45 assists).

Dion Phaneuf – This guy has proven in the past that he can be a good offensive defenceman.  He scored 12 goals, tallied 32 assists in the 2011-12 season, totaling 44 points altogether.

Tim Connolly – He scored 13 goals and tallied 23 assists in 2011-12.  This guy does have the potential to be a good offensive player.   Hopefully he will have a breakout season.  If so, imagine how the Leafs will look on  the ice with both Connolly and Kessel racking up points.  If Phanuef plays the way I know  he can play, Toronto will be a force to be reckon with.

Nikolai Kulemin – Another under rated player  in the NHL who can score.  He finished the 2011-12 season with a +2.

Ryan Hamilton – If this kid gets called up from Toronto’s Minor League squad, the Marlies, (in which he’s the captain) he may help the Leafs offence.  I have watched quite a few Toronto Marlie games during the lockout.  This kid can really light it up with his goal scoring skills.

Nazem Kadri – Now that Brian Burke is no longer general manager, it will be interesting on whether this kid will get more playing time with the big club or whether he will be stuck in the Minors for the majority of the season.  Leafs fans in recent years blamed Burke for keeping Kadri in the Minors.  Even though he hadn`t played with the Leafs too often, he became a fan favorite almost from the time he was drafted.

Getting rid of Luke Schenn in the off season – I am glad to see this guy gone.  Last year I thought he was the worse defenseman on the squad.

Minuses

Goaltending –  Unlike the 2010-11 season, starting netminder, James Reimer had a sub-par season last year.

Dion Phanuef – He hasn’t been the player he was in Calgary yet.  Despite racking up 44 points last year, he finished the season with a -10 plus/minus rating.

Mikhail Grabovski – I just found out very recently on Twitter that he will be out for the year because he has to undergo season ending surgery.  This will certainly leave a gaping hole in the Leafs offence.

Phil Kessel – His plus/minus rating must get better this year.  He finished the 2011-12 season with a -10.

Tyler Bozak – He is not considered, in my opinion, a good face-off guy.  He tends to lose a lot of face-offs during a game.

Defense – I’m not sure if the Leafs have a good solid defence to help them win games.

Well, there you have it folks.  a breakdown of what I think of this year’s Leaf squad.  When I look at the pluses and minuses, I give this team a B-

Update: The Maple Leafs have placed Tim Connolly on waivers today.  The Leafs also traded Matthew Lombardi to Phoenix last night for a fourth round pick.

Comments

  1. sell4umore says

    Hot Twitter lead about Mikhail Grabovski… I am ashamed that I even read the article that far along… “Grabbo” is fine according to all other major sports news networks. what a horrifying waste of time this article has been.

    • ellen says

      My apologies for the mistake. The tweet I read a couple of days ago was from TSN. I checked out their website. Thankfully for Leaf fans, Grabovski is not on the injury list.

  2. Rudigher says

    First: Kessel did not finish second in points last year, he was sixth actually, but close.

    Second: Ow, my brain! The amount a spelling and grammatical errors in this article is mind-boggling. Sheridan College must be awful.

    Third: When writing an opinion article, you at no time need to write “in my opinion”, we know it’s your opinion.

    Fourth: B- grade? Lol.

    • ellen says

      Rudigher I ran the article through spell check and I hope I corrected all the errors. I used the phrase “In my opinion” because believe or not, some people would mistake some statements as fact. I wish i didn’t have to use the phrase. You are right about one thing, though. When I gave the team a B-, both Matthew Lombardi and Tim Connolly were still with the squad. Now that they are gone, I give this team a C-. They’ll be lucky to make the play-offs.

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