The Outsiders: Marlies Forwards

Gus Katsaros
October 18 2012 09:18AM

As it stands, unless there is a significant change in personnel, it's not likely any candidate suddenly make the Leafs and steal a roster spot. That's not what this is about. This isn't about a player like Keith Aucoin who even Brian Burke mentioned during the broadcast he would see some time with the Leafs.

Perhaps these players peak in the American Hockey League, but with a little work and some refinement, these are the good replacement level forwards, with an outside chance to make the jump from Ricoh Coliseum to the Air Canada Centre.

Carter Ashton

Ended the season with a 15 game NHL debut, scoreless yet enthusiastic debut. He scored 20 goals at the time of the late season recall, scoring 11 in the first 13 games, and then 9 in the remaining 46. Injured in first round of the Calder Cup playoffs versus Rochester, he returned to face his old team Norfolk in the the Calder Cup Finals, scoring the Marlies series opening goal and adding another assist during 4-game sweep.

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Player notes from the Marlies loss to Lake Erie

Gus Katsaros
October 16 2012 09:01AM

An opening season win, on the strength of sizzling power play, firing three goals turned ice cold and blanked in a dozen opportunities.

The power play was a point of contention last season. With a static umbrella formation with little movement and net presence, the Marlies power play became easy to defend against, and ended up scoring 10 goals on 84 opportunities in the playoffs (11.9%), including a 2-for-26 run in the Calder Cup Finals.

A difference in the structure had two point men and a lot of the puck movement down low. When either point men Jake Gardiner or Mike Kostka jumped in down low, they had coverage and support. 

Sunday's showing against the Lake Erie Monsters showed the tendency of players trying to force the play when there are few options, and how it evolved as the game wore on and urgency became a factor. This was evident most in the Marlies star blueliner and forwards, Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri.

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Burke's Transactions 2.0

Gus Katsaros
October 11 2012 08:33AM

Continuing from the previous post where we looked at the Maple Leafs draft picks and some of the trades involved to acquire them.
Wading through these below listings leaves one underwhelmed, aside from a few notable transactions. There's a blessing and curse in the types of transactions he didn't make. Brad Richards, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Ilya Kovalchuk, and perhaps a trade for Roberto Luongo all could have been in a Leafs uniform to start the imaginary 2012-13 season. The only remote possibility now remians Luongo and that is on hold for the same reasons 2012-13 is as imaginary as the Great Gazoo.

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Leafs Draft Pick Transactions

Gus Katsaros
October 09 2012 07:55AM

From the 2009 draft through 2012, the Leafs made 14 of 29 selections in NHL Entry Drafts that were their own. That means, 15 picks were acquired, whether it was for a player, or just as a strategy to move up in the draft order.

I’ve been going over transactions over the Brian Burke regime. There’s too much for just one post, so I’ll break it up in two with an introduction here and get more in depth later this week.

This post will focus on the Maple Leafs draft pick transactions since November 29, 2008, the date Burke took over the team.

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Nik Kulemin: A Tale of Two Styles

Gus Katsaros
October 04 2012 09:26AM

The well documented scoring decline of Nik Kulemin has been picked through with a fine-toothed comb both offensively and defensively.

The numbers paint an interesting story.

This isn’t meant to analyze the actual scoring decline. Instead the contrast in the 26-year-old’s approach to the game and type of skills and work ethic opposes each other to the detriment of one thing:

Goal scoring.

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