Wednesday Mashup: Keeping up with the Komarovs

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One of my favourite parts about a new season is the sheer volume of roster changes.  The Toronto Maple Leafs alone saw 10 players leave the fold from May till October, and have already had 9 players make their Leaf debuts.  So let’s catch up with some of the site’s old friends-turned enemies and see what some of last season’s jettison has been up to in the 2013-14 season.

Leo Komarov

While only playing a mere 42 games in Toronto, Leo Komarov made a lasting impact on opposing players rib cages.  Komarov has returned to Dynamo Moscow of the KHL and leads the team in scoring with 17 points in 20 games played.  He actually sits ninth in KHL scoring (with Nigel Dawes of all people) as Dynamo looks to compete for their third straight Gagarin Cup in the spring.  Those are all facts about a real league.

Komarov often felt underused in his brief tenure with the Maple Leafs, and he’s been offered so much more in the ever-expanding KHL.  I know Leafs fans would love to see him don the blue and white once more, but I think we all know he’s happier pissing off players and fans in 8 different countries.

Mikhail Grabovski

Perhaps not wanting to tax himself by playing for a playoff calibre team, Grabbo signed with the Washington Capitals on a frugal one year deal.  After cutting through the Blackhawks like a ripe pineapple in a 4-point debut performance, Grabovski has recorded a meagre goal and 2 assists in his last 8 games.  But he’s been a boon to the team’s enigmatic Eastern European depth, an area of weakness to the Capitals ever since Alex Semin departed two seasons ago.

He’ll make the first of three appearances this season against the Leafs on November, so I figured I’d get these jokes out of the way now before he annihilates the Buds.

Clarke MacArthur

After being spurned by the Maple Leafs, MacArthur (probably?) begrudgingly accepted a two year deal with the Ottawa Senators.  MacArthur was always a divisive player in his tenure with Toronto, combining frustratingly inconsistent play with some fairly impressive underlying numbers in three seasons with the Leafs.

So it’s incredibly like him to have continued this exact style of play in Ottawa, where he anchors the second line and has provided four assists in eight games, despite having a four-game pointless streak already in this young season.  If he continues at this pace, he’ll prove both fans and detractors in Toronto right for not having kept him around.  How Clarke MacArthur of him.

Ben Scrivens

Lost among the big names and old grudges on this list has been the stellar play of Ben Scrivens, who has a scintillating 1.22 goals against and .939 save percentage in three games played for the Los Angeles Kings.  He’s also received the way awesome nickname of “the Professor,” which is so much cooler than Scribbles.

Matt Frattin

Because every hockey coach ever is pretty much the same person, Matt Frattin finds himself in Los Angeles getting limited minutes with limiting linemates after appearing poised to feature in a top six scoring role.  Frattin’s found himself in Darryl Sutter’s dog house and has already been a healthy scratch once this season (see previous sentence for explanation of this sentence).

Some Leaf fans called the trade of Frattin, and the retention of his salary, a pyrrhic victory for the Leafs. But I’d say it was a cagey strategic move by Nonis and co. to pay a guy to play poorly for the opposition.

Mike Kostka

Despite plying his trade for the Chicago Blackhawks, Kostka still found a way to contribute to the Leafs porous defense this season.  In spite of his game winner on Saturday, the Asgardian/Etobicoke native has been little used in the Windy City (only two games played), as the Hawks have a plethora of actual defensemen on the roster.

I don’t really have much more to report about him, other than the fact that the word spite was used at the start of both previous sentences, which sums up most fans’ feelings towards him.  There’s also this:


Ryan O’Byrne

Despite paying down his phone bill for the next six months and leaving his number on the bathroom walls of every NHL arena, O’Byrne hasn’t received any offers from NHL suitors.  He did receive offers from several people who misunderstood the context of his bathroom posting that read “Need a hole filled in your back end? I’m your man.”

 

***

LINKS:

– Here’s last night’s game in 10 from the 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

– Here is Phil Kessel’s hat trick for you to relive in all its glory.

Are the Leafs interested in Dmitry Kulikov? The quote from Cox suggests there’s a pretty tenuous basis to this rumour. The Leafs have been apparently “eying him from afar for a few years” and Kulikov “might” be available. Interesting anyway.

The Leaf Report Podcast featuring Jonas Siegel and James Mirtle.  It’s a new one.  And they talk about flu shots for a while.  So, health and hockey then.

Leafs itching for reinforcement in form of David Clarkson. Itch no more, Clarkson is back on Friday.

– In our attempts to illuminate our understanding of a sport with statistics, we can sometimes rely on flawed data and create our own blind spots, argues Chris Boyle, who says he will reveal his evidence on the importance of shot quality in hockey next week.

  • ConnorCrisp

    Love the autocorrect… made my day!

  • vinoa

    “the Asgardian/Etobicoke native”…lmao

  • Robbies

    I would welcome Leo back in a nano second….
    It will be fascinating to see the balance between
    Grind/infuriate and balls on lunacy that Clarkson
    Will show Friday……imagine the buzz in his head !!

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Awesome blog dude.
    “Need a hole filled in your back end? I’m your man.”
    Hahahaha!

  • ConnorCrisp

    This was touched on a bit by declan last night, but some people using mobile devices (iphone 5, S4 and some android tablets) using safari, firefox and chrome are having trouble posting comments. 
    Basically you can type in the comment box but cannot press “Post Comment” Nothing happens.
    Incidentally, you CAN like posts.

  • Reversethecurse67

    I don’t think Komarov ever thought he was overused during his time here. I don’t have the hard numbers, but he played a lot with Kadri and Grabovski, and only towards the end of the year cemented a spot on the 4th line. He also played the PK.

  • ConnorCrisp

    TheCanucksnaphook Same here. Though I am curious to see grabbo play against us. I wonder what kind of reaction the crowd will give him?

  • ConnorCrisp

    Reversethecurse67 yeah, and its not like he was putting away his scoring chances — at all. Interesting to see that he leading the dynamo in points.

  • dlb eh

    my own personal game in a game for last night:
    Gunnar over Ranger
    Gards edges Rielly

  • dlb eh

    Granny, Phanny, Franny – right side D

  • conebone69

    I had read that Komarov is interested in coming back next year when the cap raises a bit. He would be a real solid depth winger to have back in fold.

  • ConnorCrisp

    TheCanucksnaphook ConnorCrisp i hope he gets respectful cheers personally… it may help defuse the super-sayan grabbo that he will undoubtedly become when he faces us. lol

  • vinoa

    TheCanucksnaphook Not even Komarov? I remember a game last year against Boston when he got half their team so wound up that they were just trying to get at Komarov whenever he was on the ice. Lucic and Marchand in particular were just fuming, guess they don’t like a taste of their own medicine. Hopefully Clarkson can bring that edge with a touch of scoring.

  • Reversethecurse67

    ConnorCrisp Leading the league…with Nigel Dawes. Says all you need.

  • ConnorCrisp

    Reversethecurse67 ConnorCrisp here i was thinking the KHL was serious biznis.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    conebone69 I think he’s a UFA next season, a few teams could be interested.

  • dlb eh

    conebone69 
    might be a good fit, or might not be a fit.  depending on how the other forwards’ contracts are worked out, we could end up with a few rookies in the bottom 6 next year.

  • Reversethecurse67

    TheCanucksnaphook The difference between Brodie/Ashton and Komarov could be worth a few points during the season, and a win during the playoffs. 
    You know management would love to sign him if not for the dreaded salary cap.

  • Wilbur

    dlb eh Phaneuf, Fraser, Gardiner, Rielly, Gunnar, Ranger, Franson…That’s a very good group of seven. Trust me there are teams that are envious. RC will push this group to get better…

  • conebone69

    I didn’t realize he was UFA. That certainly changes things a bit. 
    He’s definitely towards the bottom of the priority list. Given the crazy amount of UFA’s we already have on the current roster. 
    Maybe he can be one of those late season additions for the home stretch (ie. Radulov but less garbage)

  • vinoa

    Reversethecurse67 TheCanucksnaphook He finished 5th in hits last year league wide. With a little more North American experience he could lead the league. I have a feeling that Komarov may have done us a favour this season due to the following cap. Am I the only one who’s convinced that Nonis is a shrewd mofo when it comes to contracts and cap space?

  • Mind Bomb

    Hmm we disagree, we need him on our bottom 6, he actually hits, not the gentle pushes we currently punish our opponents with :) He could FORECHECK ! He motivated our Team, he drew penalties, and come playoff time I would bet we would like him a lot more than Raymond. We could not offer him much, he did not leave a a few K more, he left because the offer was so much better and he wants to play for his country in the olympics
     Please help us Koromov, your are only hope for a Hit !

  • Reversethecurse67

    TheCanucksnaphook It’s not like by keeping/adding Komarov you lose these players. And if he was on the team, i bet Carlyle would choose him over all the players you listed ahead of him.

  • ConnorCrisp

    TheCanucksnaphook I miss him for his fake twitter account more than anything else :)

  • JoeLeaf

    TheCanucksnaphook I disagree. Look at our hits/PIM/fights this year so far compared to last. Komarov was a HUGE part of that.

  • Reversethecurse67

    TheCanucksnaphook Hockey is a business, not a relationship.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    Reversethecurse67 TheCanucksnaphook Not for me.  It’s a relationship.  And Komarov dumped us.

  • conebone69

    TheCanucksnaphook Tough to compare because they would all be used for different roles. Maybe Broll is the only one there where you can compare what he would do directly to komarov. In which case, I would take Komarov (although admittedly Broll would come significantly cheaper)

  • ConnorCrisp

    On another note, I thought Orr has his BEST game of his career (showboating for Stevie Y perhaps ?) Also, my heart skipped a beat with joy in the third when Gardiner skated 200 feet and got a quality scoring chance and created another with the rebound. I actually yelled “GARDS IS BACK BITCH”

  • JoeLeaf

    This team is starving for David Clarkson to infuse some grit into the lineup.

  • Wilbur

    TheCanucksnaphook ConnorCrisp Orr gettin’ ready for McClaren’s return. The Bluebombers ride again…

  • ConnorCrisp

    JoeLeaf yeah im excited for that, and how if affects the rest of the team. Specifically Naz, who always seems to play better when there is shit going down.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    TheCanucksnaphook Damn…he’ll be back.

  • Wilbur

    JoeLeaf Clarkson, Fraser, McClaren and Kulemin will return and we will be a team that can play any type of game again. Bring on the fucking Bruins!!!

  • wendelsway1

    TheCanucksnaphook Reversethecurse67 I really liked Komarov and what he brought last season but with him being out of the loop, we will have players emerge this season…..safe to say, that some will emerge for their checking prowess…..this is our game, and in order to be successful, we have to play a skilled physical game.  As much as I like Komarov, others will step up and get the job done.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    conebone69 Yeah, if he comes back late this season he’s an RFA and will likely have to sign with the Leafs. Next season he is UFA though.

  • JoeLeaf

    Wilbur JoeLeaf Very true. I had forgotten how many grinders we’ve been missing from our line-up. We’re looking too much like a “european style” team atm with little to no hits and PIM. Let’s get those tough Canadian boys on the ice!

  • Wilbur

    JoeLeaf Wilbur Lots of teams get lots of injuries but the Leafs injuries have all been to the same type of player…

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Wilbur JoeLeaf Nov. 9th for the Bruins, then a home and home with the Sabres a week later. Just in time.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    TheCanucksnaphook ingy56 Better he plays key minutes down there , I sure like the kid though….he’s a keeper.

  • Dink

    Yaknowwhat  Nonis knows what he is doing

  • conebone69

    TheCanucksnaphook ingy56 I agree. He looked good in limited time. Probably better for him to have solid mins in the A.

  • Wilbur

    TheCanucksnaphook Wilbur ConnorCrisp Could be but I think some folks will be surprised when RC uses Orr and McClaren regularly. He loves his energy lines and we sure as hell have been missing that. I think when all the D are healthy some might be surprised also if RC chooses Ranger over Gunnar…

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    TheCanucksnaphook They did it last night in the Scabs game.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    TheCanucksnaphook ingy56 At least the guys were far apart and no damage done. They were pretty surprised when they stepped in.

  • mcloki

    Mornign Gents. Lasts nights game was great. Loved the roller coaster that it put everyone here on the boards through. You’d have thought we were the Ballard era Leafs after the first period. LOL. I guess this is why they play 60 minutes. 
    Nice to see the boys winning. we need these early points to pull far enough ahead so it makes it difficult for teams to pass us to get into the playoffs.

  • Dink

    wonder if Scott will be in lineup for Bruins tonite? lol

  • mcloki

    TheCanucksnaphook All it’s going to take is one linesman getting cold cocked for that to stop.

  • Dink

    against them I should say

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    mcloki It’s a game of adjustments sometimes, so kudos to the coaches for getting their point across and to the players for getting it done.