Ok as with before I spin the ol' roulette , it lands upon a team and I give my run down for it.Onto the spin!
The Toronto Maple Leafs
With out question this is one of the most changed teams in the league. Fletcher swore he would chang the look of it, and has succeeded in doing that much in his short time with the franchise again. With the departure of several key veteran players , he has handed the reins to the young buds in the hopes of a youth movement.Who will hopefully look to develop a healthy young corps with the extra exposure to the NHL and NHL ice time. Add to that also the hiring of head coach Ron Wilson , and we will for sure see a team that takes to the ice in the ACC, that will be radically different to the one last year . Lets' take a look at the Leafs' of 2008-09.
Forwards(Projected Line Ups)
Looking at a purely statistical standpoint the leafs are looking to have offencive problems in the 2008-09 year. They lack a bonafide number one centre , no scorer who hit the 30 goal mark left upon the team , and lack any true legitamte scoring threat that will cause other teams to pay particular close attention to. Their will be no individual to carry the team on his back this year. That being said , that is not the purpose of the leafs this year. Their is no number one guy to carry the team .As the rest of the team is being looked at to work now closer then ever to give them a shot at winning .With a forward corps boasting several young and quick rookies , the leafs are sure to make use of their speed and passing to create scoring chances. With the limited presence of goal scorers' in Blake, Hagman , and Antropov the Leafs with TEAMWORK will perhaps be able to scrape the win. Their will be no selfish play this year,and no impossible shots taken from bad angles on the ice. The key for this forward group to succeed is solely teamwork. Nothing more will enable them to threaten the other teams.
Defence(Projected Line Ups)
The Leafs' defencive corps has not looked this promising in years. They have established vets and several up and coming rookies that will fill the larger roles later in their careers, once they have been seasoned.Boasting two PP speacilists and penalty killers such as Finger , the Leafs' Defence will surely help to imrpove a rather miserable special team .The mandate this year will be for a tougher and defence first policy. Under head Coach Ron Wislon the defence will sure to be one of the strong points of the leafs this year.
Goaltending for the Leafs is excellent. Led by starter Vesa Toskala the leafs will be assured of stabiity in the net. Despite having atrocious defence in front of him last season , Vesa still was able to post a respectable winning record and Sv%. Toskala will be sure to play a good 65 games in net for the Leafs. As for their back up in Curtis Joseph , the Leafs will have a capable backup who will be able to relieve Toskala of the remainder of 20 or so games he does not play.
Well that pretty much wraps it up for me again this charming early morning . All that remaisn is the predictions for the season standings.
Though I am not in particular a Leaf fan I hold them no ill-will. But unfortunately with the current roster I do not see a return to the post-season for the Leafs. While they have taken the appropiate steps to begin refashioning their team , the other teams in the east are at this point in time to far advanced for the Leafs to threaten.