Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.


Leafs' camp shorn by Maurice

Leafs' training camp will be streamlined this year, as new head coach Paul Maurice sharpens the focus and purpose of the pre-pre-season. "You don't want to have to slow down," says Maurice about the change which reflects his aim of reducing time expended on the 'learning curve' of younger players, which hopefully translates to time better spent. And speaking from experience of Maurice-run training, Jay Harrison notes, "the tempo will be hot about 30 seconds after we pick up our sticks."

Good. Hopefully some of the extra time created by paring down the number of camp attendees is devoted to the shoot-out, which very well could be the difference between making the top-eight and golf. And with fewer players come fewer choices for line combinations, which is a good thing, though I don't really know how Maurice will construct the line. Last year, the Leafs ignored the signals of change and were passed by other teams who reinforced the consequences of each tug and hook with extra PT before the first puck was dropped.

Leafs goaltenders are also making news today, as they skirt league rules regarding team sanctioned training by attending Steve McKichan's goalie camp. Not that I mind. McKichan, goaltending coach for the Leafs, is largely responsible for Raycroft becoming a Maple Leaf, and anticipates great things for young Razor after having extensively seen Raycroft in a Bruins sweater.
He has a huge upside. I think from what I've seen of him, he can still be 20 to 30 per cent better than what he was in his rookie year... He's seeing the puck very well. He's moving very well. He's doing a great job of following the puck and controlling rebounds. I think he's looking exceptional
Hearing that makes me feel a helluva lot better about the upcoming season.


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