Weekend Bits


    Time to shake off the lingering effects of a rough Saturday night, by taking a peek at some of the stories headlining today’s Leaf news. A peek at Wilson’s coaching cheatsheet, a case for the Monster to start on Tuesday night, random notes from the games, and some quick prospect updates for Kadri, Blacker and Stefanovich.

    The Vancouver Province got a nice little screenshot of Ron Wilson’s bench notes from the home opener against the Canadiens. Among the key game-changing bits of recon were that Montreal has many small forwards, they have a lot of new faces, and that they’re from Quebec.

    The Toronto Star makes the case for Gustavsson to get the start on Tuesday night against the Sens, despite Wilson’s insistence that he has yet to make a decision for that game. A comparison is made to the ’92-’93 season where youngster Felix Potvin supplanted Grant Fuhr as the Leafs‘ number one goaltender by the end of the season.

    Random Note #1: Newcomer Francois Beauchemin has been on the ice for the Leafs‘ first SEVEN goals against of the season, and EIGHT of the ten. Holy smokes. The perennial 25+ minute a night defender had his ice-time cut short to just 20:09 last night. Tough start for him thus far to say the least.

    Random Note #2: Despite  a horrific start to the season, there are a couple players looking pretty good on the stats sheet. Ponikarovsky and Grabovski each lead the team with 3 points and a +3 rating. Ian White has somehow managed a +3 rating, assist and 23 minutes of ice-time through the first two games.

    Random Note #3: All is not lost yet after 2 games. If the season ended today, Detroit, Carolina, Vancouver and New Jersey would be among the teams watching the ping pong balls in hopes of a chance at Taylor Hall. Detroit got stunned twice by a young St. Louis squad, Luongo’s got a 3.53 GAA, and Ward’s got a 4.06 GAA.

    Prospect Watch:

    Nazem Kadri has started off well for the London Knights, with 2 goals, 3 points and 8 PIM’s through his first 3 games. The Knights are now off until their highly anticipated Thursday night matchup against Jesse Blacker and the Windsor Spitfires.

    Speaking of Blacker, he’s started his season strong with 3 assists and 6 PIM’s through 6 games played. He is expected to play a larger role for Windsor this season, but the addition of 2010 top prospect Cam Fowler and the return of Ryan Ellis will likely mean reduced powerplay time for Jesse.

    With Bozak and Hanson being sent back to the Marlies, the trickle down effect had prospect Mikhail Stefanovich not being able to land a spot with the club. Instead, he will head back to his junior team from last season, the Quebec Remparts to light up the QMJHL as an overager. Stefanovich scored 49 goals in 56 games for the Remparts last season but did not show much at the Leafs rookie and training camp this fall.

    [email protected]