We’ve been there, done that. The Leafs made a great start to last season’s campaign. Where did that get us? Well, in a way it got us here. Change is a good thing. And this Leafs team is much different than the squad that started last season.
Last year’s start was unexpected. More so because the level of play the team was showing and less so because of the roster depth, which didn’t really look that good on paper. Many would argue that’s still the case, but the quality of play shown in this opening period of the season (ok, weâ€™ll forget 30 minutes of play, 20 of which took them to find their legs on opening night) is really promising.
Last year, I had trouble believing in certain aspects of our play. Goaltending looked shaky until the emergence of James Reimer, PK looked much less energetic, disinterested and lacking fundamentals at times and the PP could have had scoring spurts, like it did with Atlanta, but it didnâ€™t positively change many games of the Leafs. Instead, it cost us games.
This season, so far at least, I donâ€™t have problems believing. Iâ€™m not worried every time another team shoots on net. Iâ€™m confident the PK can get the job done. While still not in awe of the powerplay, it can get us more goals than it did last season. Also, since the team didnâ€™t really have time to work on that aspect of the game, expect it to improve further.
The opposition wasn’t that great, but the Canadiens we faced still beat the Jets 5-1 in their home opener going two periods without a top 4 defenseman and a marquee player. Ottawa played really good hockey for the last 10-15 minutes of our last game. This is one of the major reasons why I wouldn’t underestimate those two wins either. The other is confidence building.
Every move Burke made panned out. Sure, the Kessel deal is still up for debate, but other than that I donâ€™t see what he could have possibly done to improve this team more. The latest gems include getting Steckel and Dupuis. They might not be marquee names, but they donâ€™t have to be to get the job done. Look at last yearâ€™s depth chart. Thatâ€™s pretty much all you need to do to realize how much Burke did for this organization.
Canadiens spoil Jets’ NHL debut – not really though, because the night wasn’t about the result.Â Yesterday night, I think we were all Jets fans, even for one brief moment. Also, congratulations to former Leaf Nik Antropov for scoring the first Jets goal of the new era. Welcome back Jets!