Maple Leafs New Years Report

I have been slowly stewing in my own juices for the better part of 3 weeks while watching the Leafs effectively eliminate themselves from the postseason. I am back now and will attempt to make sense of my emotions connected to my insane attraction to the Maple Leafs train wreck. With the Leafs having gone 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, they have firmly entrenched themselves in 14th place in the Eastern Conference. The fact that the Leafs cannot put together a good 10 game stretch also lets me know that the playoffs are a moot point. What if they made the playoffs? You need to win 4 of every 7 games. Am I left to hope that there is another 8th-seed-makes-it-to-the-finals scenario like the Oilers?

The injuries to be felt the most over the next while are the Primeau and Mitchell injuries. Primeau's because the third line has been stopping the bleeding somewhat defensively and the Mitchell one because he will be coming back Tuesday. I can't wait to watch John Mitchell circle the offensive zone twice before turning the puck over. It's like it was just yesterday that Mitchell was being overhyped by Don Cherry(he will again, too, probably saying that Mitchell has been sorely missed). Grabovski will definitely learn from the press box while he is off. His 1 shift on the 4th line probably didn't teach him anything on Saturday night. Grabbo has been probably leaned on a little hard with our lack of depth at center, the break will do him wonders.

I have been watching the WJC these last few days and watching our prospects on the big stage. I have to tell you that I am happy Kadri has been kept in Junior for this year( I vote for next year, too). A bit surprise for me(because I had never heard of him) is Jerry D'Amigo. He is dangerous in the slot, but looks as though he has tho have a setup man to succeed. I know that Burke likes him from all the reaction shots TSN had of him. I also noticed that all the Brayden Schenn love from this past draft may have been a little displaced. He shows flashes of competency, followed by atrocious turn-overs and blatant give-aways. He's at least 2 years from the NHL with L.A. Especially with all the young guns ahead of him on the depth chart. I'm not upset the Leafs "missed out" on him in the draft for sure. I have a feeling that won't be a popular opinion amongst Leaf fans, but my cup is definitely half empty this season.

I think we still have a few more seasons of sub-mediocre play. I say this as the relief from the bottom doesn't seem to be there. Management is holding off on kids coming up from the minors. Stalberg is on the 4th line for "energy". They must not feel that Bozak is ready, even with the season going as badly as it is. Beyond that, are there any young hopefuls that I should add to my please-someone-help-this-franchise list? I need someone to fill my cup......please make it runneth over!

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