. What an amazing team the Sharks are. Setoguchi is playing some great hockey, and I still can't believe the Bruins traded Thornton for what they did. I did have a feeling Patty Marleau would have a good night. A real winner they have in San Jose. I'm sure they went the extra mile to beat their former coach's first return to the silicon valley, but wow...we finally got to see what the currently-ranked, best team in the league is all about. Ron Wilson looked thoroughly embarrassed in the post-game.
Thornton celebrated FOUR points last night....All
in the first frame..
Although a bright spot in last night's game was Nik Kulemin. He is really coming together, and pulled off a few dandy moves against the Sharks. I think it's been really hard for him to get his confidence up, but he has a wealth of talent. Schenn played pretty well too.
Kaberle is making a few mistakes out there(his numbers are fine though), but I hope it doesn't hurt his trade value. Grabovski with a couple of assists, puts him 3rd in rookie points and 1st rookie goals.
But we did play a good game against the Kings the other night. They pulled back from being down 1-0 to score three consecutive goals for the win. Stajan continues to register points regularly. Mitchell had a nice set up, and Finger with a very nice(and clean!) hit.
Did everyone else see how talented Doughty is? I was blown away by the way he played, I hadn't got a chance to see him with the Kings yet this season, but wow...I can't even begin to imagine what kind of a player he will be in a few years time. I really liked how they used him on the number one power play unit, and I am convinced that's how we should be using Schenn. His offensive skills are underrated and, this would help bring out some of the raw talent that he has. He has a great shot, and needs to be given opportunities to one-time that in. Playing with Kaberle on the #1 PP would give him PLENTY
That's two wins and a loss since Burke took over.
In my last blog I spoke of how I didn't know what to expect from Brian Burke. What I have heard so far, I really like.
Burke and our Maple Leafs appear to be headed in a similar direction as the on we were going in when Fletcher was GM. One thing I was concerned about was whether a General Manager change would result in a change of direction. If that direction meant stockpiling in draft picks...then I wouldn't mind it, but if that change meant pushing for the play-offs...it would be, to say as simply as possible: disappointing.
Although I believe that we should not promote a "losing environment" and make it seem alright to lose, I also think we, as a club that's supposed to be rebuilding, should stay away from short-term "impact" free-agents. Whoever they may be. This includes our former captain.
I was so relieved to hear Brian Burke comments over the past few days in regards to Sundin. He clearly does not have a plan for the Maple Leafs that includes Mats Sundin. He's said that he won't be meeting with Sundin, when they end up in California, when asked if he would take Sundin in if he wanted to return, he responded with an, "it depends."
I like that.
Fletcher had personal ties to Sundin, so was welcoming him back with open arms, Burke on the other hand, is making it quite obvious that Sundin will not be returning. He is saying that he doesn't think Sundin will return. He is saying that we don't fit his profile. I think he's handling the Sundin situation very well, and I think if Sundin really did want to return, why would he take chances with a new manager coming in?
If he really did want to finish his career a Toronto Maple Leaf, then he would be one by now, because he KNEW
Fletcher would sign him in a heartbeat.
On rebuilding, and drafting, which I spoke about last time around, he said, "I do believe you're team should be trying to move up rapidly or move down rapidly, a team that just tries to do 'ok' never wins."
This, again, is a comment I like. Mediocrity will get us nowhere, and we have these three past seasons to prove it.
On another positive note, how great has Matt Stajan been thus far?! He is developing into quite the player, and I am not convinced, as some others are, that he will traded before deadline. He is leading the team in points, 21 in 23, on pace for 24 goals and 73 points. Tied with the likes of Kovalchuk and Alfredsson, ahead of players like LeCavalier and Brad Boyes. He is supposed to be a great leader on and off the ice, and he's a hometown kid. I've even heard Leafs-bashers say that Poni and Antropov are only scoring well because they have Stajan centring them...I guess that's a compliment. =)
And what about Ian White?! The guy who many were willing to 'let go' because he serves no purpose. He has turned into quite the versatile player. He maybe small, but he doesn't play the way his 5'10 frame would suggest he would, and he can unleash a blast of a shot. He is also another player that Burke may end up keeping. Players like him are very valuable to any team.
After this one we head over to Arizona, to play on Thursday against the Yotes.
Thanks for your time... =)