A Shake-Up

This season is shaping up to be sink or swim time for the kids. Staffan Kronwall and Jiri Tlusty will make the trip to coal country in anticipation of the Leafs game against the Penguins.

Jiri Tlusty will definitely be making his NHL debut one day after another highly-touted prospect patrolled the blueline. He practiced with Antropov and Devereaux which is not much of a surprise since Antro has been dynamite regardless of his linemates this year. Looking at the Leafs' roster and knowing Maurice's relationship with Battaglia I would think that he is a likely candidate to make way for Tlusty. However, after that brain-dead interference penalty my money would be on Wade Belak finding himself back in the press box.  

Kronwall is being called up as cover for Bryan McCabe in case he cannot play:

Coach Paul Maurice would only call McCabe's ailment a "mild sprain" but he would not specify the body part the veteran defenceman is nursing.

My guess is that he didn't want to identify the brain as the part of McCabe that is sprained. Actually, that's not fair. McCabe played a decent enough game. Not $5.75M decent but maybe about $2M decent. He's throwing the double ass-cheek check around and was even spotted directing play intelligently in the defensive zone. No word yet if the brain sprain might actually be the cause of the improvement. As it stands, somehow Wozniewski is going to weasel his way back into the lineup at the expense of Stralman which will leave the two Swedish defencemen battling for a spot if McCabe does miss the game.

At least this year the Leafs are showing more of a willingness to sit underachievers in favour of blooding their youth which might seem like little more than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic but it's a step in the right direction for the future of the franchise.

"Either through injury or average play, we'd like to see some of these kids get a chance," said Maurice. "I don't know that we're expecting a young guy to go in and steal a job and dominate the league but they've got to start somewhere and I think you've got to get them in your lineup and makes changes when you're not happy with the overall performance of your team."

This season is already a huge one for the likes of Alex Steen, Matt Stajan, Kyle Wellwood, Carlo Colaiacovo, Nik Antropov, and Alex Ponikarovsky. These guys have this year and possibly next to show that they are key to the Leafs' future/present and so far they (less the injured parties) have shown that they have a part to play. If the 'veterans' continue along their current path then hopefully more youth will get a chance to show that they are ready to take the reins.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker