I'm relatively new on the hockeybuzz.com blog scene, but I am going to try and write at least one a week with the title above; "Is it just me..."
In this, the first installment, I am going to discuss the current Maple Leafs roster, as it stands today, and how it would fair this upcoming season.
Of course, as stated, this is how it stands today, so I am going to exclude Sundin and INCLUDE McCabe for the purpose of this evaluation.
With 7 new faces on the current roster, 8 if you include Jonus Frogren whose contract is up in the air because he is having it rejected by the NHL, and the rejection disputed by the PA, is it just me... or is this team impossible to gauge. I for one, wouldn't be surprised if they finished 30th in the league, or top 5 in the conference. This isn't saying I think they'll finish in either spot, but the fact is, with so many new players, how can you possibly say so definitively (see Mr. Howard Berger and his constant barrage of the Leafs roster, transactions and personnel), that this current team will finish so poorly. I wonder if Howard, and all other media, who are saying the Leafs will finish bottom 5 in the league, were among those who said that the Montreal Canadiens would miss the playoffs, or among those who pegged them to finish last in the conference.
This team is a much different team than the years past. It appears that "interim" GM, Trader-Cliff, is sticking to his vow of a youth movement. There is no denial that this team is younger, and arguably faster. They also appear to be at least attempting to establish some form of defensive depth and grittiness that will provide some team identity for a change.
Make no mistake, I have no pipe dreams that this team is anything like the Habs last year talent wise, I'm just saying that this team may not be the write off that everyone thinks it is.
Agreed.It isn't just you.Don't you hate pants?
Nice job... I am interested to see how they do this year. Living in southern ontario, im sure I will see many of their games on tv, as nothing says a good time like beer and hockey.
I agree with you that writing off contributions from Hagman and Finger before the summer is even over is dumb... lets just wait and see what will happen... I'm not for a second believing that this team is a Cup contender but the way the NHL is set up these days, everyone competes for a playoff spot until December
Nope. It's not just you. It's the new NHL. And the fact that most so called experts can't figure out simple maths. You want an example? THN (aka the Toronto Hockey News) predicted EVERY (okay, let's say most) Habs player to drop their production, some of them like Kovalev, Koivu and Markov to drop by 10 points yet they expect the Habs to finish first in the Conference. How this could loogically happen remains a mystery... or they have even more faith than me in Price! The point is, those experts make educated guesses but it's not because they are paid to do it that they are better than you or me. After all, they aren't paid to make predictions before the beginning of the season, they are paid to follow and comment during the season. Oh and you're right. The leafs don't have the same level of talent the Habs had last year. We didn't have a spot for Grabovski ;-)