Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Revival

So I've decided to resurrect the old blog. Why? Because I have enough time to write, occasionally, and because I am being encouraged to write by my family. I'm going to start off slow, and not totally Leaf-centric.

Speaking of the Boys in Blue, terrific game in Tampa Tuesday night. I'm happy for Gustavsson, because I see him as a truly capable keeper who is subject to a lot of hate. Yes, his detractors will always shove his GAA and SV% in your face, but as I've pointed out,  he has never been able to get a consistent situation in which to learn and demonstrate consistency. Ablations, the rise of Reimer, Scrivens' skill all have victimized the career trajectory of this young keeper. I'm not about to proclaim Gus as starter material at this point, or perhaps ever, but I do believe Scrivens is best served starting for the Marlies, Reimer will be back and will regain his form, and Gustavsson will be given the opportunity to take ~25 starts this year and develop into a confident and consistent keeper. Any effort to bring in a veteran backup now will sap any semblance of confidence accrued to this point, and I don't foresee Burke doing that to the Goose just yet. I will admit that Jonas has a scant few opportunities left to fail and remain in the fold.

As predicted, injuries to the squad have created opportunities for the young prospects to shine, and shine they have. Matt Frattin has finally found the scoresheet, and looks every bit NHL ready. Jumbo Joe Colborne potted his first in big Blue, and has offered a tantalizing look at the future. I think if you throw Kadri on that line you have successfully concocted an explosive compound. I worry about keeping Kadri on the farm much longer. I sense that he is feeling as though he is being sent out to pasture. If the brass has no confidence in him, please move him along. A far better fate than he has earned thus far.

Lombardi seemingly needing surgery will offer the Leafs a bit of a reprieve from their musical chairs routine at C.  Too many players, not enough slots. Likewise with Komisarek's injury. There have been a lot of rumblings about a trade, perhaps Franson moving, perhaps Gunnarsson. Gardiner's rise certainly has left Franson as overstock, but I'm not certain that he'll be the one to move. The recent signing of Percy and having Aulie and Holzer on the farm indicate, to me at least, that perhaps more of a defensive defenceman is a trade piece. Phaneuf isn't going anywhere, I don't believe Komisarek is movable at this moment, and Lord help us if Gunnarsson is moved. That leaves Schenn. Now, before you call your hitman, hear me out. Schenn is a 22yr old 4 year vet, a punishing hitter, and an extremely valuable commodity. He has also struggled with his game this year, and though he is improving, he is also somewhat slow. To me, he just seems to be the most valuable trading piece on the back end, and his value to the team is at an all-time low. If this isn't the epitome of cashing in on value, I don't know what is. I'm not suggesting they should move him, and I'd miss him if they did, but he'd bring back something I'm sure we'd all love.

Lastly, Phil Kessel is an absolute BEAST this year. Good on ya Philthy Phil!

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