Few things can put a California road trip in perspective like power rankings. I mean, a win against Anaheim, a close loss to a very good Los Angeles team, and then a blowout by the Sharks. That’s as all over the place as three games can be. Luckily the takes you crave are coming at you now.
1. James Reimer (Last Week: 16)
By golly, it’s just so nice to have James Reimer back on the ice, I can’t imagine ranking him anywhere other than first. After seeing seven goals allowed against Bernier (even though he was hung out to dry pretty badly) I’d imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more of James this week as he begins his Maple Leafs farewell tour.
2. P.A. Parenteau (Last Week: 11)
After the announcement that JVR is out for up to 8 weeks, the fact that the Leafs have a very tradeable asset in the form of Parenteau is comforting. The fact that he picked up two goals against Anaheim is very good news and he’ll likely see his numbers improve even more now that van Riemsdyk is out of the picture.
3. Nazem Kadri (Last Week: 6)
A goal and an assist for Kadri this week, who has been continuing to make up for his slow start. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that expectations for him are about to go through the roof as he is far and away the best offensive talent left on the Leafs right now.
4. Morgan Rielly (Last Week: 3)
Shout out to Morgan Rielly who managed to not be on the ice for a goal against in San Jose. This is truly remarkable because he played over 23 minutes and there were seven goals. Morgan Rielly is very good. In fact he’s the best Leafs defensemen.
5. Jake Gardiner (Last Week: 5)
It’s slim pickings this week for defensemen, so to avoid a backlash of failing to call Gardiner anything less than brilliant, here he is. Gardiner’s here because the start of the road trip was some excellent hockey from Jake, and the Sharks game was a reminder that it would be fun to see him with a new partner.
6. Leo Komarov (Last Week: 2)
I guess now that Leo has been named an All-Star he’s decided it’s okay to slow it down a little. Komarov only picked up an assist this week, but seems poised to take over the team lead in points soon as he only trails van Riemsdyk. It’s funny that we’ve seen him go from the guy who we were pleasantly surprised to get offense from to the guy we desperately need to see offense from or we’re going to see the Leafs get shutout for the month of February.
7. Tyler Bozak (Last Week: 13)
Continuing on with the step it up in van Riemsdyk’s absence rankings, here’s the guy who is going to miss him the most. No Kessel and No van Riemsdyk make Bozak go slumpy. Hopefully not, and with Parenteau clicking with him and Boyes or Lupul both in need of an opportunity to prove themselves, hopefully Bozak can continue on pace for his first 50 point season.
8. James van Riemsdyk (Last Week: 4)
I probably have JVR a little low since up to this point the entire power rankings have been crying over his departure. That being said, getting injured wasn’t a cool thing to do.
9. Brad Boyes (Last Week: 15)
Brad Boyes gets points. Brad Boyes doesn’t get ice time.
10. Peter Holland (Last Week: 8)
Rounding out the list of forwards that I hope manage to put up points in the absence of van Riemsdyk, it’s Peter Holland. Holland has been an incredibly useful forward throughout the season and has been bouncing back and forth between being a top six winger and a bottom six center. It’s arguable that the biggest need right now is for him to step up as a winger, but an equal case can be made for the Leafs spreading out their “talent” as much as possible and hoping some matchups work in their favour.
11. Martin Marincin (Last Week: 19)
Martin Marincin sits for a game, and seven goals find their way into the net. Coincidence? I think not.
12. Jonathan Bernier (Last Week: 1)
We can sit here and debate how letting seven goals in during a game is often a sign that you’ve received substandard goaltending, but we can look past it and I can spare you gifs of 2-0s and shots that look like they were lifted from beginner mode of NHL 16, and we can focus on the fact that Bernier also shutout the Ducks this week.
13. Shawn Matthias (Last Week: 9)
Matthias is continuing to be an ideal bottom six forward for the Leafs to the point where it may make more sense to consider contract extension talks before blindly throwing him out on the trade market. While bottom six forwards may be a dime a dozen, Matthias is one of the better ones available as long as he’s still priced around a dime. If he’s looking for a raise, I guess you stick with Plan A.
14. Daniel Winnik (Last Week: 10)
Many of the same feels for Shawn Matthias apply to Daniel Winnik, and while it’s hard to either of their horns after the San Jose game, they certainly are important parts of what will keep the Leafs afloat for the next couple of months. Heading into next season it seems like there isn’t a need to have both Matthias and Winnik returning when players like Leipsic and Kapanen may be ready to make the jump, and with Winnik under contract, he’s more likely to be a Leaf next season than Matthias.
15. Mark Arcobello (Last Week: 12)
He’s still on the Leafs.
16. Michael Grabner (Last Week: 7)
It’s easy to forget about Michael Grabner when he doesn’t score. Last week Michael Grabner didn’t score.
17. Frank Corrado (Last Week: Not Ranked)
It was nice to see you last week. It’s a shame the Sharks scored seven goals in the game you dressed in because that probably means we don’t see you again until March. Keep fit.
18. Roman Polak (Last Week: 17)
The Luke Schenn trade should give hope to every Leafs fan that it’s possible to get a 3rd round pick and middling prospect for a bottom pairing stay at home defenseman. They were even able to dump salary. The next six weeks will be exciting as I can’t imagine why Roman Polak would still be here on March 1st.
19. Dion Phaneuf (Last Week: 14)
He’s the captain, I guess that counts for something.
20. Joffrey Lupul (Last Week: 20)
Somehow he’s still healthy.