With three pre-season games to go, the Maple Leafs are making great strides towards a promising 2008/2009 campaign. Ron Wilson has juggled his lineup each and every game to get just the right mix of players all going towards one goal. Those who follow this team closely have seen significant bright spots and are real pleased with the team's progress to date. Here's just a few key things to note:
1. 22 goals for in 6 games.
People asked where the scoring would come from. With almost a 4 goal/game clip so far, is there really any doubt as to how this Leaf team will ice a balanced attack each and every night.
2. Sound defence.
Sure it hasn't shown up in the goals against category, but the Leafs are FAR BETTER in their own zone than at any time in the last 5 seasons. Ron Wilson has a plethora of defenceman to choose from for the current season. A strong showing by first pick Luke Schenn also indicates the Leafs will have a strong defence-force for years to come.
3. Team speed
Gone are the days of Jason Allison taking 45 seconds to lumber down the ice. Now we see a squad of speedsters who can apply pressure on opposing teams. The forecheck has significantly improved over years past and this team will be a thorn in the side of many opponents.
4. Carlo Colaiacovo
He could fit into the sound defence category, but I and many other hockey analysts truly believe this will be Carlo's breakthrough season. Tough, skilled and built like a finely tuned athlete, this guy will turn many a head on any given night. I look forward to seeing him play each and every day.
Onwards to the season start Leaf fans!