There have been a number of discussions in the last few weeks regarding the line combinations and pairings the leafs will use in the upcoming season, so I figured I might as well toss my hat into the ring.
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The best option is to use a 60/40 split between Toskala and Raycroft, Toskala has never played the 65-70 games a #1, but is still a very good goalie. Raycroft was good at times last year but was over worked so I think reducing his workload will improve his play. The leafs are set in goal and I would be shocked (unless there is a trade) if those two aren't the goaltending tandem.
Despite many people thinking that leafs would have problems putting pucks in the net last year they were 8th GF, but they were 25th in GA. They have improved the forward group over last season in terms of offense. Here is what I believe the line combinations will be.
Gamache, Salmelainen, Belak on the outside looking in depending on how well they do in camp.
There hasnt been any changes to the unit that we saw last year and I dont expect any changes from what we saw last year.
Woznewski, Harrison, Kronwall,are all NHL ready D-men but however on a team that has a solid vetern d-corps and the best two young d-men already penciled in these three will have to have an outstanding camp to even get consideration.
I dont expect the leafs line up to change a whole lot from what we saw last year, the biggest change is in goal with the addition of Toskala, and upfront with Blake and Bell, however having lost O'neil the Blake addition will only net 10-15 more goals over the output from last year. The leafs will need to find away to imrpove on their defensive play as a team and the PK will definatley need to be imrpoved. The leafs failed to address either of these areas in the off season and these were the two areas that hindered them all year last year. I believe for the leafs to truly succeed they will need to improve both of these areas either before or during the season if they want to make the playoffs and make a serious run.
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