|You have to ask the question.|
Adding to the recent misery of the Leaf fan, the Toronto MSM are in full trolling mode. Damien Cox, a long time Leaf hater, wrote a piece about how it would be in the Leafs best interest to trade their first player to hit 70 points since Mats Sundin. I’m not exactly sure how trading a 24 year old, 30+ goal scorer who is on his way to his first point-per-game season is such a great idea. Adding onto this idiocy, Gord Stellick, who was a General Manager for the Leafs at one point, had this to say about Kessel’s trade value:
I think you can look at Paul Gaustad at the trade deadline going for a first- rounder, a late first-rounder, and go from there
Anyone who compares Paul "20 points in 62 games" Gaustad’s trade value to Phil Kessel’s trade value probably shouldn’t be asked about their opinions on hockey, let alone be given the keys to any franchise not named "The Ottawa Senators".
Surprisingly, my opinion on the state of the Leafs differs slightly from most of the morons that write for the MSM. It’s true, the Maple Leafs chances of making the post-season for the first time in forever are next to zero but all is not lost.
Follow me over the jump for some perspective
When we look back on the past season while other teams are enjoying playoff games, it’s going to be hard to remember anything but the dismal February that cost us summer hockey. Something that we are going to have to remember is that a team is never as good as their winning streaks and never as bad as their losing streaks. Just look at the Boston Bruins recent struggles. In recent weeks they’ve been looking like a team looking forward to a lottery pick rather than a team that’s looking to win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back years.
The Leafs are still the second youngest team in the league (depending on which roster they ice) and were bound to go through a big losing streak or two over the course of the season. No one could have fathomed them going 2-13-2 while sitting pretty with a playoff spot, but something like this was bound to happen. This was the first time, for many of these young guys, that they were in a playoff spot late in a season, and they cracked under the pressure. It took a lot of bad luck to get them where they are now (along with some horrible play) but as Burke and Kessel have said, they have never been a part of anything like this before so the chances of it happening to the same team two years in a row are small…right?
Leafs goaltenders’ save percentage is at a combined .920 in the seven games under Carlyle. It was only .903 on the season prior to tonight.
James Mirtle informed us Friday morning that the Leafs goaltending has been very good since Carlyle has joined the team. This is most likely due to the team concentrating on playing some defense, some luck and James Reimer’s great game on Thursday night. Small sample sizes aside, it would be pretty hard not to notice the improvement the Leafs have made in the defensive zone under new coach Carlyle this month, which is causing some optimism for next year – at least from this side of the computer.