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"Go Leafs Go"
Mississauga, ON • Canada • 29 Years Old • Male
Now I realize a full blown taking apart of the team is never going to happen to the Toronto Maple Leafs but after a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night, a night when the key contributors were Alex Steen 3pts, Jiri Tlusty 2goals, and Nik Antropov 2pts the question has to be asked why not give these guys a bigger role on a nightly basis?

As much as we in Toronto love Mats Sundin the end is nearing....very quickly. He is off to his best start in his career, but how long will it last. It seems Mats gets off to a decent start every year before he either gets hurt or disappears come playoff push time. Darcy Tucker is hurt maybe for a significant stretch of the season depending on who you listen to and well the Leaf defense speaks for itself!

I know it's only been one game but Tlusty didn't look out of place at all Thursday night scoring two goals in his first NHL game. I will admit that the first one was luck as it tipped off his backside, but how many 500 goal scorers can say all of there goals were of pure skill with no luck required....my guess is zero. Why not put him out there and give him 15 to 20 minutes a game and let him prove himself? Nik Antropov is finally showing why he was a first round pick and I wouldn't say it's a coincidence that it's happened with an increased role and increased ice time. Alexander Steen, Mats Sundin, Alex Ponikarovsky......Jason Blake, Jiri Tlusty, Nik Antopov as your first two lines don't jump out at you at first but on a team that is barely a playoff contender if at all, why not?

As for the defense, I realize that McCabe, Kubina and Gill are basically untradable pieces but there is nothing that says you can't play them on the back end of the rotation or not at all. How about having Kaberle with Wozniewski and then maybe Coliacovo when he is healthy with Macabe and then finish it up with White and Kubina. I know McCabe and Kubina are still in there but in a lesser role which when it comes down to it maybe isn't such a bad thing. McCabe was at his best when he wasn't expected to be and Kubina was at his best when all that was expected was solid checking and being able to shut other teams down.

To close this team is not a cup contender and never will be as long as the Leafs keep relying on players to do things that they realisically can't. Playing the young players might not produce a ton of wins now, in fact the record might even get worse but wether you miss the playoffs by 2 points or 20 points you still miss the playoffs, you just get a better draft choice out of it which for the Leafs would only be a good thing, if they don't trade it away that is.

Line combos

Devereaux, Kilger, Gamache, Battaglia, Pohl (pick three to make your last line)

(Gill, Harrison,Kronwall could be inserted in case of injury)

Toskala........make him the number one for crying out loud!!!!!!
Filed Under:   Maple Leafs   Penguins  
October 27, 2007 2:37 PM ET | Delete
good points...but i don't think wellwood is going to be put on third line underneath tlusty
October 27, 2007 3:24 PM ET | Delete
Whos gonnabe the play maker on the second line? and stajan on wing for wellwood? and where will bell come in? I agree that the young guys should be played more though.
October 28, 2007 1:15 AM ET | Delete
When you think about the injuries to Wellwood I think a smaller role wouldn't be such a bad idea.........As for Bell well I have to be honest I totally forgot about him! LOL Lines are never carved in stone so changes would be made, when you are dealing with rebuilding I don't think trying new things is a bad idea.
October 29, 2007 11:45 AM ET | Delete
Ponikarovsky needs to go. He's only as good as Sundin (and to a lesser degree, Antropov) make him look. He looked bad in preseason on a line with Wellwood and Tucker. Tucker himself should be a 3rd liner, as there are much more talented players (including Tlusty) who deserve top six minutes. Wozniewski also needs to go, if for no other reason than to make space for Stralman and/or Kronwall. I'm also not a huge fan of Gill. Granted, he's a great shutdown guy, but he really really slow.Blake - Sundin - AntropovTlusty - Wellwood - SteenTucker - Stajan - Ponikarovsky/Bell/KilgerDevereaux - Pohl - GamacheKaberle - KubinaMcCabe - Colaiacovo/KronwallStralman - WhiteToskalaRaycroft
October 29, 2007 3:58 PM ET | Delete
OK, I'm kind of tired of everybody characterizing Sundin's production in a different way. This guy says he has great starts and tails away towards the end... Others say he's totally clutch, "Captain 3rd Period"... tons of OT goals??? Bottom line: He's a solid player and he will produce a ton of points. Like any player he will have hot and cold streaks but he is a bona fide point-a-game player.I don't know why people hate Gill... He's got a great reach and stick control... When he's PK-ing 5 on 3 it's like having two players in front of the net; just watch how he works it. Slow? Yes. Useless? Hardly. I wouldn't even call his contract (2.5m/year) excessive.......I don't think Tlusty is quite ready for 20 minutes a game.... maybe next year.
October 29, 2007 4:43 PM ET | Delete
Tlusty's gonna be a great player... he can anticipate other team's plays, he can play D, he battles hard on the boards, he gets infront of the net, he sets up plays... not expecting anything this year... but he's gonna be great in the future
October 29, 2007 5:58 PM ET | Delete
Okay let me clear the air here.....I'm not saying what Mats has done in the past hasn't been great because it has, he has been a solid player for a long time. BUT Mats isn't getting any younger and at some point will have to be replaced. Woring on developing the young guys now instead of later will help soften the blow when Mats just can't do it anymore. As for Gill yes he is big and yes he has a nice reach on him.......but so does a tree! As for Tlusty 20 minutes might not be realistic but at the same time if Antropov wasn't shifted to the 4th line or sat out all together it might not have taken 6 years for him to do what he has done so far this year......I would hate to see that happen to Tlusty!
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