Happy Halloween, MLHS’ers. There aren’t many positives to be drawn from yesterdayâ€™s loss but we can be pretty happy with the way this opening month of the season played out for the Maple Leafs.
The month was not without its pitfalls for the hockey club, but the team, more often than not, responded with flying colors. Injuries to Tim Connolly, Nazem Kadri, James Reimer, Colby Armstrong, Tyler Bozak, andÂ MacArthurâ€™s early suspension were all factors which could have contributed to an ugly period of results for the team. Instead, the Leafs are 7-3-1 and have a lot to look forward to headed into month number two of the 2011-12 campaign.
After two days rest, itâ€™s New Jersey and Columbus back to back as the Leafs look to put to bed any worries of a nightmare November repeat. Perhaps it’s simply Leafs fan paranoia, but a quick bounce back from the Sens loss seems imperative. Iâ€™d argue that given recent years, or at least last year, the team (or at least its core) knows how quickly things can snowball if given the chance. Iâ€™m quite sure as Iâ€™m writing this the coaches have already pointed that out.
Phil Kessel leads the league in goals and points and is the fourth-ranked forward in the league in plus/minus with a +6. Dion Phaneuf is +7 and has 11 points in 11 games played. Our slightly quieter third star for the month of October, Joffrey Lupul, has 11 points, 5 goals and is a +5.Â I always stay positive about our/my Maple Leafs and often choose to view things in a positive light, but finally this team is giving me the basis to. Sure, there are a lot of things to improve upon (special teams, defensive coverage, the passing game), but for the first time in a long time, the team has gained some ground in the early going. And, last but not least, weâ€™re 7-3-1.
Trick or treat, give me something good to read!