The wait is over. After yet another long off-season following a fifth consecutive year of missing out on the NHL post-season, the Toronto Maple Leafs are set to kick off the 2010-11 season against their oldest rival, the Montreal Canadiens.
Both teams have undergone an off-season where - despite the lack of a full-scale overhaul - crucial moves were made to bring in key players or (in Montreal's case) provide a better opportunity for players already in the organization. Gone from the 2009-10 Toronto lineup are Viktor Stalberg, Rickard Wallin and Keith Primeau, replaced by Kris Versteeg, Colby Armstrong, and Brett Lebda. In Montreal, the most impactful move was the trade of playoff hero Jaroslav Halak to St Louis in exchange for Lars Eller, a move which paves the way for Carey Price to assert his standing among starting NHL netminders.
There really isn't any other way to put it. Â No matter how you slice it, no matter how you try to spin it, or how you try to put a sugar coating on it, the cold hard fact still shines through.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were not a very good team last year.
Although their stats, and their general play, improved dramatically following the late January trades that saw them overturn nearly half their lineup, the fact remains that the 2009-2010 edition of the Maple Leafs fought inconsistency, as well as young inexperience that had them struggling most of the year.
But it could be argued that never were they worse, than in the first month of the season. [more…]
Since the Montreal Canadiens disposed of the Toronto Maple Leafs in an overtime decision in the season-opener on Oct.1, Mike Komisarek has been chastised by Habs fans, even garnering the nickname, â€œHomosarek.â€--- but I have to admit, that one is actually pretty damn funny.
However, what Canadiens fans fail to recognize is that Komisarek, in the midst of a slump, has performed quite well in comparison to the Canadiensâ€™ defensemen in terms of defensive statistics---except for +/-, which is generally a team stat, and I donâ€™t have to show you where the Leafs are currently positioned in that regard.