Leivo Recalled and van Riemsdyk Broken

You know it’s a bad Monday morning when you wake up to learn about David Bowie passing away. Your Monday doesn’t get any better when you read this…

Yes, it’s been fun watching the Leafs play the role of the plucky underdog who manages to find more wins than anyone reasonably expected them to, but with JVR out until March, it’s time to shift our attention back to tanking.

If you are looking for any kind of silver lining in this situation it’s probably this…

Josh Leivo, who was recently named to the AHL All-Star team will be joining the Leafs and we’ll have an opportunity to assess whether his impressive year with the Marlies translates to NHL success. 

Leivo’s 30 points have come alongside William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen, so he’s certainly had some help getting to where he is, but being a complimentary player to creative offensive talent isn’t a bad niche. The downside for Leivo is that van Riemsdyk is the kind of player he generally feeds off of and that’s who he’s replacing. 

Right now I’d hypothesize that Joffrey Lupul or Brad Boyes will be looked at to fill the void on Tyler Bozak’s line with JVR out, and Leivo is likely to be start off with a fairly sheltered role and fourth line minutes.

The elephant in the room has to be that if William Nylander hadn’t been hurt in the World Juniors, this would have been his call up.

I guess we now have the answer to how things can get worse after losing 7-0.

  • Brooksterman

    Um Leivo has also been red hot with the Marlies the last 4 games without Nylander and Kapanen. Plus I don’t think Leivo will be successful in anything less than an offensive role on the Leafs as he’s not what I’d call an “energy” player which is what Babs uses his fourth line as especially with Froese on that line.

  • Gary Empey

    Bang on Jon as with the loss of 30 goal scorer and the trade dead line on leap year day, the leafs will indeed put the game plan into high gear.

    Btw I recall most of the media and a lot of fans suggesting that Nylander be kept in the minors for the whole season. But you couldn’t help but think that management and ownership would want to throw a bone or two to the fans as we are about to go through a painful second half as we delve off players for draft picks.

    It is all in the plan so I have no problem with the second half schedule as the leafs should be a lock for a top 4 pick in a very talented draft year as the recent world juniors indeed showed.

    • Gary Empey

      Lot a lot of people are saying the goal this year is to get the highest draft pick possible. Let’s think about that.

      You are are asking the players to spend their summer working out. Eating nutritionally. Show up a training camp in the best shape of their life. Bigger, stronger, faster. When the puck drops give a 100% two-way effort, from the start of the game to the very end. Between games don’t stay out all night drinking/taking drugs. Listen to your coach. You can see we went out and signed the best coach in hockey. It cost us a lot of money. If you follow his instructions, he is going to make each and every one of you a better hockey player….. Oh and by the way, we don’t really want you to win games. We want you to play to lose so we can get a high draft pick like last year.

  • Gary Empey

    How anyone today, could think that playing the game to lose has any beneficial effects on the team, is ignoring reality. There has been a numerous of articles written explaining why tanking has never helped any team win yet. The latest one I read, was recently in the Toronto Sun. The same five teams that have been tanking for a top five pick for the last ten years are once again at or near the bottom of the league this year.

    If the Leafs tank for the next ten years that will give us 10 above average players if none of the picks are a bust. Now we only have to find 13 more players somewhere and hope the ten years of tanking has had no effect on the players we drafted.