Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why the Maple Leafs will make the playoffs

The NHL training camps are just around the corner and Leafs Nation is wondering if this will finally be the season in which the club and its fans get to do more in April then whine and pack their bags, something the club has not done since the pre-lockout days. Brian Burke has continued to retool the team into a club that will play hard every night and coach Ron Wilson will need to continue to get this club to buy into his system, if the club is to make some sort of run towards the playoffs. The real winners when this happens will be the fans, how many playoffs do we have to sit and listen to how great our friends teams are and how our team has all the golf courses in the country booked, I for one am sick of it and this is why I feel the Leafs will make the playoffs this season.

Goaltending- The club goes into the season with a former Stanley Cup winner in J.S. Giguere and sophomore Jonas Gustavsson, this should be the clubs best tandem since the Curtis Joseph and Glenn Healy days.

Defense- Can anyone deny that this club at least on paper has one of the best starting six in all of hockey. The current look of Phaneuf, Kaberle, Beauchemin, Komisarek, Gunnarsson and Schenn will be a force to be wrecking, with a cap hit of just under $23 million they need to be.

Phil Kessel- The speedy sniper popped 30 goals while missing the first month of the season and playing towards the end partially injured, there is no reason with the amount of shots he takes and with Wilson increasing his ice time that the kid can not score 40.

Sandpaper- The team will be in your face all game with the likes of Phaneuf, Komisarek, Schenn, Orr, Armstrong and Brown. The might want to reinforce the boards at the ACC.

Nikolai Kulemin- Kulemin will continue to grow and should crack the 20 goal mark this season, is their any Leafs forward that can dominate the boards the way Kulemin can, I think not.

History- The final reason may be just a superstitious but club has only missed the playoffs once when the playoff year ends with 1 at the end, this goes all the way back to 1931.

Well Leafs Nation their you have it the reasons I feel our beloved blue and white will make the post season this season, is their any other reasons that makes you think why they can?

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  1. first off, you seriously need to work on which "there" is the right "there".
    Second, If Kulemin is a reason we're going to make the playoffs... we're not going to make the playoffs.
    Even with Kessel scoring 40, we need more than that on offense. I agree about our defensive strength but for now the Leafs do not have a roster close to one that will compete for the playoffs. Trades need to happen.

  2. Playoff year ends with '11? What else is there between 1911 and 2011?

  3. I think he meant 1!

  4. That is correct I did mean 1, I have corrected that.

  5. How about this, after the first 20 games of last season when everything just fell apart. This team was a .500 team. They weren't that bad. They started terrible, but they weren't that bad after that. Now, with Phaneuf, a better Schenn, a better Komi and way better goaltending. Not to mention some upgrades upfront, this team's going to be a lot better than the 25th overall TSN has them at. The whole attitude has changed,the guys want to be there and are willing to stay and put in hard hours. it our year.

  6. Burke has added a number of proven and some potential 15-20 goal scorers to our roster(if they make the cut).

    Nobody is planning on having Kessel and Kuli be the only offense on the team, they're just meant to be the top line guys that get the team going.

    I've heard a lot of bitching and whining from people about how we only got mediocre players this offseason and they won't help us as we need a #1 center or winger to up Kessel/Kuli/Bozak's production.

    Apparently many Leafs fans have never heard of depth and would prefer to have 1 line that can score 100-120 goals a season than have 3 or 4 lines that can each net 30-50 or more(obviously a lot more for the 1st line).

    And a team that has 3 or 4 lines that can produce points is also far more challenging to play against, with or without a good defensive core.

    Depth teams are what Burke wants and what he is building here, and I for one have a very positive feeling about this season.

    For one thing our goaltending will be a lot better from the get-go this season so hopefully we shouldn't need to score as much to win. Not to mention having a goalie you can trust to actually make the big saves when needed and who won't allow easy goals takes a lot of the pressure off the rest of the team.

    Last season with Toskala in net practically every time the puck entered their zone the Leafs were in a panic to block shots and get in the way, which actually turned a lot of easy saves into goals from deflections or screens from Toskala's own players.

    In my view they should be able to at least match the performance from the second half of last season, and even if that's all they manage it should be enough to squeak into the playoffs.

    But I'm going to be optimistic and say they'll make it with some room to spare, maybe 5-7th.

    I don't think they have the collective experience to be able to go very far in the playoffs this season, but I do believe they will make into the playoffs.

    But regardless of the finish to the season I feel 100% confident that it's going to be an entertaining season for Leafs fans. The Defense alone pretty much guarantees that.