I’m back with another installment of ‘This and That,’ commenting on the Toronto Maple Leafs from a fans point of view. If you want to listen to more of my hockey related nonsense, tune into riotradio.ca at 3pm on Thursdays for the Untitled Hockey Show, or follow me on Twitter @nkonarowski2.
- The Team Bernier vs. Team Reimer silliness on Twitter and other social media sites needs to stop. I complained about it last year, but it needs to be said again. If you happen to be a fan of the team, don’t openly cheer for one goalie to fail and the other to succeed. Hope that they both shine between the pipes and give the Leafs a chance to win every game. For instance, I preferred at the beginning of the season that Jonathan Bernier be given the reins as the #1 guy, starting approximately 55-60 games. So far though, he hasn’t played up to the standard he set last year, and James Reimer has been as good, if not better, than Bernier on many occasions. If Reimer gives them the best chance to win, that’s great, and I’m not going to cry about the fact that Bernier won’t be garnering the majority of the starts.
- It took me awhile to realize that Joffrey Lupul has been off the ice for a little over a week now. Then again, with the way he was playing before he got hurt, I hardly noticed him when he was actually on the ice. I would like to see Lupul and his overpriced contract moved sometime this season, with Josh Leivo taking a full-time spot on the big club, but I know that’s just wishful thinking.
- Speaking of Leivo, major thumbs up to the ‘AHL Line’ of Leivo, Sam Carrick, and Trevor Smith in Sunday’s game against Ottawa. Though they did not have much ice time, they were effective whenever they were on the ice, creating scoring chances with a solid cycle and hard work in one-on-one battles against the boards, especially Smith on what would be Leivo’s tying goal.
- In between sentences, Jake Gardiner turned over the puck…
- Risky move by coach Randy Carlyle by having the fourth line on the ice in the final two minutes against Colorado on Thursday. Had they not scored the tying goal, Carlyle likely would have been grilled for having Richard Panik and co. out there.
- I said it in my last blog, but a big thumbs up has to go to both Leo Komarov and Mike Santorelli once again. I recall reading a blog last year where a fellow Leafs fan said something along the lines that bringing back Komarov would push the Leafs into the playoff picture. While Komarov may not be the only player responsible for a potentially playoff worthy team, he has certainly done his part, playing well at both ends of the ice, with Santorelli quickly because a pest for other teams to deal with as well.
- A friend of mine asked me what the chances were that the Leafs would nab a number one centre before the season is through. Looking at who could potentially be available, I would say it’s doubtful. I don’t see the Leafs picking up Staal, and after that, there aren’t really a large selection of #1 centres in play. If the Blue Jackets continue to struggle and think they won’t be able to turn the season around, do they possibly move Artem Anisimov? They have plenty to work with down the middle, but are thin on the wings. Even if the Leafs were to work out a deal with Anisimov, would he even be considered a number one type of guy?
- Keeping up the Staal talk, what are the chances he’s the first one moved out of Carolina? It’s only a matter of time before GM Ron Francis begins to sell of pieces of this club. While I think Staal could be moved, he won’t be the first to go. Look for either Andrej Sekera or Jiri Tlusty to be moved first.
- Finally, how awesome is Olli Jokinen’s mullet? It’s like Al Iafrate’s awesome mullet of the past, but with more hair on top. You have a greasy masterpiece Olli, keep that work of art in fine form.
I’ll post another piece soon with more Leafs jibber-jabber. I hope everyone has their poppies on today and tomorrow and take a moment to give thanks tomorrow to those who fought for our freedom.
Photo credits to: zimbio.com and hfboards.com