It doesn't take a rocket scientist nor an arm chair GM operating in his Mom's basement much to understand that the Leafs will make the play-offs this year.
How you might ask?
The Leafs defense on paper is second to no one in the east and is top 3 in the west.
Their goaltending has youth and depth with proven performers as Joey MacDonald, Gustavvson and Toskala who might be trade bait in December.
With specialists in shot blocking as Komisarek, Finger, Beauchemin, Schenn all under the age of 30 include Exelby in that role also and you begin to see that not only are the shots against dropping but so are the goals against.
Then add to the mix the fact all these guys will check, check, and check and fight who it might be on any given night is up in the air but it's the fact that all these guys on D can answer the bell. That alone will make it a little easier for guys like Grabovski, Kulemin, Tlusty, Hagman to find time and space and those guys could all be gettting 30 goals each with the added space and courage.
That offense that some have called "POP" was top 10 or so in offense last year give them a little more space another year to develop and give a little more courage and all of sudden the GA could be one of the lowest in the NHL and the goals for staying at least at par with last year and you can see the picture. It's not a dream, it's not just BS in the pasture.
Think about it conservatively
Hagman, Blake, Grabovski can all get 30 goals each,
Kulemin, Stajan, Ponikarovski can all get 25 goals each,
Bozak, Hanson, J.Mitchell 10 goals each
Primeau, Orr, Mayers 15 goals combined
on D add another 50 goals lead by VanRyan and Kabby and you have a gran total of 260 goals a slight improvement from last years 250 goals then you begin to see why I know they will not only make the play-offs but they will beat the sh!t out of the competition while doing it. No more third period melt downs, no more leafs squandered no more Graboski getting tormented by the opposition no more guys being checked through the glass.
Above all no more nay sayers in the blogosphere that on one side the Leafs don't draft and develop and on the other side they are perpetually bad. If you can't see what Burke has done then you have no business in hockey because those of us who have played at least major junior ice hockey know that solid two way play with an emphasis on defense and a defense that will beat the opposition each and every night will make you a team with an identity and consistently a winner!