It doesn’t take a genius to be of the opinion that Roman Polak is an extremely weak part of the Leafs’ defensive core. Through the first eleven games of the season, Polak has the worst relative possession numbers on all defencemen, bleeds scoring chances against with nothing being sent back the other way, and has the worst offensive numbers out of anybody making substantial money (only Martin Marincin and Matt Hunwick have a lower even strength points per 60).
Maybe it’s a bad start, or maybe he’s just not a great defenceman; gritty and tenacious, but part of the old school style of play that the league is moving away from. You know what is great, though? This picture above. It is the best, and by the best, I mean it can be turned into the best using our friend Adobe Photoshop. As such, here are eight occupations I could totally see Roman Polak thinking about while he’s on the ice.
Reasoning: Polak started off his career on some dreadful St. Louis Blues rosters, as the team inched its way through a rebuild. As the team grew, though, they grew away from him, and once they hit their stride as one of the NHL’s (regular season) elite, Polak was promptly placed in Blue and White. Polak goes where the havoc is.
Reasoning: Honestly, it’s the only thing that explains how lacking his foot speed is at times. The old trope is that a player has cement bricks on their skates, but maybe he’s just imagining that the ice has melted?
Reasoning: Polak had a thirty-eight second conversation with Munenori Kawasaki at the start of the season and is now convinced that playing baseball will reveal to him the true meaning of life. Or, as a worst case scenario, he plans on using the Blue Jays bandwagon to become kinda-sorta-liked in Toronto.
Reasoning: After playing in front of half-empty rinks in St. Louis and the suits in Toronto, Polak just wants to hear a crowd make noise and get excited for the first time in his adult life.
Reasoning: Have you looked at the NHL standings lately?
Reasoning: This would explain why many of Polak’s gaffes look like he expected to have nine teammates to back him up if his plan backfired.
Reasoning: Roman has listened to all of the interviews given by Leafs management about how they plan on rebuilding through youth, and wants to be a part of it. Rather than trying to become the ideal veteran leader, however, he believes his easiest route will be to convince them that he is a rookie once more.
Reasoning: It’s not the most glamorous sport in the world, but this is probably his only shot at representing a Czech National Team for a while.
Create Your Own
Think you can do better than the above? Well, you’re probably right. But we want to see it! Above is a fancy blank cutout; try to top us! Fire up your image editors and tweet your results to @tlndc with the hashtag #PolakDaydreams.