I know there has been a million blogs about the maple leafs' next season, but heres another one. The leafs made some moves this offseason, both good and bad. Many people say that next season's team is probably going to finish around 7th or 8th spot in the conference, but they don't know that last season's squad was actually around 4th before injuries caused them to sink down. <br /> Last year, we had problems like, Goal tending, weak defense lack of scoring when goals were needed.
The only major goal scorer we lost was O'neil. His 20 goals are replaced by a 40 goal scorer Blake. Also, offense is not our problem with Steen, Wellwood, and Stajan all looking at their true breakout years. Wellwood was on pace for 25 goals, 70 points before he got injured, Steen will truly step up and rack up maybe about 65-75 points. Stajan is looking at about 50 points if he can step it up.
Other than the young guns, other players will step up and provide some offensive numbers. This is assuming that all players play 82 games, however that is unlikely
Sundin- 32 goals- 85 points.
If Sundin decides that this is his last year as a hockey player, he will play at his very best.
<b>Tucker- 35 goals- 65 points</b>
Tucker was on pace of scoring almost 35 goals last season before he got injured
<b>Mccabe- 17 goals- 68 points</b>
I said it before, and i'll say it again, he's paid too much for only 17 goals
<b>Kaberle- 12 goals-70 points</b>
Assuming bumholes like Janssen doesn't cheapshot him this season, he should have a routine season
<b>Blake- 35 goals 65 points</b>
Don't expect to pull off another 40 goals, although that would be nice...
<b>Bell- 15 goals, 30 points</b>
Thats me being generous... his troubles off the ice might cause a disturbance in his performance.
<b>Battaglia- 16 goals, 32 points</b>
Not exactly a veteran player
<b>Ponikarovsky- 18 goals, 40 points</b>
I think he had a career high in goals last season...he probably won't have a repeat performance because Blake will be taking his spot.
<b>Antropov- 23 goals- 46 points</b>
This guy only played 54 games last season and scored 18 goals. Although he might not play on Sundin's line, he can probably still score over 20 if he stays healthy.
<b>Colaiacovo- 18 goals, 35 points</b>
Assuming he stays healthy, he should develop into a solid offensive Dman
You may notice I haven't put Kubina, or Gill, or White, because they are relied on more for the defensive aspect. Speaking of which was sometimes troublesome for the leafs. I think we were in the top 8 in the conference for scoring, but we allowed many goals also. Goaltending (which i will talk about later) was somewhat the problem here, but our defense for next year stays the same. This might be our only weakness next season.
On draft day, John Ferguson went out and brought in Toskala. His numbers are great, he has some NHL experience. The Toskala/Raycroft combination is going to be one best in the league. Raycroft won the rookie of the year, the season after that was troubling for young Raycroft, the Boston team suffered from the post lockout effect. After having a difficult year, he was moved to Toronto, was over burdened with 72 games because Aubin talked some smack during a game. Wasn't his fault. Toskala should start about 55 games. We can count on him to bring us about 30-34 wins. A rested Raycroft means an amazing goalie, and should bring us about 18 out of 27 games. 18+30=48x2=96 points
That will probably land us around 5th. Not too shabby.
Now finally, there are the many rumors circling the leafs. Eklund mentioned that the leafs are in talks with colorado to trade Svatos, or Hejduk. I say go for it. It completes the equation that worked for the leafs in the past.
Sundin+ wingers that can score= sucess!
Anyways please feel free to discuss with this with me, my email is [email][email protected]
Also keep in mind that everything in this article is pretty much my own opinion, so try not to bash me too hard