Before we get to the T-Rex, make sure to stop by Maple Leafs Hot Stove Tuesday night.
I will be live blogging the Leafs/Bruins game from the press box at the Air Canada Centre.
Stop by, bring the funny and join us for a good time. Boston will be without Marc Savard after the devastating headshot from Matt Cooke, and the Bruins have had scoring woes all season long. Will this be the game Phil Kessel finally get his first point against his former team?
It’s Monday in Week 21, marking the return of the Torontosaurus Rex. The Leafs were 1-1-1 since the trade deadline, scoring only five goals and showing fans how difficult it will be for the Buds to score moving forward this season. If pure skill and talent arenâ€™t going to be enough for success, the team will have to rely on a commitment to a work ethic.
For the player this week, it would make sense to choose a player that contributed to the offense, that also exhibited the ethic required.
In that regard, the Torontosaurus Rex this week scored once and added a helper since the trade deadline (3-1-1-2) and plus-2 firing six shots in the only pointless game, tying a career high from the final game of last season. He’s played 20-plus minutes in three straight and played on the power play in each, the first time since mid-January.
Only three goals shy of career high 15, Kulemin (11-11-23) draws duty on a top line as the Buds look for some scoring punch. It isn’t the scoring touch in vogue here; it’s his emergence as a defensively responsible third liner that can be injected onto a second line in case of injury with some individual puck skills and decent vision.
It’s hustle and work ethic that has improved and he’s looked more comfortable in his sophomore season than a tumultuous rookie campaign.
For emerging as a go to player the rest of the way, Nik Kulemin is the Torontosaurus Rex of the week.