Raking Leafs

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

8/10/2007

Roster Rundown

I avoid supporting anything Eklund as much as possible, but since I don't get to hear Berger on the radio, his blog posts will have to suffice. He has a series of posts examining the state of the team, but his real contribution is his player by player post. There are a few things I'd tweak, but overall it is a fair assessment of the team.

Here are a few highlights: Kaberle might be the best Leafs' draft choice ever...McCabe is not a particularly good decision maker in his own zone...Tucker had been just about the most prolific forward in the NHL on the powerplay -- in his "office" to the left of the net...For all the guffaws about Alexei Yashin, the Russian centerman "made" Blake last season, setting up something like 31 of his 40 markers...Poni [is] a solid, unspectacular forward, capable of netting 25 goals in a healthy season...Wellwood has all kinds of creativity, and probably the most raw talent of any player on the Leafs right now (Berger also notes his physical limitations. Wellwood is just getting back to training after his long hernia rehab. I had hoped he would return for this season with some added muscle mass to help him defend his own ice, but I'm guessing I'll have to wait another year to see that type of physical change)...Stajan [is] young and just talented enough that there might be a hidden level that has not yet emerged...Berger treats Steen harshly, and rightly so to some extent. But his analysis seems to forget that in-the-corners-hit-the-checker-first trait. Personally, I love that box-out move, and it is anything but shying away from contact...Antropov seemed to flourish under Maurice, who talked him up from the moment he was named coach and showed great confidence in him...Berger also misses the mark on Battaglia. The Leafs need pluggers, and Bates' experience makes his plugging well above average...Pohl, talent is his only shortcoming (I assume he means physical talents)...Kilger forechecks as well as any skater on the Leafs, kills penalties effectively, and earns every goal and point he puts up...White [is] the blueliner I would peddle to save a bit of cap space, because he's marketable and would likely allow Ferguson to retrieve one of the first-round draft picks he gave up...Kubina, judging this fellow based on his $5-million stipend you'll never appreciate what he brings to the table. Gill [is] a smart defenceman and has learned to cope in the quicker NHL...Devereaux brought more than enough ooomph to the Leafs in a limited role last season...Carlo [is] the Leafs' most technically-sound open-ice hitter (not too mention the second best puck-moving defender on the team)...Belak has severe limitations in all areas of the ice, but he can play forward and defence in a pinch...Bell [is] a wild-card.


Along very similar lines, Leafstown has posted profiles of Raycroft, Belak, White, Carlo and Steen. Keep an eye out for Sundin, Stajan, and Kaberle profiles in the near future.

UPDATE - Check out the new-to-me http://www.torontomapleleafs.info/, an aggregator of everything bloggy about TML. Please bear with me if I haven't linked to your site. There is a long-needed blogroll update to be completed before the season starts.

Labels: ,

4 Comments:

  • At 11:07 AM, Blogger PPP said…

    Berger is like that friend that you have that knows a lot about the Leafs but then will drop a comment or two that makes you wonder if he's ever actually watched the team.

    Besides the fact that Steen was playing with Peca and Kilger until Christmas (lots of potential for his offensive abilities to flourish with that pairing) he completely ignores the move you mention which landed more than one surprised defender on his ass.

     
  • At 2:24 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    I have to admit, I'm glad I don't get to hear this guy on the radio. I think he'd piss me off in large doses.

     
  • At 2:48 PM, Anonymous torontomapleleafs.info said…

    Hey thanks for the mention of torontomapleleafs.info. I'm also writing a blog there (newly named "BeLeaf").

    I'm working on a page to properly promote each of the Leafs blogs out there as well, there are so many. Hopefully most of the good ones from last year will keep writing.

     
  • At 12:21 AM, Anonymous David Johnson said…

    Howard is like most others in the Leaf media. He seems to believe that every other team is cranking out young first liners every year and the Leafs can do no better than develop 3rd line players. It isn't a stetch to think that Wellwood could be the equivalent of Andy McDonald, last years Stanley Cup Champion #1 center. Small but skilled capable of 25-30 goals, 80 points. At age 23 Matt Stajan had 39 points which is right on par with Anaheim's Corey Perry who had 44 points at age 22. The fact is, top tier players are rare and they even the best organizations only develop a couple a decade. Dustin Penner had 45 points, the same number that Ponikarovsky got in 11 fewer games. And yet the Ducks get oodles of credit for developing young talent and the Leafs get ridiculed for developing nothing more than "third or forth-liners". In fact, the only players of significance that Anaheim drafted was Getzlaf (6th in team points) and Perry (8th).

     

Post a Comment

<< Home