I don't know that there was a better way to end 2008 than with Curtis Joseph getting his 450th win. Chemmy gets angry with me because I still resent the way that CuJo left Toronto. In many ways it was actually worse than Fredo's departure and in one particular way it was much better. In what could only be termed a cautionary tale for Fredo CuJo ostensibly left to win and never came close. Personally, it was sweet justice for disrespecting a team that was still a Stanley Cup contender. But how was his departure better? The Leafs had Eddie to step in right away to make us forget about Joseph.
The Leafs are missing a player of the quality of Fredo (or potential quality) that can make us forget all about him but there is a light at the end of the tunnel: John Tavares. Of course, there are other great names in the draft but the top prize is what interests Burke and the Leafs. Winning games against Atlanta won't help get the team any closer and Burke has to see that this team is just too good to get down that far. We could always hope for a lottery win. Maybe not getting Stamkos last year was a blessing in disguise. The trades will have to begin soon. Kaberle and Kubina know that they can go anywhere Burke wants come the entry draft so they might be interested in controlling their fate. Once the new year rolls around new contract talks can begin with Antropov to see where he stands. March 4th is only 63 days away...
In the meantime, how about that first goal by the Leafs? Grabovski can win the Calder and when he does that beauty feed to Kulemin will go on the highlight package. Speaking of Kule-Aid, that kid can fly. His forechecking is so efficient because he is on the puck carrier before they realize that he's even coming after them.
Chemmy sent me a text from Long Island about how Sifers' was itching for a fight. He almost got it last night but the linesman shut him down.
Frogren was unlucky on the Thrashers' tying goal. Well, considering how he threw himself at the puck he was also kind of lucky.
Stempniak's wrist shot is vicious. That makes two goals in three games. He has 63 days to play better and score more goals.
The Leafs have given up 21 goals in the first seven minutes of their games this year. They've fallen behind 2-0 fourteen times. Why are the starts so slow? Alec says confidence, I think concentration, maybe it's just fear of success. At least they hold on to leads in the third period (9-0-2). If only they could get leads that far.
Anyway, here are more links:
- Jerome Flaake is developing well in Germany but still a year or two away from North America. Well, we have nothing but time.
- Eyebeleaf is back to defend the princess!