Foosball's Blog

After missing out on the Playoffs the last 2 years, and last year by a single point the Leafs begin the year with a clean slate and high expectations.

Keys to Success...

In the Net... 
Last years team just didn't have the depth in Goal to get over the hump. Sure Andrew "Red Light" Raycroft won tied a Leaf record for wins with 37 but it took him 72 games to do it. With Vesa Toskala now one of the Leafs "Tenants of the Twine Tent" in the fold, Toronto should have one of the best 1-2 punches in Goal.

On the Blue Line...
Bryan McCabe needs to step up and earn that big salary that he is being paid and return to his all-star form. Tomas Kaberle was their best player last year and needs to stay at that level. Pavel Kubina seems to be the forgotten man on the Power Play. He needs to earn those power play minutes or be traded for some help up front.

Stay Healthy...
Toronto lost 335 man games to injury last season and missed the playoffs by a single point. Darcy Tucker accounted for 24 of those last season with a foot injury, but still lead the team with 15 Power Play Goals. Kyle Wellwood missed 33 games and is starting this season on the IR. Nik Antropov missed 28 games last year and has never lived up to his 1st round pick status due to his yearly injuries. He's never played a full season yet the Leafs keep putting him up on the first line with Sundin. They need to get healthy and stay that way plain and simple. 

The Kids Need to Step Up...
The Leafs have 4 guys under 25 that have had High Expectations placed on them since they joined the Leafs. Matt Stajan, Alex Steen, Wellwood, and Carlo Colaiacovo. Wellwood and Colaiacovo haven't been able to avoid injuries and are starting out the season on the IR. Steen and Stajan are the ones that need to step it up and become solid 1st or 2nd line guys. They have the speed and Skill but they need to live up to their potential.
On the Power Play...
The Leafs were ranked 15th on the power play last season (down from 3rd in 2005-06). With 40 goal man Jason Blake in the fold now on the top line with Sundin and McCabe and Kaberle quarterbacking the 1st Power Play unit the Leafs should be in the top 5 this year with the man advantage.

On the Penalty Kill...
The Leafs were also ranked 27th on the penalty kill. Allot of that was due to the inconsistent play of "Red Light" Raycroft (my own personal whipping boy as you can probably tell) but the defence has got to step up their play as well and help out whoever is in goal.

However, all eyes will be on the captain this year, Mats Sundin signed a one year contract this past summer, and a no trade clause lets him control his destiny this season. Sundin has said he has no urgency to go anywhere else. But he will be 37 this February, and the window for him to win a Cup with the Leafs is very small. If they can't make a good run at the playoffs this year, no one could blame him if he wanted to go to a contender come the trade deadline or next year as a Free Agent.

It's been 40 years since the Leafs won the Stanley Cup. Enough Said! Let the puck drop on a great season!


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